Normani‘s life was forever changed when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time.
In 2020, Normani says her mother Andrea Hamilton discovered a lump during a self-examination — after having beat cancer 19 years prior.
Looking back, Normani says she felt “helpless” after learning of her mom’s diagnosis, especially since she was stuck in Los Angeles while her family was in Texas.
“When I was visiting my mom at home, she’d fallen into my arms expressing how scared she was. She had a gut feeling about the results,” Normani wrote in an op-ed for Elle.
She continued, “I felt incredibly helpless because I wasn’t able to cure her. I could not change the circumstances.”
Normani says the day she found out was a “nightmare,” and being thousands of miles away from each other, she and her mom couldn’t “hold each other the way we both needed to.”
Since Normani was very young the first time her mother battled cancer, she says watching her mother go through cancer this time was a “struggle” and she wasn’t able to concentrate on anything — including her album.
“Aside from my mom, I wasn’t concerned about anything, including music,” she said. “It was such a challenge to stay in my groove creatively while also allowing myself to feel everything that I needed to with my mom.”
Despite feeling conflicted and wanting to return home, her mother encouraged her to keep working on her album.
“She promised that she would still be here once my album dropped, which gave me purpose in creating this body of work. Every session and record that I did carried weight because my art was her escape during treatment,” Normani wrote.
Thankfully, Andrea is now in remission, and Normani wants to stress the importance of self-exams, mammograms — and spending time together.
“Since my mom has been in remission, we maximize every single moment and prioritize actually living instead of just existing,” she concluded.