Olivia Munn Says She Documented Her Cancer Journey for Her Son: ‘If I Didn’t Make It’ He Would Know ‘I Tried My Best’

"There’s a lot of other things that you feel like you can beat, but you know cancer takes down a lot of people. And I just thought about my baby," Munn said

<p>GMA/X</p> Olivia Munn on


Olivia Munn on 'Good Morning America' on May 16
  • Olivia Munn has opened up about documenting her breast cancer journey and how her 2-year-old son Malcolm influenced her decision

  • In March the actress revealed she had been diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy

  • Munn told Good Morning America she wanted her son, whom she shares with partner John Mulaney, to know that she "tried my best"

Olivia Munn is opening up about documenting her emotional breast cancer journey — and how her son was at the forefront of her decision.

“Cancer is the — that’s the word you don't want to hear," Munn, 43, told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America in an interview that aired on May 16. "There’s a lot of other things that you feel like you can beat, but you know cancer takes down a lot of people. And I just thought about my baby,” Munn continued, referring to 2-year-old son Malcolm, whom she shares with her partner John Mulaney.

Asked by Strahan, 52, why she wanted to "document" her journey, the actress replied, “Well because if I didn’t make it, I wanted my son when he got older to know that I fought to be here. That I tried my best. You want the people in your life, you want the people that maybe don't understand what's going on right to know that you did everything you could to be here."

The Newsroom star was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in April 2023 and shared her diagnosis on social media a year later, revealing In March that she had a double mastectomy after an MRI found luminal B — a fast-moving, aggressive cancer — in both of her breasts.

Related: Olivia Munn’s ‘Terrifying’ Breast Cancer Diagnosis After Baby Joy: 4 Surgeries in 10 Months, and Medically Induced Menopause (Exclusive)

Speaking on GMA, Munn said part of the treatment for the luminal B was to suppress the production of hormones that causes it to grow and she was put in a medically induced menopause, which prevented her from spending quality time with Malcolm.

“The hormone suppression therapy is brutal and it gave me next level debilitating exhaustion,” she recalled to GMA. “I was just in bed all day long, all day long, and my quality of life was so minimal and I wasn’t able to be there for my baby.”

“Whenever Malcolm would come into the home he’d run straight to my bed because that's where he knows I am, like that’s what he associated with me,” she continued. “And that was just too difficult for me to take. I had to find out if there was another option.”

<p>Olivia Munn/Instagram</p> Olivia Munn and John Mulaney with their son Malcolm

Olivia Munn/Instagram

Olivia Munn and John Mulaney with their son Malcolm

Related: John Mulaney Celebrates 'Incredible Mommy' Olivia Munn on Mother's Day: 'Most Loving and Silliest Relationship'

She decided to get a hysterectomy and ovariectomy but wanted to do an egg retrieval before the surgeries so that she and Mulaney, 41, could still have the option to have more children.

Opening up about her decision to freeze her eggs, an emotional Munn shared, "John and I had a long talk about it. We realized that we weren’t done growing our family."

“That’s a scary process because I have a cancer that feeds off of hormones so I knew there was a risk and our doctor said, 'Look we’re gonna get one for you and then we’re gonna call it,' ” she explained. “And then our doctor called and he said, 'Hey we got the results back. It’s two healthy embryos,' and I— I mean we just started bawling, crying, both of us.”

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images</p> John Mulaney and Olivia Munn attend the 96th annual Academy Awards

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

John Mulaney and Olivia Munn attend the 96th annual Academy Awards

The X-Men: Apocalypse star told Strahan that her doctor planned to get her started on another drug to suppress cancer producing hormones in other areas of the body — though she admitted she was hesitant.

“It’s so tiring,” she said. “These drugs are so tiring, and I know I’m gonna stay aggressive. I know I’m going to do it. I’m just surprised that I’m even asking for anything less than aggressive because, I mean as you know, it just feels nonstop because it is nonstop.”

However, Munn added that this battle with cancer has taught her that she is “a lot braver than I thought I was.”

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“And I learned that the most important thing to me in life is my family,” she added. “Everything else can go away, I don't have my career, I don't have my body the way that it looked before, but as long as the people that I love and care about are here and healthy and thriving nothing else matters.”

Last month, Munn, who underwent four surgeries in 10 months, also opened up to PEOPLE about her journey and shared how Mulaney has been by her side every step of the way.

“I was not someone who obsessed over death or was afraid of it in any way, but having a little baby at home made everything much more terrifying," she told PEOPLE.

“It would’ve felt like climbing an iceberg without him,” Munn continued of Mulaney. “I don’t think he had a moment to himself, between being an incredibly hands-on father and going to and from the hospital — taking Malcolm to the park, putting him to nap, driving to Cedars-Sinai, hanging out with me, going home, putting Malcolm to bed, coming back to me. And he did it all happily.”

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