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Desearía haber sido honesta con mi hija sobre el cáncer, dice Olivia Newton John

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN helped change the way the world viewed cancer after she went public with her diagnosis in 1992.

And she radically altered perception of treatment with a wellness centre opened in her name in 2012.

Olivia Newton-John helped change the way the world viewed cancer after she went public with her diagnosis in 1992

Olivia Newton-John helped change the way the world viewed cancer after she went public with her diagnosis in 1992Crédito: Getty
Olivia, Matt and a young Chloe

Olivia, Matt and a young ChloeCrédito: Características de Rex
The last picture taken of Olivia - smiling with sunflowers, en abril

The last picture taken of Oliviasmiling with sunflowers, en abrilCrédito: Instagram

Trágicamente, ella cáncer returned – first in 2013 and again four years later.

She died aged 73 los lunes.

In the final extract from her autobiography she tells how she stayed strong – and of her hopes for the future…

IN 1992 I was doing a breast self-examination at home and felt a lump.

I didn’t panic because I’d had lumps before, had them checked and it was always fine.

But this lump did give me a moment of pause.

I went to have it checked but the mammogram revealed nothing.

I insisted to my surgeon, Dr Phillips, that we do a needle biopsy. We did and it also showed nothing of concern.

los médico felt it was important to do a surgical biopsy. I would have to wait for the results.

Some women might have stopped at that last bit of good news, but I always say that if you feel deep down like something is wrong with you then you need to trust your gut.

You know your body. Ask for the tests. It’s what saved my life.

While I was waiting for the results, my sister Rona and I received a call saying my father Brinley was very ill.

We jumped on a plane and arrived in Australia to face the fact that my father, who had been diagnosed with liver cancer, was very ill.

With great pain, I had to tear myself away from my father’s sickbed to return to Los Angeles to start rehearsals for my world tour. I told him I’d be back soon but all night long on that plane ride home I cried and cried.

In my heart, I knew I would never see my father again — and I was right.

I came home from Australia right before the 4 July weekend.

We went to the San Juan Islands, joining some friends at their beautiful vacation home.

We sat on the dock, listening to the lapping waves. It was supposed to be life-affirming and peaceful, but I couldn’t relax.

Something was bothering me.

My then husband, Mate, had been paged while we were changing planes in Seattle.

Por qué? He just shrugged it off.

Doctors don’t want to see you in person unless it’s bad news.

Olivia Newton-John

A few minutes later he went inside to take a phone call. I could see something was wrong.

“I’m so sorry to tell you, Liv. Your father has died," él dijo, hugging me

It was July 3 George Kambosos y Haney acuerdan súper pelea indiscutible para junio, my brother’s birthday, and that made it even harder.

But there was no time to deal with the waves of emotions.

We flew home and I saw the answering machine was blinking.

Matt knew what it was about, but didn’t tell me. That page at the airport?

He held it in because there was enough to deal with concerning my father.

The page was from my assistant, Dana, saying that Dr Phillips had called. He wanted to see me in person on Monday.

I knew right away. Doctors don’t want to see you in person unless it’s bad news.

Just as I’d thought, Yo Tuve ella escribió en Hear Me Out, and we would need to act quickly.

My right breast, including the nipple, would have to be removed.

The breast could be reconstructed immediately following the mastectomy and the nipple could be rebuilt later if I chose.

Chemotherapy may or may not be necessary.

At first I was in denial, and made a lot of jokes to the doctor. From denial, aunque, I moved to cold fear.

At first I was in denial, and made a lot of jokes to the doctor. From denial, aunque, I moved to cold fear.

Olivia Newton-John

Frightened to the core, all I could do was stay wide awake, thinking of my daughter Chloe, who was only six. I was her mum — an unbreakable bond.

What would become of her life without me in it?

The next day I cancelled my tour, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t.

But I was concerned about everyone else now their jobs had been cancelled.

This challenge was there for a reason, and I would rise to it.

I set out to find out as much as I could about breast cancer and my options.

I can’t stress it enough. Your mind is a powerful tool and only one person is in control of it: usted. You must believe in the power of you.

Four big words: I will be fine. This wasn’t said with a wavering voice or with tears.

I said it in the strongest possible way, firmly, and with a sureness and conviction that I felt down to my toes. I had to be fine.

After surgery I opened my eyes to find my oncologist, Dr Van Scoy-Mosher.

“We got it, Olivia," él dijo. “But I think we’ll do a six-month course of chemo just to make sure.”

En 1992 breast cancer was not something that people openly discussed like they do now.

Frightened to the core, all I could do was stay wide awake, thinking of my daughter Chloe, who was only six. I was her mum — an unbreakable bond.

Olivia Newton-John

People whispered the “C-word” and turned away from you as if it were some kind of contagious disease.

I phoned Rona, Mum and my brother to tell them what was happening.

Then I gave my publicist the go-ahead and we announced to the world that I had cancer.

We decided not to tell Chloe anything about my diagnosis for now.

She was six and had lost her best friend Colette to cancer.

How could a little girl cope with that loss and then her grandfather and now her mum’s illness?

Chloe only associated cancer with death, and I couldn’t do that to my little girl. I’d be lying if I said I was always positive.

I had my moments of tears and fears. Sometimes I gave in to that raw feeling of adrenalin-induced terror.

My cancer was oestrogen-positive in situ, so it was contained within my breast ducts.

This was good news and I was very aware of how lucky I was, because I had lost several friends to ella escribió en Hear Me Out.

The bottom line is, you have to reach for the good in any situation.

I always tried to make the positive voice overrule the negative. The light would push out the dark.

