Olivia Newton-John calls cancer a "gift" and said, "it's been important in my life."
Three years have passed since Olivia Newton-John was given a life-changing diagnosis and she began her journey to beat breast cancer. The actress considers herself lucky to have made it this far, and there is plenty for her to look forward to this year and seeing her daughter walk down the aisle is one of them. "I'm so lucky to still be doing all these things," Newton-John told People. "I don't think I imagined living this long! I feel very blessed."
After the coronavirus pandemic broke out, the 72-year-old singer and actress stayed with her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi in California, and is glad she could stay at home and spend some quality time with her.
"I worked my whole life, and the longest period I can remember being home was my pregnancy with Chloe and the first year or two of her life," Newton-John shared. "So it's been wonderful reconnecting with my baby. She is my reason to be."
The mother-daughter duo has always been close and Lattanzi called her famous mom her "favorite person."
As Newton-John looks forward to seeing her daughter exchange vows, the Grease star gave some advice to Lattanzi: "Don't change for anybody because that's not love."
The proud mother said about her Lattanzi's fiancé of 10 years, "She picked a good one. So I haven't had to say much!"
Ever since Newton-John received her diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 2017, she has had the everlasting support of her husband, John Easterling. Together, they established the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund that works for the research of plant medicine for cancer treatment.
"I'm very lucky to be married to a wonderful man who is a plant medicine man, and he has great knowledge," the actress shared. "Now he's growing medicinal cannabis for me, and it just has been wonderful. It helps me in every area."
Despite living with one of the most life-changing medical conditions, Newton-John's cheerful demeanor and positivity have not changed. When things get rough, she simply reminds herself of all the difficult experiences she has endured, including multiple miscarriages and being diagnosed with cancer twice before her 2017 diagnosis.
"I’ve been through a lot of different experiences, some painful, some difficult," Newton-John said, as reported by The Guardian. "...As you get older, you grow some wisdom. You realize that you will get through this and you will survive it."
One thing she always tries not to do is think to herself, "poor me" or "i'm sick."
"I don’t think of myself as sick with cancer," she revealed. "I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting wherever it is – whether it’s outside or an actual war inside my body. I choose not to see it that way. I want to get my body healthy and back in balance."
In some ways, she considers the cancer diagnosis a "gift" because it has helped her become the person she is today. "I don’t know what I would be without it now. I see it as my life’s journey. It gave me purpose and intention and taught me a lot about compassion."
She firmly said cancer is not a "death sentence" because she herself lived longer than most people expected her to.
"It has been a gift," Newton-John said. "I don’t wish it on anyone else. But for me, it’s been important in my life."