Triumph After Tragedy
- It was just announced that legendary rock artist Tina Turner will officially be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this October in Cleveland along with Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, and Carole King, to name a few.
- The cancer survivor has been through tragedy after tragedy in her lifetime and this recognition as a solo artist is long overdue. She was inducted in 1991 with her late husband and music partner Ike Turner who notoriously abused Turner.
- A leading expert tells SurvivorNet about the connection between stress and cancer.
That’s why this honor means so much to the What’s Love Got To Do With It singer, who has also survived intestinal cancer along with 16 years of domestic abuse.Read More
When Turner’s documentary about her troubled life, Tina, premiered in March, fans were outraged that the legend had not yet been honored as a solo artist since her solo career began in 1984.
Turner won three Grammys following her Private Dancer solo album, and has racked up a total of 12: 8 Grammys out of 25 nominations, 3 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Turner will be in good company this time around, with the Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and the Go-Go’s also getting inducted.
“It’s an honour to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside such illustrious company!” Turner wrote on Instagram after the initial contenders were announced in February.
Past inductees include Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Rod Stewart, U2, Janet Jackson and the late Whitney Houston.
The induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 30, and it will be broadcast on HBO Max.
Turner also won the fan vote this year, as the RRHOF also selects an artist or act via popular vote. Fela Kuti, the Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden and Foo Fighters came in second, third, fourth, and fifth place.
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Prior to her documentary’s release, her husband Erwin Bach said that Turner is taking some time to heal. She has been through too much with her health. It is unclear if Turner will appear or perform at the Rock Hall induction ceremony.
“She said, ‘I’m going to America to say goodbye to my American fans and I’ll wrap it up.’ And I think this documentary and the play, this is it — it’s a closure,” Bach said. Turner also released a Broadway play in 2018, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
At the start of Tina, the artist reflects upon her life and says some heartbreaking words.
“It wasn’t a good life. The good did not balance the bad,” she admitted. “I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it.”
Surviving Intestinal Cancer, a Stroke and Kidney Disease
In 2018, Turner announced that she had beaten intestinal cancer. She had discovered the rare disease early and had part of her intestine removed in 2016. She also had kidney failure. The kidney pain was so unbearable at one point that she had admittedly considered assisted suicide.
Luckily, Turner’s second marriage would wind up saving her, and she finally received the monumental support that she deserved, both emotionally and physically. Bach, a Swiss record exec whom she first met in 1986 and married in 2013, is 15 years younger than the singer, and gave his wife the ultimate gift: one of his kidneys.
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In Turner’s recent book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, Turner credits Bach for teaching her how “to love without giving up who I am.” She describes the difference in Bach’s love compared to the earlier trauma that she endured with Ike Turner (who died from a cocaine overdose in 2007).
“He shows me that true love doesn’t require the dimming of my light so that he can shine. On the contrary, we are the light of each other’s lives, and we want to shine as bright as we can, together,” she wrote. “This example of love proves that you can always start again. Even after abuse, you can heal. Everyone deserves a chance to find true love.”
“Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer,” she said, noting that she had met Erwin at an airport in Germany.
Turner may have had an almost unbearable life for most of her years, but meeting a husband who adores her and having millions of fans around the world rooting for her health and healing, she has much to be proud of. Especially because she has empowered so many women who have had the courage to get out of abusive relationships after hearing her story.
Intestinal Cancer Explained
Turner also has a following of courageous cancer survivors.
Small intestine cancers — known as adenocarcinomas –are rare. In 2020, about 11,110 people will be diagnosed with some type of small intestine cancer in the U.S. and about 1,700 people will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Most small intestine cancers look very similar to colon cancers under a microscope, but detailed studies of the chromosomes and DNA in their cancer cells have found some differences. Researchers hope that these findings will eventually lead to more specific and effective treatments for small intestine cancer — including chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Some of the more common symptoms of intestinal cancer are:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss (without trying)
- Weakness and fatigue
- Dark-colored stools (from bleeding into the intestine)
- Low red blood cell counts (anemia)
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Often, the first symptom is stomach pain, which is may feel crampy and get worse after eating. As the tumor gets larger, it can slow the passage of digested food through the intestine. This can lead to increased pain or, in some cases, can cause an intestinal obstruction, which can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
Sometimes a tumor will start bleeding into the intestine, which can lead to a low red blood cell count (anemia) over time, creating weakness and fatigue. If the bleeding is rapid, the stool can become black and tarry from digested blood, and the person may feel lightheaded or even pass out.
If you notice any of these symptoms, get checked by a doctor to identify the cause.
Stress and Cancer
Many people believe that stress causes cancer, which isn’t exactly true from what doctors have found. But there is a correlation.
Dr. Heather Yeo, a colorectal surgeon and oncologist from Weill Cornell Medicine, expands upon this controversial topic with SurvivorNet.
“There is no doubt that stress and your immune system affect your body and affect your body’s chance of healing,” Dr. Yeo says. “Many patients are very anxious and worried that they cause their own cancer through stress or anxiety. I always tell patients, you can’t look in the past and you certainly can’t blame yourself.”
Stress does impact your body’s ability to mount an immune response. “Stress certainly decreases your immune system and it may decrease your body’s ability to fight certain cancers,” Dr. Yeo says.
When there is an excess of stress hormones going on, “your body has a hard time recovering and cancer takes advantage of that.”