When someone is in the public eye and living the life of a celebrity, they rarely ever have a private moment. That is especially true when you are an Oscar winner, such as Kathy Bates. Most of her ‘fans’ would probably think that they knew what was going on behind the scenes but Bates managed to keep something hidden quite well.
The American Horror Story star opened up and talked about how your problems in life do not need to dictate how your life is going to go. As it turns out, Bates had to deal with a terrible disease, not once, but twice. In the process, she learned a lot about what perseverance and hope can do for a person. Admittedly, she hasn’t won them all but her tale is one that is inspiring others.
At the age of 55, back in 2003, Kathy was diagnosed with a stage 1 ovarian tumor. She had surgery and 9 months of chemo but here’s the trick, she kept it totally hidden from the public.
“I didn’t tell anybody. I continued to work right after the operation, doing Little Black Book with Brittany Murphy. My agent at the time was very old-school and didn’t want me to be the poster child for ovarian cancer. I didn’t want anyone to know, but it really took a lot out of me.”
Through it all, she stayed strong and got to the other side. All was good until 2012, when she was given the bad news a second time.
Kathy was going through a period of extreme exhaustion and went back to the doctor. After an MRI, she was diagnosed with a breast tumor. Her family has had a history with this problem so she opted to go through a double mastectomy.
Fortunately, she did test negative for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation, which can be a trigger for cancer of the ovaries and breast. Kathy still recognized that the negative results were in no way a ‘get out of jail free card’. After all, she did have to endure both diseases. Rather than losing hope over something she couldn’t control, she decided to turn those lemons into lemonade.
Kathy is now living her life cancer-free but she isn’t totally out of the woods. During her treatments, she had her lymph nodes removed and it left behind the pain and swelling associated with lymphedema. There is no cure for that issue.
“It’s a souvenir you definitely don’t want. I really felt that life was over for me. I probably wouldn’t work again, and I was angry for a long time.”
Even though she has had her problems, she also recognizes that there is some good that can come of the issue. She took her problems and used them to raise awareness of lymphedema. In fact, she became the National Spokesperson for Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN). In order to manage the pain, she has also decided to drop 60 pounds.
In the end, she has some advice for women. Stop worrying about your looks and taking selfies. Keep your health in check and live a happy life.
You can see her interview with Dr. Phil in this video: