Julia Louis-Dreyfus Opens Up About Breast Cancer Battle

'I'm very happy to be alive,' said comedy legend Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses on the red carpet.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

'I'm very happy to be alive,' said comedy legend Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedy legend known for her work in Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, and Veep. The 58-year-old actress’ infamous smile and funny personality make it easy to forget that she once went through a challenging and frightening battle that could have quite easily claimed her life. Louis-Dreyfus publicly revealed that she had breast cancer in September of 2017. It hasn’t been an easy road for her and although she did survive the ordeal, it’s changed her life forever. She recently opened up about the ways in which her fight against cancer changed her mindset and still affects her today, according to Today.

When Louis-Dreyfus first found out she had cancer, she was, of course, shocked and in denial. Cancer was something that happened to others she knew, but not something she’d ever dreamed of going through herself. There was a moment when she did wonder if this was something she would be able to survive or if it was the end of the line for her.

As if the health battle she was facing wasn’t already strenuous enough, she also opted to share the unfortunate news of her cancer publicly with the rest of the world. She explained that she felt she had no choice but to reveal this very personal information because it was bound to come out anyway. Louis-Dreyfus was in the middle of filming the hit HBO series Veep when she was diagnosed. Filming had to be postponed so she could focus on her health.

“In many ways, it was very nice to get the support from the outside world. Having said that, I didn’t consider that it would’ve taken on a life of its own, which it did. It’s such a personal thing that I never would have put anything like that out there if I hadn’t had to.”

Less than seven months after completing her grueling breast cancer treatments, the actress returned to filming the show. The lighthearted show took her attention away from her concerns about her health.

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“It was wonderful to go back because, frankly, it was a distraction from the prior year, which had been so harrowing. To put blinders on and just focus on making the funniest f****** show possible was a great relief.”

Although Louis-Dreyfus conquered cancer, her life will never be the same. Some of that fear stays with her today. She admitted she doesn’t like to think about that time of her life but is grateful for where she is now.

“I’m very happy to be alive,” she said.