A mother, singer/songwriter, actress, and radio show host, Chantel SinGs is a woman of many talents.
She is also a survivor of ovarian cancer.
Born in Chicago, SinGs used music as a tool to endure hardship. “I’ve always been a singing bird since a little girl.” she said.
“We didn’t grow up with much,” SinGs recalls. “Sometimes the lights were cut off and all we had was a radio, batteries and cassette tapes. I would rock in the dark and I would sing and dance front and center.” Similar to her life experience, SinGs musical influences vary. Her father favored alternative rock music such as Jimi Hendrix and Grand Funk, while her mother favored artists such as Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, The O’Jays, and Phil Collins. “I like music that uplifts, or speaks the truth about issues and problems we all go through,” SinGs said.
SinGs hosted “We Fight Against Cancer” earlier this year at the Imperial Room in downtown Minneapolis. The event promoted the awareness of ovarian cancer and acknowledged survivors of other types of cancer. The event celebrated SinGs as a six-year survivor of ovarian cancer.
“I was diagnosed around December of 2005. It was something I didn’t expect. One day I’m feeling perfectly fine, then literally the next day I was down to 95lbs,” SinGs said. “I was sick in the house for two weeks straight before I actually called an ambulance for myself. I didn’t believe my illness was that severe.”
The doctors told SinGs she had a tumor the size of a grapefruit. “It was kind of like the sitcom House, where three or four doctors were trying to figure out my situation. The doctors couldn’t even figure it out.”
“We prayed in the hospital and that’s what gave me strength. I really thought it was the end for me at that time,” she said.
“It is a traumatic experience, mentally and damaging emotionally,” SinGs said. “Anybody who is a survivor definitely needs faith to pray about it. When you make it through and see others around you passing away, it hurts, but it makes you feel like you do have a purpose to be here,” she said.
This reality helped shape and create passion musically for SinGs. “I just like to get down to the real. When the party is over, the lights go out and the drinking is done, you are back to the reality and responsibilities of being an adult,” SinGs said.
SinGs has produced and released her album Beautiful Dream available on Itunes, released November of 2011, serves as a co-host for Ray Richardson’s Back In The Day Sunday evenings 6-10pm on KMOJ 89.9FM, and is involved in play writing.
“When nothing else works, when people let you down, and nothing else can get you through the day, all you can do is pray,” SinGs said. “At the end of the day, nothing got me through but God and my family. I could have never gotten through that by myself,” SinGs said.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Women who have a mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease. Also, women with a family history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum may also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Older women who have never been pregnant have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Some studies have suggested that women who take estrogen by itself, or estrogen without progesterone for ten or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
For more information visit http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian
Symptoms may include:
Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs, a swollen or bloated abdomen, nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea, feeling very tired all the time.
Less common symptoms include:
Shortness of breath, feeling the need to urinate often or unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause).
According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, while the ninth most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. Mortality rates are slightly higher for Caucasian women than for African-American women.
Approximately 1.2 percent of all women were diagnosed under age 20, 3.5 percent between 20 and 34, 7.3 percent between 35 and 44, 19.1 percent between 45 and 54, 23.1 percent between 55 and 64, 19.7 percent between 65 and 74, 18.2 percent between 75 and 84, and 8.0 percent 85+ years of age.
There were 15,460 deaths for 21,090 cases of ovarian cancer in 2011.
For more information visit http://www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/