In 2002, Marie had her own 9/11. On September 11 she fainted in her bathroom. Brought to the Karolinska hospital in Stockholm she was diagnosed with a severe concussion. But only a couple of days later she let the world know the reason for her fainting. She had a tumour in the back of her head. The tumour was removed in a surgery and she had to undergo a chemotherapy and other heavy treatments. The planned appearances of Roxette in the “Nokia Night of the Proms” had to be cancelled.
Marie started to recover from her surgery and did neither make any announcements about her shape nor she was to be seen anywhere. Her first appearance in public was in January of the new year – 2003. Per Gessle and Marie received a medal from the Swedish King honoring their success all over the world.
Only a few months later her Roxette partner released a new Swedish solo album, called “Mazarin”. He had asked her to participate in one song as she had done in almost every of his solo albums. She agreed and did the backing vocals to a song about Halmstad: “På promenad genom stan”. The song became the third single of the album.
At around the same time she sent a short message to all the fans around the world who had written down their thoughts and caring words in a prayer chain, initiated by Marie Davis. With this message Marie thanked everybody for their kind words and “wonderful care”. Only a few weeks later she was seen in public again visiting a Paul McCartney concert in Stockholm’s Globen and as you can see on the right enjoying it very much.
In July 2003 she attended the concert of Per Gessle’s premiere of his Sommar Mazarin Turne, which started in Halmstad. Due to obvious reasons she decided not to appear on stage to sing a song with Per. Furthermore, only a few weeks before the Swedish tabloid Expressen had published an article about Marie’s condition, telling that there was a lump to be found in her breast. She sued Expressen, but the lawsuit got postponed several times due to Marie’s condition. In the end she won and Expressen had to apologize. The money she got was given for a cancer foundation.
In December 2003 the world got to know that Marie worked on a new solo album. This album was released in October 2004 and called “The Change”. “The Change” is Marie’s first solo album in English, half of the songs written by her husband Mikael. Between the recordings she enjoyed the huge Gyllene Tider concert in Göteborg.
Song titles like “The change”, “2:nd chance”, “Love 2 live” or a cover version of “The good life” quickly make clear that both Mikael and Marie took the chance not only to talk about the illness but also used it to cope with it. The release was followed by a TV documentary “En andra chans”, which shows Marie and her husband in her home in Djursholm, during the recordings and during a live performance she did to present the album to her closest friends.
Another way for Marie to cope with her illness was drawing. In October 2005 she did an art exhibtion in Doktor Glas Gallery in Stockholm showing some of her charcoal drawings. At the day of the vernissage she also announced that she finally was free of cancer. Her drawings show different faces but most of them all with the same kind of eyes and ears. This can be seen as a hint, since Marie has problems to see with her right eye and hear with her right ear. Still it’s a long way back since she has to learn things new. Things like counting, writing and reading. She also has problems with her motor function, orientation and has to cope with a bad memory. She recently explained that she has to learn things in a different way, especially song texts since she can’t read fluently. The illness also changed her way of living. She describes herself as much more calm nowadays and takes everything very easy.
In June 2006 she released another album: “Min bäste vän”, a cover album which brings us colors, the love of life and joy. Due to her illness Marie doesn’t want to make any live appearances in TV at the moment. Therefore several performances in TV shows had to be prerecorded. She made kind of an exception for the BRAVO gala in Hamburg, Germany. At first it was planned to prerecord the performance completely, but in the end Roxette appeared live on stage and performed “The look”.
In 2007, her husband Mikael released his album “A family affair” featuring two songs with Marie – Tell it to my heart and In the corner of your eye. Furthermore finally the song Hometown made it on this album.
In November 2008 Marie made her way back on stage. She joined the Stjärnklart tour, a gala held for companies especially. Until mid december the five artists toured around Sweden. Each of them performed up to five songs. Marie sang Ännu doftar kärlek, I never loved a man, Så skimrande var aldrig havet and Tro, which was the last song of the show. People celebrated Marie’s comeback with standing ovations. Besides music she is still drawing and doing exhibitions here and there.