Olivia Newton-John: ‘I Have Much To Live For And I Intend To Keep On Living It’

CBS Sunday Morning profiles 4-time Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John

Actress, author, and singer Olivia Newton-John, 71, is battling breast cancer for the third time.

“I’m happy. I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I have much to live for. And I intend to keep on living it,” she tells “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King in an emotional interview at her Los Angeles home.

Olivia Newton-John with miniature horses Harry & Winston

Olivia talks about her diagnosis two years ago and how, while the pain was at one point unbearable, her spirit remains unshakable.

She also shows off several of her iconic costumes – including the famous black leather jacket and pants from the finale of GREASE – that she’s auctioning off soon with proceeds going to fund wellness programs at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in Melbourne, Australia.

By the way, if you or anyone you know has been touched by cancer and would like to help Olivia’s world-renowned center in Australia, this week the organization is holding its annual Cancer Walk & Research Run fundraiser next Sunday.

My hubby is down there and he’ll be walking not only for Olivia but also for his mother who we lost to cancer in May this year. You can sponsor Michael’s steps by clicking here.

God knows I love me some Olivia Newton-John.

This is what you call a portrait of courage and grace. Watch below.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: “1 In 8 Women Get Breast Cancer. Today I’m The One”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus shared the news today that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Via Twitter she shared a note that read, “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one. The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

The actress received the diagnosis a day after winning the Emmy Award for “Best Actress in a Comedy” on September 17.

More from The Hollywood Reporter:

According to HBO, the diagnosis had no bearing in the decision to renew Veep for its final season. HBO will adjust the show’s production schedule as needed.

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” the network said in a statement to THR. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.”

The award-winning comedy series will come to an end in 2018 with its seventh season. “We don’t want to repeat ourselves or wear out our welcome. The story has a finality to it that feels end-of-series,” the actress previously told THR. “I struggled with it. And then it just hit me. It’s hard to say goodbye to such a good thing.”

Olivia Newton-John Postpones Concerts Due To Cancer Diagnosis

Hubby Michael with Olivia and her husband John at her wedding reception in 2008

As regular readers may know, I’ve known Olivia Newton-John for almost 20 years as a personal friend. So very dear, and exactly as warm as you would imagine.

Olivia shared today she is postponing concerts this month to cope with a health issue.

Via press release:

Olivia Newton-John is reluctantly postponing her June U.S. and Canadian concert tour dates. The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum.

In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows.

“I decided on my direction of therapies after consultation with my doctors and natural therapists and the medical team at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia,” says Olivia Newton-John.

There will be no interview requests accepted at this time as Olivia’s focus is on her treatment and healing. Ticket buyers for the upcoming concerts should contact venues directly about refunds. Rescheduled concert dates will be posted at OliviaNewton-John.com in the coming weeks.

Many will recall that Olivia was one of the first major celebrities to go public with her breast cancer journey in 1992. It was that journey that inspired her to help raise over $200 million to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

She has also been a staunch LGBT ally for decades. She was one of the very first Aussie celebrities to come out strongly in favor of marriage equality in 2012. She’s also performed at packed Pride festivals in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Sidney.

Olivia has been touring to promote her inspirational album LIV ON, a personal collection of songs about overcoming challenges and grief inspired by the loss of her sister Rona to brain cancer in 2013.

During my cancer journey in 2009, Olivia was in touch with me constantly checking on my progress and always offer her positive outlook.

She hates the words “cancer survivor” as she has viewed herself as a “cancer thriver” since she overcame breast cancer in the early 1990s. In fact, at the time she wrote a song she now calls her anthem, “Not Gonna Give In To It.”

I’m certain she’ll be back on stage sharing her music again very soon.

Best thoughts.

Ellen Predicts The World Series With Shirtless Male Strippers

Shirtless male strippers collect money on ELLEN to predict the World Series

Ellen comes up with a “super-scientific” way to predict the winner of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals.

And I like it.

Whichever guys collects the most money in their shorts before the music ends will be the team to win the World Series.

Guess which team is predicted to win via Ellen’s “super-scientific” method?

Of course, as Ellen notes, we are all winners for watching.

p.s. all money raised during the bit goes towards breast cancer research. Go Ellen!

Breast Cancer Campaign Featuring Aussie All-star Cast Wins Public Service Award

From Billboard:

A breast cancer awareness campaign featuring the late Chrissy Amphlett’s “I Touch Myself” performed by an all-star Aussie cast has won a major U.S award.

