A Powerful Role Model
- Superstar Tina Turner, 81, is an intestinal cancer survivor and domestic abuse survivor, and takes to Instagram to remind women of their value on International Women’s Day. “Never forget to stand up for yourself, your rights and your freedom. Be brave! You deserve the world,” Turner says.
- Turner, who has also overcome a stroke, kidney disease, and the death of her son Craig in 2018, has been happily married since 2013 and is a force when it comes to showing the obstacles we can overcome if we set our hearts and our mind to it.
- Although leading experts do not believe that stress directly causes cancer, there is a correlation between the two. “There is no doubt that stress and your immune system affect your body and affect your body’s chance of healing,” says a top expert to SurvivorNet. Plus, one survivor talks about the power of a healthy relationship and support system while navigating through a cancer diagnosis.
Not only did the singer recently beat intestinal cancer in 2018, but she has overcome physical and emotional abuse from her former husband, the late Ike Turner.Read More
“Never forget to stand up for yourself, your rights and your freedom. Be brave! You deserve the world,” Turner writes on Instagram.
The singer expresses how much it means to her that she seen as a role model for women. “If someone had told me as a little girl that one day, I would be a role model for women around the globe, I wouldn’t have believed it,” she writes. “Every day I receive messages from brave women who tell me their stories. I am so proud of each and every one of you!”
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Fans shared messages of inspiration.
“Tina you were and still are my biggest role model you showed me that through the darkest times in life where you feel trapped and silenced singing gives you a voice and a joy that fills your heart … Thank you for your bravery and strength. If I never see you in this life I hope to see you in heaven. ALL MY LOVE AND RESPECT. KIMBERLEY XXXX.”
A male fan writes:
“A ROLE MODEL FOR US MEN TOO. STRENGTH GENIUS PERSEVERANCE TALENT DRIVE BEAUTY AND LONGEVITY,” one male fan writes. “BRAVO.”
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Ike & Tina: The Relationship
The pair met in 1956 when Tina was 16, she married him at 22 and she finally escaped the relationship in 1976 with just thirty six cents in her pocket and filed for divorce, which was finalized two years later. Turner recalled years later that her volatile ex had taken her to a brothel in Tijuana on their wedding night. “The experience was so disturbing that I suppressed it, scratched it out, and created a different scenario, a fantasy of romantic elopement,” she said to The Mail on Sunday.
Surviving Intestinal Cancer, a Stroke and the Death of Her Son
Turner remarried in 2013. In 2018, Turner announced that she had beaten intestinal cancer (she discovered the rare disease early and had part of her intestine removed), and that she also had a successful kidney transplant. Her husband, Erwin Bach, whom she first met in 1986 and is 15 years younger than Turner, gave his wife one of his kidneys after she suffered from kidney disease.
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.
“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, a record exec, at an airport in Germany.
Turner also wrote about how dealing with illness has reminded her to seize the day. “Over the years I have summoned up my inner lion and overcome each health problem,” Turner writes. “Illness has given me a greater appreciation for health and reminds me to live each day to its fullest.” The warrior has also suffered from a stroke in 2013 right after her second marriage, and heartbreak from losing her son Craig to suicide.
“The stroke had delivered a powerful blow to my body… I would have to work with a physiotherapist to learn how to walk again,” Turner said to Oprah in 2018, which was the same year that her son took his life at 59. “I’m still trying to find out why he did it. Maybe something from his childhood followed him through life and was still weighing on him, and he just couldn’t handle it anymore. I don’t know.”
Turner’s staying busy amid the pandemic: A new documentary on her life, Tina, will air on HBO March 27.
The Power of Support
The power of a healthy relationship and support system can improve your health. For Turner to go from a publicly humiliating battle with abuse to finding love again with a man who donated his kidney to her is a true testament to love and support.
Survivor Tiffany Dyba talks about how much of a difference that love and support played in overcoming her breast cancer diagnosis. “My husband is the best person on the entire planet. Because he doesn’t treat me like I’m sick,” Dyba tells SurvivorNet. “He just treats me like me, which is so important, because a lot of people treat me like I’m sick. He hasn’t missed a beat. He said there’s no other option but beating it. And I believe him every time.”
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.
“There is no doubt that stress and your immune system affect your body and affect your body’s chance of healing,” Dr. Heather Yeo tells SurvivorNet. “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.”
Although many top experts including Dr. Yeo do not think that there is a direct correlation between stress and cancer. “That being said, stress certainly decreases your immune system and it may decrease your body’s ability to fight certain cancers.”
When there is an excess of stress hormones going on, “your body has a hard time recovering and cancer takes advantage of that.”