It’s very sad to learn the passing of Olivia Newton-John. While best known for her role as Sandy in Grease and for the 80s single “Let’s Get Physical”, Newton-John was also a breast cancer survivor and advocate that talked openly about her battles with the disease.
I admire those who share openly about their cancer battles because it’s easy to keep it to yourself and not open yourself up to the world especially at such a vulnerable time. But this openness allows people to learn what the disease is really like and I think makes it less scary for those facing the same battle.
That’s just one reason I want to share my journey. Cancer is scary and sucks but it’s not what we think when we hear about the disease. You don’t look sickly or spend all day throwing up just because you have cancer and are undergoing chemo. You can look normal (minus the hair loss) and still carry on a mostly normal day with cancer. It’s not something to be afraid of but something to tackle and fight. The more we prepare ourselves the better we can fight. And preparation for the hard parts of the disease come from the stories those who have had the disease share. Olivia Newton-John is just one celebrity who used her platform to share her battle with us.
As someone who had the same disease as Newton-John I appreciated the honesty and the ups and downs she shared. I appreciate a friend of a friend (who is now a friend) who texted me what to prepare for as I began treatment. I appreciate my ob who also had the same cancer I had, talk me through what to expect and tell me chemo really isn’t as bad as you think and she was right. It wasn’t fun and painless but it wasn’t as awful and horrible as I thought it would be.
So I’ll end with some cheesy fun since I loved the movie Grease. Thanks to Olivia Newton-John and all those who have been “hopelessly devoted” to sharing their battles with cancer as you have helped many of us battling the disease through our fight.
I learned to “get physical” to keep up both my mental and physical health as I battled the disease and I like to believe staying and being an active person has helped me stay strong and in decent shape throughout my fight.
While I initially didn’t want to share about my cancer I decided to open up and said “Look at me (I’m not Sandra Dee”), I’m battling cancer. Writing helped me to deal with the stress as I went through this difficult process. And based on the positive response (“tell me more, tell me more”), I started a blog and have kept on writing.
Chemo has taken away my hair and as I play with different styles with the hair that has come in, I do look like a “beauty school dropout.” But the hair loss and all I have gone through have made me stronger.
“I got chills that are multiplying” from the support I have received from so many family and friends throughout this battle. It’s been so touching and amazing. I will always appreciate how this support has helped me get through “these long summer nights” (and winter nights too!)
#breastcancerbattle #chemo #cancerstories #RIPOliviaNewtonJohn #grease #onetoughmother #breastcancerjourney