Recent reports that cancer has returned in Olivia Newton-John for the third time are unfortunate. But I know that Olivia, who turns 70 this month and whose mother and sister died of cancer, intends on thriving, as against merely surviving, as she once told me during one of our interviews.
The singer, whose work I’ve long covered and admired, released a statement that she is currently undergoing treatment, emphasizing her use of natural healing methods and cannabis oil for the pain. Olivia founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Australia.
So, letting her own idea of “love and light” guide her, Olivia continues to live large, brave and graceful by example. And I continue to draw from her strength, encouragement and balanced, peaceful reality checks, in her appearances, statements, movies, performances and music. When one in my own family was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, I turned to Olivia Newton-John’s positive-themed 2008 duets album, A Celebration in Song, as both a source of clarity and as a gift for the loved one. The impact and gratitude for her album is now a cherished memory.
A Celebration in Song, as well as ONJ’s other softer, more personal albums since the height of her popularity, inspires. I listen to and appreciate every tune, though I consider “Courageous” the perfect song for summoning one’s innermost abilities to thrive in the face of hardship.
I first met and interviewed ONJ nearly 20 years ago and mine was her premier Las Vegas headliner show’s first review. I would love to meet Olivia again for an interview to discuss the publication for her forthcoming memoir. Once again, I wish Olivia a speedy recovery and the best of everything…with love for this phenomenal woman.