Grease actress Olivia Newton-John has recently confirmed that her breast cancer has returned for a third time, and this time the cancer has spread. The Australian actress has been keeping her battle private from the media, after initially deciding she has every right not to share what she is going through with the public.
But now that she has spoken out about it, she has some things she wants to tell people who are speaking to cancer sufferers, according to Starts At 60.
Throughout her previous two battles, Newton-John has been surrounded by loving friends and family who have held her hand through the toughest parts and provided a shoulder for her to cry on if she needed it. Despite the support they were trying to provide, there was one thing most people said to her that she rather wished she didn’t have to hear.
“I think one of the things is, people are sometimes well-meaning, but they’ll quote you statistics which is what you do not want to focus on,” she said. “People need to be positive and give you positive feedback and not burst into tears. They’re the kind of things I came across the first time. People’s fear can sometimes cause a reaction that’s upsetting to you, so what I always say to friends or when people ask me what they should do, I say get somebody who’s close to you, family or a friend or spouse, to field the calls so you don’t have to continually talk about the journey and what you’re going through. You can focus on the positives.”
For the most part, as far as Newton-John is concerned, bringing up statistics as a form of comfort only causes more fear of the disease.
The actress prefers to focus on life in the now, and always has, even during her first two battles with the terrible disease.
“We only have now, so being in any other way doesn’t make any sense. Looking back, it’s too late, looking forward you don’t know, so be here now!”
She added that it is important to make plans and not dwell on what might or might not happen.
“Make your plans and whatever you think, do that and put it to one side, but don’t dwell on it. That’s my thinking. But also, it’s really good to have intentions for things you want to do in the future, because you create that reality for yourself,” she said.
Newton-John was first diagnosed with cancer in 1992, and she underwent a partial double mastectomy at the time. In 2013, she suffered through a second round of the disease, but kept her battle secret. In 2017, she found a tumor at the base of her spine, leading to her third diagnosis.