'I'm a cancer thriver': Olivia Newton-John on her epic health journey

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Despite her health problems, Olivia Newton-John wants the world to know cancer is not a “death sentence”. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)
Despite her health problems, Olivia Newton-John wants the world to know cancer is not a “death sentence”. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Cancer has exacted a heavy toll on her family. It claimed her father Brinley and older sister Rona, but since then Olivia Newton-John, who has been living with stage 4 metastatic cancer, has made it her mission to beat the dreaded disease. In fact she dubs herself a "cancer thriver". 

Recently, the British-born Australian star (73) opened up during a TV appearance giving viewers an update on the status of her health. 

"I have my days, I have my pains, but the cannabis that my husband grows for me has been such a huge part of my healing, and so I’m a really lucky person," she shared with US show host Hoda Kotb, who was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 but has since gone into remission. 

"I'm really sorry you went through that," the Grease actress told Hoda, who choked back tears in the interview. "I didn't know that about you. So you're well now, you're doing good?" 

"We're sisters; anyone that has gone on this journey with cancer, its unknown destinations and surprises and turns," she later said. 

Olivia's daughter Chloe Lattanzi and husband John
Olivia's daughter Chloe Lattanzi and husband John Easterling have been by her side every step of the way. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Fans have been rooting for her since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. 

She beat the cancer but doctors discovered the disease in her shoulder after a car accident in 2013. Once again she overcame it but in 2017 after suffering excruciating back pain, specialists found the cancer had spread to her sacrum - the triangular bone in the lower back between the two hip bones of the pelvis. 

The four-time Grammy winner, whose hit song Physical turns 40 this year, has undergone chemo, surgery and radiation treatment and has adopted a healthier, sugar-free diet. 

Not only has the star received support from fans but also her daughter Chloe Lattanzi (35) and her husband John Easterling (69), founder of the Amazon Herb Company. He grows the dagga at their ranch in Santa Barbara in California and has paid tribute to his wife’s bravery, telling American magazine People, “We both have the same unshakeable belief that she’s going to have a wonderful success story.” 

“Three times lucky, right?” she told The Guardian. “I’m going to look at it like that. Listen, I think every day is a blessing. You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that.”

She's well-known for her use of natural remedies, including medical marijuana to help ease the effects of the cancer and treatment. Her love for natural remedies has also led her to experiment in the rainforests of Peru with ayahuasca, a powerful psychedelic brew that's used in the Amazon for healing and spiritual purposes. 

READ MORE | Everything you need to know about CBD, the new wellness wonder

Still going strong, the Golden Globe nominee continues to work with her cancer wellness and plant research foundation. 

"I'm winning over it well and that's how I see it," she told Hoda. "I don't think about it a lot, to be honest. Denial is a really good thing and I'm getting stronger and better all the time! I'm doing well!"


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