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Women's Health

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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

Crow’s breast cancer treatment consisted of minimally invasive surgery -- a lumpectomy, where a surgeon excises only the tumor and a clear margin around it, leaving the breast intact -- followed by a seven-week course of radiation. A post-treatment mammogram showed she was in remission and cancer-free. She remains so to this day.

The experience “woke me up,” she says. “I was no longer dulled out. … I think I was conscious before, but having cancer really opened my eyes.” After staring down her own mortality, Crow knew it was time to build the family she’d always wanted, and on her own terms.

In the wake of a broken heart and a recovering body, Crow “didn’t go out much. … I took care of myself, and I learned the only way to get through grief is to grieve, to experience those emotions. I would tell people when I needed space, if I needed them to run an errand for me. And I allowed myself to sleep as much as I wanted to, and to do absolutely nothing … and I let myself feel everything.”

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.

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