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Sheryl Crow Adds Healthy Living to Her Repertoire

After a traumatic year, the singer-songwriter is making music, raising a son, and learning the art of balance.

Sheryl Crow on breast cancer recovery continued...

She also began meditating, the art of sitting with oneself in silence, during this time. “As Westerners, we try to stay busy. We say: ‘Just don’t think about it, get on with things.’ But for me, meditating is tantamount to quieting the brain.” Crow says it helped her through those few rough months and that she continues the practice now, every day.

After her diagnosis, Crow retreated to Nashville to be closer to her parents, who still reside in her hometown of Kennett just a few hours away. “I needed my family around me [during treatment],” she says. “What resonated with me was trying to live a normal life, as normal as I could.”

Sheryl Crow on adoption

She also needed to provide a home far from intrusive eyes for her new son, who was delivered into Crow’s arms when he was just a day old, after a series of heart-tugging disappointments. “I met with a few different moms, and [adoption arrangements] all fell apart for one reason or another … but then Wyatt came through!” Even now, two years later, there is real glee in her voice when she says these words.

Asked about the adoption process, and if she has any advice for other parents now going down that road, she answers, “It was sort of like a recipe: Follow the directions carefully and you’ll get the right outcome.” But the right outcome took time. “They don’t put you at the front of the line just because you’re a rock star,” Crow was quoted as saying in 2007. “I went through the proper channels and did it just like everybody else. I went through an agency. I filled out a lot of paperwork. ... This was a closed adoption, but I have a physical description and the medical history of the parents, which is really great because you know what your child is in for regarding medical issues.”

Seeking medical information was a wise thing to do, says Deborah Borchers, MD, a founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Adoption and Foster Care, “especially since many diseases do not present until the 20s or 30s, and may become issues [later] with the child’s [biological] grandparents.” Borchers adds that children available for adoption may have special needs, including medical, developmental, and mental health challenges arising from the effects of drug or alcohol use by the mother, poverty, abuse, and separation from biological parents.

Biology aside, the connection Crow felt with her new son was immediate and lasting. “Wyatt is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing at night,” the singer says of motherhood. “I never knew my heart could be so expansive, could feel such love and joy. Becoming a mother changed how I look at the world.”

Did the threat of her cancer’s returning ever give her pause as she was dealing with the paperwork and readying Wyatt’s nursery? “Never,” says Crow, a longtime health advocate who had performed for breast cancer events, such as Revlon’s Run/Walk, for years before becoming involved with Armstrong and facing the condition herself. “My cancer was caught so early, I was lucky … and I couldn’t live my life in fear. It made me more self-examining, sure, but becoming a mother was something I needed to do.”

 

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