Six months of chemo turned into nine because my blood counts were too low and we had to stop for periods of time.

The good news was I didn’t lose my hair, maybe because of the ice cap I wore when receiving treatment.

People whispered the ‘C-wordand turned away from you as if it were some kind of contagious disease.

Olivia Newton-John

I won’t pretend that it was easy, but I made sure to do everything possible to keep my body thriving.

I hired a macrobiotic chef and an acupunc­turist, who helped with relaxation and pain.

I took a course in transcendental meditation as a way for me to get out of my head.

Herbs, good foods and vitamins helped to keep my body strong, as did the yoga coach who came to my home several times a week, along with a masseur.

To help with the nausea, I used homeopathic drops from Germany, and I also used Amazonian herbs.

I did think about the creation of my cancer because I believe emotions and illness have a correlation.

The loss of my father and Colette and the increasing struggles within my marriage were huge stresses for me.

Dr Soram Khalsa, a doctor of medicine and naturopath, even asked me if I was having trouble with a man, because some believe cáncer in the right breast corresponds to a male figure.

Not long after I finished my treatments, Matt was offered a TV series in Australia and I thought it would be wonderful to go Down Under for a while and have Chloe live a normal life, going to the local school and catching up with her friends.

When I picked Chloe up after her very first day, she was crying.

“Mummy, Momia! One of my friends said you have cancer. Is it true?” I held her, told her it was true, but that now I was better and the cancer was gone.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” asked my wise girl. “I would have taken care of you.” Just thinking about it breaks my heart.

Cancer has a way of making you face your worst and wildest fears, aunque.

Olivia Newton-John

I should have told her from the start. I think this omission impacted Chloe, and possibly even created her trust issues down the road.

It’s better to be honest at all times and just deal with it.

What happened that day was really a blessing in disguise, because now there was no more hiding.

As I continued to heal, the word was encouraging from my doctors, who said the tumour was gone.

I wish my marriage had that same healthy prognosis.

Cancer has a way of making you face your worst and wildest fears, aunque.

And I couldn’t deny the realisation that without cancer, Matt and I would have separated much sooner.

Inicialmente, you get to the five-year mark and if you haven’t had a recurrence then that’s a very big deal and a huge relief.

My life was evolving, and I focused on doing what was in my heart: Raising my daughter, supporting breast cancer and environmental causes as much as possible — and singing.

I thought of Linda McCartney, who’d died in 1998 of cancer, so shocking because she seemed healthy, then she was gone.

The idea for a cancer centre in Australia was not on my radar.

But one day I got a call from the Austin Hospital, en Melbourne, and they wanted to talk to me.

I needed this to be a cancer wellness centre. I could only do it if they included the word ‘wellness’, because including it would give people hope.

Olivia Newton-John

I met with their CEO, Jennifer Williams. “We wanted to see if you’d allow us to use your name on a new cancer centre,” she proposed.

I had the weirdest feeling. My name on a building?

It didn’t feel as if I deserved it.

Part of what bothered me was that this would be a cancer centre and I didn’t want to have my name dropped before the word cancer.

I needed this to be a cancer wellness centre. I could only do it if they included the word “wellness”, because including it would give people hope.

You could go from cancer to wellness — yes!

I said I would be very honoured to put my name on the building if it included a wellness centre with acupuncture, masaje, meditación, reiki, Chinese herbs and yoga, among other mind–body treatments.

There would also need to be group therapy for emotional support.

En Junio 25, 2012, the first stage of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne officially opened.

I’m delighted that, after seven years, the wellness philosophy has permeated the entire hospital.

My ultimate goal is that one day we will be able to take a giant crane and remove the word cancer from the building because the disease will have been wiped off the planet.

From that moment on, it will just be the Olivia Newton-John Wellness Centre. That would be a dream come true.

I knew it was going to be another challenging journey, but I would never stop believing that I would be OK. I knew I had so much living and loving to do.

Olivia Newton-John

En Mayo 2013, my second husband John and I were rear-ended in our Prius in heavy Los Angeles traffic.

The seatbelt hit me very hard in my right shoulder. It wasn’t long before a lump formed there.

The local doctor did an X-ray but didn’t find anything.

I insisted on additional testing and found that the bump was actually a recurrence of my ella escribió en Hear Me Out.

I didn’t tell my family or anyone else at the time, except for John, por supuesto.

The tumour reduced and we kept an eye on it. Life went on.

En 2017, I performed at a concert for those in the American military who had been awarded a Purple Heart for their bravery.

It should have been a beautiful night but the pain was cruel, relentless and agonising, and I found it almost impossible to walk.

The next day a thermogram showed some hotspots in my sacral area.

In my heart, I knew. Something wasn’t right. Then came the news

My ONCOblot test was in. It showed breast cancer — again.

This time it had metastasised into my sacrum. They had found a mass.

I knew it was going to be another challenging journey, but I would never stop believing that I would be OK.

I knew I had so much living and loving to do.

I sat, visualising myself many years in the future, happy and healthy, and I reflected on my incredible life.

  • Extracted by Doug Wight from Don’t Stop Believin’ by Olivia Newton-John (Simón & Schuster)
Proud Olivia outside the wellness centre carrying her name

Proud Olivia outside the wellness centre carrying her nameCrédito: News Corp Australia
Campaigner Olivia at a charity fundraiser with Chloe and hubby John

Campaigner Olivia at a charity fundraiser with Chloe and hubby JohnCrédito: Getty
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Olivia Newton-John (Simón & Schuster)

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Olivia Newton-John (Simón & Schuster)