To be diagnosed with cancer for the third time and still be able to call every day a “gift” is a testament to the strength behind Olivia Newton-John’s evergreen smile.
In 1992, she was told she had breast cancer. In 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer that was found in her shoulder. Today, she’s in the midst of her third battle against cancer, according to USA Today.
What the 70-year-old doesn’t want to know is how long she has left to live. “When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit,” she said, in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia. “If somebody tells you, you have six months to live, very possibly you will because you believe that. So for me, psychologically, it’s better not to have any idea of what they expect, or what the last person that has what you have lived, so I don’t tune in.”
She still has the strength to see the bright side of her situation and said, “I’m so lucky that I’ve been through this three times and I’m still here. I’m living with it. Every day is a gift now, particularly now,” according to CNN.
According to Aol., she told Us Weekly that it’s all about finding the silver lining. “I’m human, I have my moments of fear and anxiety like everybody does, but generally I choose to be positive because you create your world by what you think. And if you think dark thoughts, you’re going to create a dark world.”
She spent her 70th birthday receiving radiation treatment and had a quiet dinner with her loved ones in the hospital. “There were all these things I was going to do for my birthday. But God had other plans,” she told People.
At the time, she was being treated at the hospital named in her honor, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Australia. She said, “I never say ‘Why me?’ I was like, ‘Wow, I’m in my hospital that I’d dreamt of building for people to have rest and peace and there I was getting the best care’. It was quite magical.”
The cancer had also weakened her bones and she had to take six months out to heal her fractured pelvis. She built her strength back up and said, “I started on a walker, then a cane and now nothing.”
She told Entertainment Tonight, as quoted by Page Six, “I had to learn to walk again and all these things but I’m strong and I’m back and I’m feeling good, and loving every minute.”
What made things more difficult for her was seeing headlines that twisted the reality and said she was “clinging on to life”. She said, “To read that you’re dead or you’re dying is a really strange experience. I thought that I would confront this… It was upsetting.”
But given the severity of a disease like cancer, the path isn’t always filled with rosy moments. “Of course I had my moments, and my tears and all that,” Olivia Newton-John said. “But I have a wonderful husband who supports me through those things.”
She called her husband, John Easterling, “brilliant” and is forever grateful for the support that he and her daughter give her. She said, “I have the best husband in the world and the best daughter. I’m lucky.”
One thing that she claims helped her was the use of cannabis oil to relieve her pain. “I really believe the cannabis has made a huge difference,” she said. “If I don’t take the drops, I can feel the pain, so I know it’s working.”
Staying positive through it all is what kept her going. “I believe you create your life by what you think. So you need to think in a positive way to create that in you, in your body and your life,” she said, according to Forbes. “We all have our negative moments and our sad moments, but you have to keep that thread of belief that you’re going to be okay. None of us really know what time we have on this planet. It’s all a mystery and a gift. Just be grateful every day.”