Veteran actress and activist Jane Fonda reveals starting chemotherapy six months ago

Jane Fonda, 84, is battling cancer. The actress, activist and former model took to Instagram on Friday, Sep 2, to make the announcement that she has non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has been on chemotherapy for six months.

“This is a very treatable cancer. 80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky,” the Grace And Frankie actress wrote.

The Oscar winner further acknowledged her “lucky” position by saying that “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,” she noted.

“Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me,” she wrote. “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.”

Her celebrity friends have been sending her their best wishes. Reese Witherspoon wrote: “Sending you all my strength! Love you Jane”.

Model Naomi Campbell wrote: “GRACEFUL QUEEN. @janefonda thank you, even at this difficult time you are sharing with [us]. It’s so important to have a positive mindset!! And you do, GOD BLESS!! My thoughts and prayers are with you”.

Diane Keaton has sent a message of admiration: “We love you, Jane. You are my hero. You are a warrior. All of my life I have been in awe of all that you do. I will continue to admire the crusader you have always been and always will be”.

Debra Messing commented: “Sending you healing light, love and strength”.

This is Fonda’s third time battling cancer. She underwent lumpectomy to remove a cancerous growth in her breast in 2010. Then, in 2018, she went under the knife again to remove a malignant tumour from her lower lip and pre-melanoma growths from her skin.   

Ever the climate change activist, Fonda also took the opportunity to highlight the fossil fuel industry’s impact on health in her Instagram post. “We also need to be talking much more not just about cures but about causes so we can eliminate them. For example, people need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer. So do pesticides, many of which are fossil fuel-based, like mine.”

She added that “I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can”… “because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be” and that she can still be counted on “to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions”.

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