The #itouchmyselfproject, commissioned by Cancer Council NSW and created by Soap Creative, has taken out the Gold Award for Public Service campaign at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 10th annual MIXX Awards in New York.

The campaign launched in April with a reworking of the iconic song by 10 of Australia’s best-known female artists, including breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John, ARIA female artist of the year winners Sarah Blasko and Megan Washington, Baby Animals singer Suze DeMarchi, and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Little Pattie, who is Amphlett’s cousin.

“I Touch Myself” was originally a hit in the early ’90s for alternative rock outfit the Divinyls, whose impressive lead singer Amphlett died from breast cancer at the age of 53 in April 2013. A mammogram and ultrasound failed to initially detect the disease. It was only when she self-examined that she returned to the doctor to insist on a biopsy, which in 2010 revealed the cancer.

The single is available on iTunes.

“I Touch Myself Project” for early breast cancer detection

From the clip description:

‘I Touch Myself’ was the Divinyls’ biggest hit and touched millions of fans around the globe. Released in December 1990, the single was No. 1 on the charts at home and reached the Top 5 in the US.

It is a song that celebrates female sexuality like no other. Like Chrissy, it is bold, brave, and brassy. It rocked our world. And when Chrissy developed breast cancer, it was a song she wanted to become an anthem for spreading awareness about the importance of touching ourselves for early detection of the disease.

As a tribute, Chrissy’s family and friends, her husband Charley Drayton, fellow songwriters, Cancer Council NSW and supporters from around the globe have come together to make sure Chrissy’s legacy lives on to remind women to be in touch with their bodies, and if something’s not right, see their doctor.

Ten of Australia’s leading music artists: Connie Mitchell; Deborah Conway; Kate Cerebrano; Katie Noonan; Little Pattie; Megan Washington; Olivia Newton-John; Sarah Blasko; Sarah McLeod; and Suze DeMarchi have come together to make Chrissy’s final wish a reality.

You can help keep Chrissy’s dream alive by spreading her message. Visit http://itouchmyself.org and help support the #itouchmyselfproject

Download the song on iTunes.

Olivia Newton-John

Sarah McLeod

Angelina Jolie decides on preventative double mastecomy

Angelina Jolie announced in a New York Times op-ed piece that she had a preventive double mastectomy:

“The truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman…

“Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could.”

Jolie adds that the cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 can cost more than $3,000 in the United States.

I wonder if Jolie going public with her story will help women who may find they have the same “faulty gene” to consider the same path?

I also wonder if the same preventative procedure is available to all, or only “all with good insurance,” or if this is something only those with money can afford to do?  It’s sure to open a discussion.

More at the New York Times.

Kellie Pickler shaves her head in solidarity with best friend with cancer

Country star Kellie Pickler showed up on Good Morning America with a new look having shaved her head in solidarity with her best friend, Summer Holt Miller, who is battling cancer.

After a tumor was found in June, the mother of two underwent a double mastectomy to remove the tumor.  But she is also beginning chemotherapy to make sure the cancer is completely gone.

“Cancer does not discriminate,” Pickler said in a release.
Added Miller, “If this compels even one person to change their
mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then
it will be worth it.”


Ladies – let a sexy guy remind you about self-breast exam

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, I give you the “Your Man Reminder” video. And thanks to my friend Joel Benjamin for the tep.

The video is very fun and points to an app women can download to remind them to do breast self-exams monthly. This app is a regular reminder and a little bit of encouragement from a hot guy of your choice to check your breasts.

Another thing I like about this video is it is very light-hearted and fun. Which is a good approach to get women to do self-exams without getting too “technical” or “scary” about cancer.

While a breast self-exam can never take the place of a proper medical exam, by doing self-breast exams on a regular basis women basically build a mental “data base” of what is ‘normal’ for them. That way, should they find something unusual or irregular, they can make an appointment with their doctor for further exam. The main point being – early detection is KEY.

Olivia Newton-John, a breast cancer ‘thriver’ and advocate actually helped develop a simple device called ‘The Liv’ to help facilitate self-exams. The LIV is a self-examination aid that is designed to help women examine their breast tissue. It molds to the skin and provides a smooth surface for the fingers to easily glide over the breast tissue. I highly recommend checking out the link to The Liv. Great, simple idea.