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Olivia Munn Says Motherhood Made Breast Cancer Journey ‘More Terrifying’

By Michael Apr 17, 2024
Olivia Munn Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Olivia Munn is getting candid about her health struggles after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

“Having a little baby at home made everything much more terrifying. It makes you realize, cancer does not care who you are,” Munn, 43, shared in her People cover story published on Wednesday, April 17, referencing 2-year-old son, Malcolm, whom she shares with John Mulaney. “It comes at you, and you have no choice but to face it head on.”

Munn went on to say she’s “grateful” to have the “opportunity to fight” this disease, saying that her son has kept her spirits high.

“When I’m with him, it’s the only time my brain doesn’t think about being sick. I’m just so happy with him. And it puts a lot of stuff into perspective. Because if my body changes, I’m still his mom. If I have hot flashes, I’m still his mom. If I lose my hair, I’m still his mom. That’s really what matters the most to me. I get to be here for him.”

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The actress explained that she was “not someone who obsessed over death or was afraid of it in any way” before this experience.

“There’s so much information, and you’re making these huge decisions for the rest of your life,” she explained. “I really tried to be prepared, but the truth is that nothing could prepare me for what I would feel like, what it would look like and how I would handle it emotionally. It was a lot tougher than I expected.”

In March, Munn revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She shared her hope that in being candid about her own health, she would help “raise awareness with the hopes more women will get themselves tested.”

Munn revealed that she has since undergone four surgeries. “Surprisingly, I’ve only cried twice,” she wrote. “I guess I haven’t felt like there was time to cry. My focus narrowed and I tabled any emotions that I felt would interfere with my ability to stay clearheaded.”

Olivia Munn. Courtesy of Olivia Munn/Instagram

Just two months after testing negative following a genetic screening, Munn was diagnosed with breast cancer. She initially chose to keep the results private in order “to get through some of the hardest parts” but confirmed last month that she had a double mastectomy. “I went from feeling completely fine one day, to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next,” she shared.

In her People interview, Munn explained her decision to keep her cancer battle out of the public eye.

“Keeping it private for as long as I did allowed me time to fight without any outside noise at all,” she shared, revealing that she’s been on hormone suppression therapy since November 2023, which has put her into medically induced menopause. “I’m constantly thinking it’s hot, my hair is thinning, and I’m tired a lot.”

Munn praised boyfriend Mulaney for his unwavering support over the past months, writing, “I’m so thankful for the nights [John] spent researching what every operation and medication meant and what side effects and recovery I could expect.” She added that the comedian was there before and after “each surgery,” often bringing photos of Malcolm, “so it would be the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes.”

In response to her heartfelt tribute, Mulaney, 41, wrote in the comments section, “Thank you for fighting so hard to be here for us. Malc and I adore you.”

Olivia Munn and John Mulaney’s Relationship Timeline

Mulaney and Munn began dating in early 2021 after his split from ex-wife Anna Marie Tendler. Mulaney’s divorce was finalized in January 2022, two months after he and Munn welcomed Malcolm in November 2021.

Last month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Mulaney has been a “pillar of strength” for Munn throughout her ongoing health scare, saying he has given her the ”courage and strength to keep fighting and overcome this.”

Munn has also since thanked her other friends, family and loved ones for remaining by her side.

“I’m really grateful for all the love and support I’ve received about my diagnosis that I shared yesterday,” she wrote via her Instagram Stories one day after revealing her diagnosis. “Reading your stories and comments has really meant a lot to me and I just wanted to express my gratitude for all of it.”

By Michael

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