This morning, 3/11/2019, the iconic actress and singer Olivia Newton-John sat down with TODAY’s Natalie Morales to talk about her battles with cancer and her candid new memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin'”. The singer, actress, and activist shared her extraordinary life and inspiring outlook in the face of her recent health troubles. “You can be a victim, or you can be a winner and enjoy your life.”
In the book, Newton-John discusses the fact that her last cancer diagnosis, which her fans long believed was her second, was actually her third. She decided to keep that detail secret for some time — for a good reason.
“Because of the speculation,” she explained in the interview. “I just decided I wanted to go through it myself. I don’t know, it was just a decision that I’d keep it to myself that time.”
And it’s easy to see why she wanted to avoid the speculation. After all, when her last diagnosis became public knowledge, it sparked a flurry of reports claiming she was on her deathbed.
“They were telling me I was dying, and I thought, ‘Well, I don’t feel like it. I feel pretty good!'” she recalled. “But, you know, rumors start and then it gets out of control.”
So Newton-John regained control by releasing a video announcing (and borrowing from Mark Twain): “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
“I decided, no, I’m going to come out and talk about it because I have many friends and family all around the world, and I can’t call everyone,” she said of her public response. “So I needed to let them know that I’m OK.”
And despite her ongoing struggle with cancer, that’s how she sees herself, as doing OK — or even better.
She doesn’t see herself as fighting cancer. As she’s stated in the past, she’s “thriving” against the disease, and now she has a new way of referring to it.
“Winning over,” she said. “I think, you know, what you think creates your reality. So it’s a decision. You have to make that decision. You can be a victim, or you can be a winner and enjoy your life.”
“I had extra time, so whatever that is, I’m grateful for it,” she said, adding, “I’ll just enjoy every day — that’s all you can do.”
Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Tuesday that “Don’t Stop Believin'” would be published March 12. The book will include a new afterword by the award-winning singer and actress, known for such hits as “Physical” and “I Honestly Love You” and for her starring role in the movie version of “Grease.”
Ref. NBC/Today, usatoday.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via bogw.com.au