'Country Ever After' Comes to Netflix on November 6
- The series takes viewers inside the life of country singer, Coffey Anderson, wife Criscilla, and their three children.
- Since her 2018 colon cancer diagnosis, Criscilla, says faith and family have sustained her.
- SurvivorNet obtained preview episodes, which show Criscilla anticipating her final round of chemo.
SurvivorNet previewed the soon-to-air series, in which Criscilla — who’s danced with Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rhianna — joins a hip-hop dance class as she anticipates her final round of chemo for stage 3 colon cancer.
Read MoreView this post on Instagram
New name and new date! Thank you @netflix for putting out a show like this! The WHOLE family can watch it and y’all are going to LOVE it. Thank you @lightworkers and @mgm_studios for putting our story out. #countryeverafter #country #coffeyanderson #netflix
Speaking to the camera, Criscilla says of her diagnosis, “It all came very quickly. I started having these cramping feelings.” When the pain persisted, Coffey took her to the ER, where a colonoscopy revealed a complete blockage.
Surgeons removed a two-foot section of her colon, which meant “I would have to have a colostomy bag. I was in there [the hospital] for 11 days — and the last day I get told, ‘it’s stage 3 colon cancer’.”
“My Children Need Me”
“My first concern when I hear that? You think death sentence, my babies,” Anderson says of her son Ethan, 9, and daughters Emmarie, 6 and Everleigh Rose, 4. “My husband lost his mom to cancer. He can’t possibly lose another woman he loves to cancer,” she says. “But I’m learning that it’s not always a death sentence.”
Survivors will nod in recognition as Criscilla proves that life doesn’t stop with a cancer diagnosis. And she leads by example as she continues to live her life and, like so many others, simultaneously, go on through treatment.
Stage 3 means the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, says Dr. Daniel Labow, Chief of the Surgical Oncology Division at Mount Sinai Health System.
In an early episode, she challenges her husband to a two-mile run — and beats him. The family also plans a Christmas surprise for the widow and children of a fellow dancer who succumbed to cancer. And, as Criscilla struggles to regain her strength after colostomy-reversal surgery, her children throw a home “spa day” to cheer her up.
Fans who’ve followed Andersons’ cancer journey may find it both uplifting and heartbreaking to watch the couple celebrate her remission. They know what’s still to come, even if the show has ended.
Filmed in 2019, the first season takes place before her relapse with stage 4 colon cancer. Since then, she’s pursued alternative therapies while under the careful observation of her oncologist. And a recent immunotherapy regimen has come with side-effects, as she shared on Instagram.
But this powerful series demonstrates how one family goes on living — and loving — despite cancer’s challenges.
Coffey Anderson was playing music at worship services when he and Criscilla met in church in 2008. The couple married a year later. “Coming from the hip-hop world, I never imagined myself marrying a country singer,” Criscilla says in the show’s first episode. The pair found common ground in their faith and married a year later.
Coffey’s mom died of cancer 10 days before his 11th birthday, Criscilla told SurvivorNet in a previous interview: “I know this hits close to home for him. And so many times, I ask God ‘you took her away, you can’t take me away from him, too.’”
For Coffey Anderson, the loss of his mom doesn’t get any easier. “It’s still there,” he shared on Instagram. “It dulls with each day from the love I receive from others and those close to me. Mom, you were the best. You loved everyone, thought before you spoke, and you were the peace I needed in a crazy world. You are missed EVERYDAY.”
Criscilla Anderson’s Cancer Diagnosis
She’d competed in two marathons and had always been healthy. But in May of 2018, stomach pains would hit, leaving Criscilla doubled-over. “As a mom, you always feel like you don’t have the time to deal with things like this,” she said.
“But there came a point when I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”
“It’s scary for patients when colon cancer returns, says Dr. Heather Yeo, “but it doesn’t mean there aren’t treatment options.”
To address her chemotherapy treatments with her children, Anderson has adopted a soft, yet straightforward approach. “They knew that I was taking a medicine that was going to make Mommy sick,” she told SurvivorNet, “but, ultimately, it was going to make me healthy.”
“They know that I’m fighting it,” she says,” They know that I’m doing a lot of things to stay healthy so that I can be around for them. They’re happy children.”
The fact this lovely couple, filled with faith and hope, open up their world to the rest of us during this difficult step in their journey is inspiring. Watching how they manage as a family could help others fighting their own battles.