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New Jersey Woman Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Finds New Calling In Comedy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A New Jersey woman was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and it upended her life's journey. She found a new calling in something she's always loved, comedy.

Now she's sharing her voice and her story through the healing power of laughter.

To watch Queen Stewart on stage is to watch a relatable comedian with great timing and gut-busting punchlines. But the journey that brought her here into this spotlight started out as anything but funny.

"I had been running my own law practice for a year, just moved into a new space in Cherry Hill. Two weeks before my birthday is when I felt my lump. I went to the doctor and it all kind of just took off from there," Stewart said.

A breast cancer diagnosis in the midst of a thriving law practice a day before her 36th birthday.

"I went from celebrating my birthday, a law office, just life, running my practice, I had got a new car. It was such a celebration all around me," she said.

A dark cloud of uncertainty derailed her celebration. She was thrust into a double mastectomy and chemotherapy all while raising two small children. The words of her radiologist still echo in her mind.

"I just started to say that to him: 'I have two children. I have two small girls.' What I'm so indebted to him for is because he said don't give up on yourself," Stewart said.

She's been chronicling her health battle on social media, using it as a form of therapy for herself and others. Then came an epiphany.

"I just started to reflect on my career goals, what was I doing just prior to cancer, what do I want to do now. And I was like, this is the time to start doing the things you've always loved to do -- singing, comedy, writing," she said.

She hit the comedy stage running, pursuing her artistic passion with a zest for life like never before.

"I've always felt like I was funny, people always told me that I was funny and I found a standup one-on-one class in Philadelphia at Helium Comedy Club. I had a show and it was amazing. I am funny, people laughed," Stewart said.

Right now, most of her material is about her cancer diagnosis with every laugh acting as a soothing balm.

"I get emotional about this. If cancer didn't happen to me, I would've never taken the time to sit in my creativity and really explore what's inside. So what this means to me is that it's life-changing. When people can just relate with you that's like a pat on the back. That's all you want. I will keep telling jokes whether people laugh or not because I like doing it but it feels good when people laugh," Stewart said.

Queen Stewart shared a touching video of her ringing the hospital bell on Wednesday.

Stewart says her active chemotherapy treatment is behind her. She will still be monitored and on medication for at least the next 10 years. But she's showing no signs of slowing down. She plans on pursuing a singing career and making a movie.

To find out more about her platform, click here. 

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