Jane Fonda has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The 84-year-old actress took to Instagram on Friday to reveal the news, while adding that she’s also already started chemo treatments.
“This is a very treatable cancer,” she said in a lengthy post on Instagram. “80 per cent of people survive, so I feel very lucky. I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. I realize, and it’s painful, that I am [privileged] in this. Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving and this is not right.”
Fonda, who made headlines in 2020 with her climate change protests in Washington D.C., and subsequent arrests, also revealed that she’s doing chemo for six months. She said she’s “handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism.”
She added that “cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community. Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
“We’re living through the most consequential time in human history because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be and I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can, using every tool in my toolbox and that very much includes continuing to build this Fire Drill Fridays community and finding new ways to use our collective strength to make change,” Fonda continued.
Fonda then shared an update in a blog post this week, thanking fans for their kind words following the diagnosis: “I have been deeply moved and uplifted by all the expressions of love and support since I made public the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
“My heartfelt thanks to all. The messages of love and support mean the world to me. I want to say again that this is a very treatable cancer and much progress has been made with the medicines patients are given.”
Fonda continued, “Since last week, so many people have written to me or posted that they have had this type of cancer and have been cancer-free for many decades. Well, I’ll soon be 85 so I won’t have to worry about ‘many decades.’ One will do just fine.
“Many have asked how I am feeling. Well today, about 3 weeks from my first chemo session, I must tell you that I feel stronger than I have in years. The doctor told me the best antidote to the tiredness that chemotherapy can cause is to move. Walk. And I have been walking. Very early before the record heat kicks in. Also working out.”
The star added, “This is not my first encounter with cancer. I’ve had breast cancers and had a mastectomy and come through very well and I will do so again.
“As I said in my statement last week, I am painfully aware that the top-drawer treatment I receive is not something everyone in this country can count on and I consider that a travesty. It isn’t fair, and I will continue to fight for quality health care for all,” before raising awareness of her ongoing work with Fire Drill Fridays and the fight against the climate crisis.
See the full post here.
Fonda, who turns 85 in December, told ET’s Rachel Smith back in July that when it comes to aging she encourages it.
“I know this sounds strange, but it’s great to get older. I mean, obviously it beats the alternative, which is to die,” Fonda said at the time. “It’s so hard to be young. I mean, it’s always been hard to be young — it’s even more hard now… It’s all like, ‘Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to do? What kind of a job am I supposed to have? Where am I supposed to go with my life? Why am I even here? Who should be my friends?'”
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