Olivia Newton-John may be battling cancer for a third time, but the 71-year-old star is determined to beat the odds.
On Sunday’s episode of CBS This Morning, the Australian actress took Gayle King on a tour of her California ranch, where she showed off everything from her pair of miniature horses ("Harry and Winston — they're my little jewels!") to her collection of marijuana plants.
That marijuana is part of what’s helped Newton-John through her health issues.
Though she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, on the same day as her father’s death, the cancer spread to her back in 2013.
While it later went into remission, the cancer returned again two years ago.
Physicians told Newton-John that it was Stage 4, and she says the pain can be horrific.
"Crying kind of pain,” Newton-John explained. “Tears pain."
Still, she said she never felt victimised by her diagnosis.
“I don’t discuss prognosis, because if they give you a percentage or ‘this many women get this and live this long,’ you can create that and make it happen. I know what the statistics are, but I put them away. I’m going to live longer than that,” she told King. “I’ve made that decision.”
While she “tries not to” think about death, she said she prefers to meditate and be peaceful knowing the people she loves are surrounding her.
Appearing on 60 Minutes in August, Olivia said she doesn’t look at her health issues as “a battle or a war”.
“I'm so lucky that I've been through this three times and I'm still here. I'm living with it,” she said in the interview. “Every day is a gift now, particularly now.”
Olivia’s third cancer diagnosis came after she was first treated for the disease back in 1992, after finding a lump on her right breast.
She underwent a partial mastectomy and six months of treatment, including herbal formulas, meditation and focus on her diet and fitness, before getting the all clear.
However, there was more heartache for the star when she was diagnosed with cancer in her shoulder in 2013, after she was involved in a minor car accident.
Back in September 2018, the star said she had decided to treat this cancer with ‘modern’ medicines and natural remedies, as well as cutting out sugar completely and taking cannabis oil for the pain.
Now retired from performing, Olivia enjoys a quiet life on her ranch with her husband John Easterling, whom she married in 2008.
An advocate of the healing power of plants, Easterling keeps a flourishing grow house filled with cannabis for his wife.
She has since created the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, and will be auctioning off some of her most famous outfits and costumes, including several from films like Xanadu and Grease.
That includes the iconic leather pants she sported as Sandy in the beloved 1978 film, which Newton-John was willing to put on one last time with a little coaxing from King.
Words by Megan Johnson
Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.