It’s every woman’s worst fear — a cancer diagnosis in the prime of life. The worst of them, and by far one of the deadliest, is ovarian. Five years ago, Avengers star Cobie Smulders fought against the disease and did something her doctors said was impossible.
She became a mom of two.
Smulders recently revealed her private fight with ovarian cancer to Women’s Health magazine, in which she also poses semi-nude. She was diagnosed at 25 during the third season of How I Met Your Mother, People reported.
“I had tumors on both ovaries and (it) had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues.”
The tumors were in a tough spot for chemotherapy and radiation, added the Belfast Telegraph, and so Cobie endured a series of surgeries to remove the malignant tissue, leaving her with only a third of an ovary. The doctors broke the difficult news — she’d never be able to get pregnant on her own, added E! Online.
Five years later, she has two kids with her husband, Taran Killam.
But even though she beat ovarian cancer and brought two children into the world, Cobie said, “I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free.”
Ovarian cancer is a frightening diagnosis; it kills over 14,000 of the 21,000 women diagnosed every year, ranking it fifth in cancer deaths for women. Smulders’ survival makes her very lucky indeed, and understandably, the experience changed the actress irreversibly.
“It caused a huge shift for me. Like, you know what? I’m just going to do things. I’m going to take advantage of life and enjoy myself and not get so stressed out. And that’s been my mentality ever since.”
These days, 33-year-old Smulders, mom of two, has no problem showing off her bod — which is admittedly impressive — to the world, joking with the magazine that soon, no one will ask her to go topless. But her revealing photo shoot is part of a devil-may-care attitude, in which the little things no longer bring her down.
It’s a lesson Cobie wishes her younger self had figured out before her illness.
“Chill the F out. When you’re young, you’re so worried. I think I was in such a rush to grow up. I think it’s also the film industry; you’re always trying to be established and trying get to the next level. I feel like I should’ve … chilled out, gone back to college for four years and just hung out. Or traveled around the world or something. Just not work so hard. But then, it also got me to where I am today, so it’s a double-edged sword. But I think I could’ve probably mellowed out more.”
[Photo Courtesy Jesse Grant/Getty Images]