Ever since reportedly calling things off with Robert Pattinson, the singer and dancer FKA Twigs has been staying out of the spotlight, pretty much only resurfacing in the public eye this May when she released a new issue of her instazine. In case you were starting to think she was suffering from heartbreak, on Wednesday morning she clarified that she’s been struggling with something far more serious. “I am a very private person as u all know,” she began in a lengthy caption accompanying a black-and-white video of her pole dancing. “I have gone back and forth in my mind whether to share that this year I have been recovering from laparoscopic surgery to remove 6 fibroid tumours from my uterus.”
She added a light-hearted touch to the message by including a few fruit emojis to communicate that the tumors were “pretty huge,” as in the size of two cooking apples, three kiwis, and a couple of strawberries—“a fruit bowl of pain every day.” The several months since have no doubt helped to reflect on such a painful ordeal with a bit of levity: To give you another idea of how large they were, FKA Twigs added that “the nurse said that the weight and size was like being 6 months pregnant.”
She had surgery in December, but still “felt really alone and my confidence as a woman was knocked…I tried to be brave but it was excruciating at times and to be honest I started to doubt if my body would ever feel the same again.” As for why she chose to share the news with such a seemingly unrelated video, for her it marked “let[ting] go of the pain.” “Today whilst dancing with Kelly at the choreography house I felt like my strong self again for the first time in a while and it was magical,” she said, thanking her “precious body,” which she called a “wonderful thing” for healing and reminding her to be kind to herself.
There’s another reason why FKA Twigs chose to forgo her usual privacy. “I know that a lot of women suffer from fibroid tumours and I just wanted to say after my experience that you are amazing warriors and that you are not alone. You can get through this,” she concluded. Indeed, according to the National Institutes of Health, most American women will develop fibroids, which grow in the wall of the uterus, at some point in their lives, with one study putting that number at 70 percent for white women and 80 percent for African American women by the time they reach age 50. In the U.S. alone, healthcare costs for the tumors are said to cost upwards of $2 billion. Thankfully, they’re almost always benign—and, as FKA Twigs proved on Wednesday, they won’t keep you from the dance floor, which she returned to just a month after her surgery.