When she was first diagnosed with lupus, Toni Braxton admits that she was scared. And now, in her first tour since that diagnosis, she declares: "I'm still nervous, I'm still a bit unsure. But I just decided, what do I need guts for? It's OK to be scared, but guts are gonna help me through it. So wish me luck, guys," reported the Bradenton Herald on August 22.
Five years ago, that diagnosis made her question whether she could return to her career. "Lupus is like the worst flu you've ever had in you life," Toni explained, reported the Tampa Bay Times on August 21. "It completely drains you."
What gave her the courage to return to the stage after coping with her illness? Her buddy Babyface. "I had my illness to deal with," Toni explained. "I think I was a little depressed, not being able to control my life the way I once had. Accepting that I'm older, the industry has changed. He said, 'You got a lot more singing to do, sister girl. This is the where you've have to plant the seeds and start all over, and that can be challenging, but you've got to do it.'"
However, lupus does require extra strength: She was hospitalized last December, according to the Baltimore Sun. This tour will test her stamina. "I haven't toured in five years. Doctors said [I'd] never be able to perform again. This is my test run," Toni said. "Three to four shows a week — can I do it? I feel good about it."
On his talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz recently featured Toni and discussed her diagnosis. He described the condition: "Imagine if your body’s immune system, which is designed to attack germs, malfunctions and attacks itself? This is what happens during lupus, an autoimmune disorder that affects organs all over the body – with deadly consequences. It has changed the lives of celebrities like Toni Braxton, Seal and Nick Cannon."