Beloved Grease actress Olivia Newton-John — who recently announced that she’s battling breast cancer for the second time — is opening up about her diagnosis. In a new interview with Today, Olivia shared the one thing she doesn't want from her fans, family, and friends.
Don't call her a survivor, she says. "A survivor sounds like someone clinging onto a lifeboat, to me. A thriver is someone that's already off the boat and on land," Olivia shared. "I'm not going to be one of those statistics. I'm going to be fine. And I will probably deal with this in my life as an ongoing thing. think that you can live with cancer like you can live with other things — if you take care of yourself." She addded, "It taught me I'm stronger than I thought I was. I think most people that go through cancer find that out about themselves."
The 68-year-old also made a rare public appearance at the Olivia Newton-John Gala in Australia on Friday, Sept. 8. The event was organized by her charity, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Research Centre, and was held to celebrate the achievements of the center and, most importantly, raise much-needed funds.
Speaking with The Herald Sun, the actress explained that the evening had become “even more significant” due to her recent diagnosis — but she insisted that she’s “winning over cancer.” Olivia looked fashion-forward at the event by donning an androgynous ensemble which included a black suit, crisp-white shirt, and lace fingerless gloves. She was photographed alongside husband John Easterling, singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem, and environmentalist Bindi Irwin, who all turned out to support the indomitable figure.
During the event, Bindi paid tribute to the actress's overwhelming strength. “She is always beaming with love and light and love and happiness, no matter what challenge she’s faced with,” she told The Herald Sun. “She’s always so strong for everybody.” The adored singer recently opened up during a sit-down on Australia's 60 Minutes about her cancer battle. In a newly released teaser for the tell-all, ONJ told interviewer Karl Stefanovic, "Of course it's scary, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary but I intend to be healthy."
Olivia with her husband, John. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In May, Olivia’s world was turned upside down after she was diagnosed with breast cancer again — 25 years after her first battle. For the star, the hardest moment was having to tell her 31-year-old daughter Chloe Lattanzi. "That was, yeah that wasn't easy," Olivia admitted to Karl as she teared up. The interview will also reveal what Olivia's prognosis will be. A few weeks back, the actress revealed she was using medicinal marijuana to help combat her pain.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the actress has undergone photon radiation therapy to treat the metastatic tumor found at the base of her spine but is also using cannabis oil to treat her pain. "I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing," she said. "It's a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal." Not only that, but she plans to utilize her position in the public eye to urge the Australian government to make cannabis oil more accessible to those suffering from chronic pain. "I will do what I can to encourage it. It's an important part of treatment, and it should be available,” she said.
Now, Olivia is only looking at the positives of the situation. "Of course, you have fear. That's only natural. But my positive outlook is a decision," she said. "I'd be lying if I didn't say I have dark moments and negative moments. I'm human. But on a general scale, I tend to see the glass as half full." We continue to wish Olivia all the very best in her recovery.
This story was written by Bettina Tyrrell. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.