Olivia Newton-John fought to the end: Inside her final hours

The late actress and singer Olivia Newton-John not only dazzled everyone with her brilliant smile and contagious joy and optimism, but she also candidly discussed her breast cancer diagnosis, allowing millions of other women facing similar challenges to know they are not fighting this battle alone.

Shortly after releasing her third hits album, Back to Basics: The Essential album 1971–1992, Newton-John received the heartbreaking diagnosis. She had a partial mastectomy of her right breast within 24 hours of finding out she had cancer, which forced her to postpone her tour.

Despite the doctors’ assurances that everything would be alright, she felt nervous.

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She made the decision to go public and talk candidly about her battle since she knew she was someone who people looked up to. It helped spread awareness when someone as well-liked and powerful as her disclosed her cancer diagnosis, and many people commended her for her courage.

At the time, she remarked, “I get strength from the millions of women who have overcome this obstacle.”

David Redfern/Redferns

After the operation and the subsequent events, Newton-John became an advocate for breast cancer nine months later.

She decided to invest millions of dollars in a “greenhouse” and started eating a healthier diet in an effort to fight cancer.

After learning I had cancer, I couldn’t stop asking myself, “Why?” In 1993, Olivia stated to Sunday Mirror, “All I could think was that the cancer could have been brought about by the environment were living in.”

I couldn’t stop wondering if it had anything to do with the water and air we were consuming in Los Angeles. Los Angeles has much too many people, so I felt confined.

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Olivia clarified in a 1994 interview with the Santa Cruz Sentinel that receiving all of the support from friends, family, and fans was a crucial step in the healing process.

It can be rather difficult for a woman to focus on herself at times, the speaker stated. We never stop thinking about our families and everyone else but ourselves. We are the last ones to arrive. Mother always receives the smallest potato, you know.

Newton-John was informed in 2017 that her cancer had come back and had spread to her spine.

She stated, “I am feeling fine and have the full support of my family, friends, and a team of medical and wellness professionals at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in Melbourne, Australia, in addition to here in the United States. It was at this point in 2013 that she disclosed to the public that she also had cancer.

Many perceive it as a conflict, and it is entirely up to you where you choose to interpret it. I consider it a component of my — call it what you will. Maybe it’s a part of my goal, I think,” she remarked.

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Newton-John has spent a lot of money on cancer research through her foundation The Olivia Newton-John Foundation.

The actress’s niece, Totti Goldsmith, spoke of the last days of Newton-John’s life and said the family had a hard time watching her health decline. “It’s not a shock, we’ve known how sick she’s been, especially the last five days,” Totti, who lives in Melbourne, told A Current Affair.

She said that she and her aunt spoke through Facetime for one last time. “I told her all the things I needed to say. She was leaving us… but I could feel like she got it,” Totti shared.

“It wasn’t just the cancer that got her, it was other complications, being in a hospital and with a very susceptible immune system. She got secondary infections,” the niece said of Newton-John’s struggles during the last days of her life.

“She was really skinny and really unwell and I said to her, ‘Are you afraid of dying?” Totti recalled.

“She said, ‘Plonker’, which was my nickname, she said, ‘I’m not, I’m not afraid, I’ve done more in my life than I could have ever imagined’.

“She honestly never imagined her life would be how it was.”

Newton-John passed away on August, 8. May she rest in peace.

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