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T-Boz, Health Scare: TLC Singer Opens Up About Brain Tumor Surgery

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

T-Boz has battled a slew of medical conditions, including sickle cell anemia and brain surgery to remove a tumor in 2006. Now, she’s opening up about what’s been through — and just how difficult the road has been.

In a new interview with CNN, the TLC singer recalled the harrowing day she found out she had a brain tumor. After experiencing constant headaches, the doctor told her it was caused by a tumor, which took her by complete surprise.

“I said ‘Say huh? Say huh?’” she shares.

But T-Boz says she didn’t let the news ruin her spirit.

“I had that fight,” she told CNN. “I want to live. I didn’t have time to die.”

Doctors told her the surgery could have many complications, including a stroke, and T-Boz decided on a surgeon in Los Angeles to operate on the tumor. Before the procedure, she had to tell her doctor which motor functions she was willing to sacrifice.

“I had to give the order of what I wanted to be saved,” she explains. “So I said my face first, because you couldn’t look at me and tell I’m deaf or blind. My hearing second, because I still want to hear and sing and have my speech. And then my balance. So they took my balance completely from the right.”

After the surgery, she was left partially blind and deaf, but spent three years in physical therapy. Now, she’s regained more of her vision, speech and hearing.

“I had to take three years to heal and fight for everything that I wanted back,” she said. “But … yes, I’m returning.”

T-Boz says she just feels lucky to be alive, since her diagnosis was grim.

“I was told I wouldn’t live past 30, I would be disabled my whole life and I would never become a mother,” she shares with CNN. “My daughter is Chase. She’s 12. I’ve travelled the world in one of the best groups ever. I’m 42 … I still have a crooked smile and just certain things I deal with, but I’ll take all of that to be back here and be Chase’s mother … I am blessed.”

The singer is currently starring in her reality show, “Totally T-Boz,” and is working on new music with former TLC member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas.

Watch TLC’s “No Scrubs” Video

See Photos of R&B Idols in R&B For Dummies
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