Focusing on the Positive & Marking Milestones
- Singer Celine Dion, 55, remains strong and in positive spirits as she continues battling a rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome (SPS). She recently reemerged into the spotlight with rare public appearances and even singing again.
- Dion’s family shared that the famous singer experiences occasional pain due to her condition.
- Symptoms associated with SPS include the stiffening of your muscles, particularly in your torso, arms, and legs. Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) does not have a cure and can worsen over time. However, people diagnosed can manage symptoms with treatment, which includes muscle-relaxing drugs.
- Some experts shared with SurvivorNet that people battling a chronic disease or cancer should remember to prioritize their overall well-being and do the things that they love, including focusing on music like Dion. By focusing on what brings you joy, your mental health can get a much-needed boost while on your journey to recovery.
It’s been years since many people outside Celine Dion’s inner circle could hear her belt-out sweet sounds from her iconic voice in song. Her ongoing battle with stiff-person syndrome (SPS) – a rare neurological disorder – is the reason behind her noticeable absence from the spotlight since her diagnosis was made public in 2022. However, a lucky group of hockey players got a preview of what may be on the horizon for the famous singer.
View this post on InstagramRead MoreDion, 55, sang a few notes while visiting the Montreal Canadians after a game. The “My Heart Will Go On” singer visited the team in their locker room, appearing in good spirits as she donned a bright smile while giving the thumbs up.
Dion shared the photo on her Instagram, which garnered a ton of buzz from supporters and fans thrilled to see her out and about, seemingly doing well despite her diagnosis.
“You are so strong, Celine!!!” Instagram user Almir Caggy wrote in a post.
“What a pleasure to see you, Celine; come back soon!” Vale Zanatta wrote.
The “Power of Love” singer made several social media posts in the days following her visit with the Montreal Canadians, hinting that a much bigger audience will get to hear new music from her soon.
View this post on Instagram
“Between Las Vegas and Paris, between 4 songwriters and one performer, see now the bottoms of the recording of “1 Girl & 4 Guys” album, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year!” Dion shared this on her Instagram channel.
It’s heartwarming to see the award-winning singer in good spirits and doing well. For months, Dion’s family has offered some insight into her tough battle with stiff-person syndrome, which often seemed full of despair.
Dion announced last December she was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome and canceled or postponed several planned performances to focus on her health ever since.
Dion’s older sister Claudette shared with Hello Magazine, “She’s doing everything to recover,” adding that she’s a strong woman to live with SPS bravely.
Helping You Stay Positive On Your Journey
Coping with a Tough Condition Like SPS
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), stiff-person syndrome is a rare, progressive neurological disorder that causes muscles to stiffen, particularly in your torso, arms, and legs. The disease affects “only one or two people per million,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“There are spasms – they’re impossible to control. You know who people often jump up in the night because of a cramp in the leg or the calf? It’s a bit like that, but in all muscles,” Claudette continued.
The National Cancer Institute says muscle-relaxing drugs can help manage SPS symptoms.
“Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment is effective in reducing stiffness, sensitivity to noise, touch, and stress and for improving gait and balance for people with SPS,” NCI said.
“More commonly, it affects women, usually starting in the 40s or 50s. More than 50% of patients have a coexisting non-neurological autoimmune disease, such as Type 1 diabetes or autoimmune thyroid disease,” Dr. Andrew McKeon said to Mayo Clinic.
Staying Positive Makes a Difference
While finite details of Dion’s SPS journey are not always clear, in recent weeks, she’s often seen smiling and enjoying the company she’s in. Many people battling a health condition such as a chronic disease or cancer often benefit from a positive attitude.
This is something Dr. Zuri Murrell of Cedars-Sinai says helps a cancer patient’s prognosis.
“A positive attitude is really important,” Dr. Murrell told SurvivorNet.
“My patients who thrive, even with stage 4 cancer, from the time that they, about a month after they’re diagnosed, I kind of am pretty good at seeing who is going to be OK. Now, doesn’t that mean I’m good at saying that the cancer won’t grow,” Dr. Murrell says.
WATCH: Focusing on positivity and emotional health.
Other experts SurvivorNet has spoken to recommend that anyone facing cancer make sure they continue to prioritize their overall well-being and do the things that they love, which may include focusing on music like Dion.
Dr. Dana Chase, a gynecological oncologist at Arizona Center for Cancer Care, says people with cancer should be making time to do things that make them happy.
“We know from good studies that emotional health is associated with survival, meaning better quality of life is associated with better outcomes,” Chase said.