Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Promise she kept

Breast cancer wasn't going to stop singer finishing her 6th album
May 01, 2009 04:30 AM

Victoria Ahearn

About a year and a half after starting treatment for breast cancer, Vancouver rocker Bif Naked says she's feeling physically strong and psychologically free.

"It's almost like from there to here, everything's easy. Everything's easy now," the Juno winner, whose real name is Beth Torbert, said in a recent interview to promote her sixth album, The Promise, recorded during chemotherapy. The disc drops May 5.

Up until her diagnosis, which she publicly announced in January 2008, the tattooed singer-songwriter – adopted in India and raised in Winnipeg – kept a stringent eating and workout regimen: only raw, vegan food and mounds of exercise that produced a chiselled body that would make even pop-workout queen Madonna jealous.

"I was incredibly rigid almost to the point of being almost self-righteously stubborn about it, about my eating and my health and my training regimen," Torbert, 37, said.

Chemotherapy and radiation sessions, of course, forced her to ease up. Faced with a voracious appetite and constant nausea, Torbert couldn't be as selective about meals. "The first time I went into something called neutropenia, which is where your white blood cell count plummets in between chemos – partly because the chemo is working – I became hungry like I've never been in my life."

Torbert still works out seven days a week and has maintained her vegan diet, but she said she's "learned to be a little more chilled out" about those things as she continues to go through preventative procedures, including an ovariectomy.

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