How Feelings of Gratitude Help Cancer Warriors
- Actress Maura Tierney, 58, of “ER” fame was supposed to be in the beloved show “Parenthood,” but she got breast cancer and couldn’t continue working on it.
- Maura Tierney was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 44. She underwent a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.
- The actress said she has no evidence of the disease and is grateful for life after cancer.
- Tierney’s gained appreciation for gratitude is a feeling commonly shared by many cancer warriors.
- SurvivorNet experts encourage cancer patients to practice gratitude because it helps condition their mindset for challenges along their journey to better health.
Actress Maura Tierney, 58, may be best known for her role on the television series “ER,” but she almost took on another beloved TV character: cool mom Sarah Braverman in “Parenthood.” However, just as she was ready to take on the role, breast cancer hit. And her exciting plans changed.
One of Tierney’s biggest roles in her career came about in 1999 when she portrayed nurse Abby Lockhart on “ER.” The show lasted for 10 years and, as it was wrapping up, Tierney was eyeing “Parenthood.”Read More
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Although Tierney focused on her breast cancer battle, she kept details about it private early on.
“I remember thinking, I’m so young, this can’t be happening,” Tierney told People Magazine.
But she faced it head-on with the same strength she conveys as an actress on screen. And her story is an inspiration to any survivor who’s life takes a sudden, unexpected turn.
Maura Tierney’s Breast Cancer Journey
Maura Tierney’s breast cancer journey began after she found a lump in her breast. She went to get a mammogram to get it checked out by her doctor, and that’s when she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 44.
“I was very shocked and surprised because of my age. I’ve since learned that it’s not that shocking; there are plenty of young women diagnosed with breast cancer,” she explained to Coping Magazine.
It’s no wonder Tierney was so shocked by her diagnosis. Your risk of getting breast cancer increases as you get older, with most people being diagnosed after age 50, according to the CDC.
Expert Mastectomy Resources
Following her diagnosis, Tierney underwent a mastectomy, which is the removal of the entire breast during surgery.
“It’s scary to think you have to have a mastectomy, but I had a great plastic surgeon and a great reconstruction,” Tierney said.
There are several factors to weigh when considering a mastectomy, chief among them being whether breast-conserving surgery (or lumpectomy) is possible. Your doctor will look at the size and features of your tumor as well as your family history to make a recommendation.
WATCH: When should you consider a mastectomy?
Tierney then received chemotherapy treatments after her surgery.
“I was very, very afraid anticipating the chemotherapy. I had a tremendous amount of anxiety,” Tierney said.
Tierney credits her ability to cope throughout her breast cancer journey to being armed with reliable information from her doctor. Experts SurvivorNet has spoken with agree that learning all you can about your disease and treatment options can be a helpful way to ease your fears about the unknown.
The actress said she has no evidence of the disease and is grateful for life after cancer.
“I have a lot of gratitude for sure. I’m deeply grateful for my family and for science, technology, and medicine,” Tierney said.
Although Maura Tierney had to side-step a role in “Parenthood” in 2009, her career is still thriving today. She currently has a role in the upcoming film “The Iron Claw.” The new project is a story about a professional wrestling legacy family, the Von Erichs, during the 1960s. The film is expected to be released in late 2023 or early 2024, according to WrestlingInc.
Gratitude After Cancer Journey
Maura Tierney’s gained appreciation for gratitude is a feeling commonly shared by many cancer warriors. Gratitude is being thankful for what you have and showing appreciation for it.
SurvivorNet experts encourage cancer patients to practice gratitude because it helps condition their mindset for challenges along their journey to better health.
Dr. Zuri Murrell, a colorectal cancer surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, previously told SurvivorNet that his patients who live with gratitude tend to handle treatment better because this attitude is one way to stay mentally healthy.
We all know battling cancer or disease can be extremely stressful. If you’re able to find things that you are grateful for can help manage the dress. Stress and anxiety can lead to physical issues, and practicing gratitude can help get both under control.
“The patients who do well with cancer, they live life with that kind of gratitude, but in terms of everything,” he explained. “They’re grateful, not for cancer, but they’re grateful for an opportunity to know that life is finite.”
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