Olivia Munn Says She Documented Cancer Journey for Her Son: ‘I Fought to Be Here’

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Olivia Munn. - Credit: Phillip Faraone/VF24/Getty Images
Olivia Munn. - Credit: Phillip Faraone/VF24/Getty Images

For the past year, Olivia Munn has undergone surgeries and other cancer treatments to battle the breast cancer diagnosis she learned of last winter. The actress revealed on Thursday that she decided to document her journey to show her now two-year-old son, Malcolm. “If I didn’t make it, I wanted my son when he got older to know that I fought to be here, that I tried my best,” she told Good Morning America.

In the segment, Munn explained how she had previously gotten clean bills of health when assessing her potential risk for cancer, but when she took one last “lifetime risk assessment” test, it told a different story. The results of that test prompted her to get an MRI, which uncovered stage one aggressive luminal B breast cancer in both breasts. Further testing revealed more tumors in her breasts that called for an urgency for treatment. She underwent a double mastectomy a month after the diagnosis.

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Asked what went through her mind when she heard the word cancer, she said, “Honestly, I just thought of my baby.” She also explained further why she wanted to document the experience. “You want the people in your life, you want the people that maybe don’t understand what’s going on right now to know that you did everything you could do be here,” she said.

Munn also praised her partner and Malcolm’s father, comedian John Mulaney, for supporting her through the ordeal. “He’s honestly just the best human being,” she said. “He comes to everything in life with so much compassion and understanding. But the one problem is that he makes me laugh so much … there’s times I’m like, ‘You have to leave the room.'” With a smile, she said that if she laughed too much, she’d have popped a stitch.

In the interview, she also revealed that after the double mastectomy, she underwent egg retrieval with the hopes of having another child with Mulaney in the future. “That’s a scary process because I have a cancer [luminal B] that feeds off of hormones, so I knew there was a risk,” she said. “Our doctor said, ‘We’re gonna get one for you, and then we are gonna call it.’ And then our doctor called, and he said, ‘Hey, we got the results back: It’s two healthy embryos.’ And I just started bawling, crying. Both of us.” The experience has taught her that what matters most to her, more than her career or even her body, is her family.

The hormone-suppression therapy to treat the cancer forced her into medically induced menopause, according to the interview. She opted to do a hysterectomy and an ovariectomy, which restored her energy. Now, she’s parsing future treatments.

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