To some, this particular Blog may seem as if I have totally lost my mind. To those of you who do think that, I would just like to reassure you that I lost my mind many years before I succumbed to the “Dark Side”.
We all know that “Do you believe in life after love” are lyrics from the 1998, Grammy award winning, auto tuned to the max, number 1 in 23 different countries, hit song “Believe”. Yes ladies, gentlemen and those in between, this blog is about thee one and only Cherilyn Sarkisian. More commonly known as Cher. Now if I didn’t think I would get sued from the women herself, as you read this blog I would have “If I Could Turn Back Time” playing automatically in the background. So as I am unable to do that, I would ask you all to open your ITunes, click on a bit of “If I Could Turn Back Time” and get in the Cher mood.
Everyone knows of Cher as a singer; with her hit singles such as “I Got You Babe”, “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Believe”, an actor; whether it’s playing a single mother in “Mermaids” or her Oscar winning performance in “Moonstruck” as an unlucky in love Jewish New Yorker, or simply a women who has a very eclectic taste in clothing. Whether you love her or hate her, for the past 5 decades Cher has worked her ass off to become one if the most successful women ever in the entertainment industry. However what many people don’t know about Cher is she has also had her very own turbulent relationship with M.E.
In the late 80’s Cher was diagnosed as having the Epstein – Barr virus. EBV is a virus which like the common cold sore is of the Herpes family and is estimated to affect 90% to 95% of American adults. In most cases symptoms go unnoticed and cause no on going problems as most individuals gain adaptive immunity towards the virus. However in a small number of cases the effects of EBV can be more severe causing fatigue, swollen nymph nodes, rashes, flu like symptoms and glandular fever. This in turn can then lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This my friends, is exactly what happened to Cher. Cher became so ill due to M.E that in 1992 she was forced to 3 years off from her career to rest, recuperate and get back to her kick ass self. When asked by the BBC about this period Cher said “Boy, it was devastating for me. I wasn’t able to work for almost three years, my experience was it was really a physical illness but it does make you depressed as well.” Thoughts many others in the M.E community have echoed time after time.
Now what the hell has this got to do with the price of milk? I hear you say. Well my point is this: Cher is now a 64 year old woman who has just became the first ever person to have a number 1 in 5 different decades, she makes movies where she sings and dances like a woman half her age, she trains like a marine who is just about to go on a covert operation to the opium fields of Afghanistan, she still goes out wearing her practically non existing outfits and for the past 3 years she has done over 200 shows at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. All this from a woman who had to take a three year break as she was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now what I have taken from this (and what I think that all other M.E suffers should too) is that if Cher can kick this illness where it hurts and go on to accomplish all that, then I am pretty confident that with a bit of strength, determination and time I can follow in her foot steps and also overcome it. Who knows? Perhaps after that I may also get my own show at Caesar’s palace, with over 22 costume changes and a pyrotechnic display that would make Guy Fawkes proud.
Nah. I think that’s going a bit too far. I’d better just concentrate on my own covert operation of combating my body’s very own terrorist – M.E.
* Title taken from “Believe” by Cher.
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