Kathy Bates: A Real-Life Fighter and Warrior

If you believe that Hollywood celebrities are way different than we are, touching stories like this one are a reminder that they are just ordinary people like us who experience pain and go through things.

In her latest interview with Dr. Phil, Academy Award winner Kathy Bates opens up about her illness and what she had to endure without sharing it with the rest of the world.

The Toughest Role Yet

Out of the blue, life gave her the toughest role she ever had to play – that of a real-life fighter and warrior who had to beat cancer for the second time.

Back in 2012, she gathered the strength to share, “It’s no secret that I am an ovarian cancer survivor, nine years and counting. But few know that several weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer.” Describing what it feels like to be diagnosed with this disease, she says, “You think American Horror Story is scary? You should’ve been in that room with me.”

Silent Struggles

After being told the devastating news that she suffers from ovarian cancer back in 2003, her ordeal started taking place. She underwent multiple painful surgeries and nine months of chemotherapy but decided not to share it with anyone. She said, “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.”

Her strong will and determination helped her overcome the situation and be cancer-free. However, fate had another cruel twist in store for her. Her doctor told her she was back at the start – the cancer had returned. She wondered whether she would have to walk the same painful path all over again.

After learning she had breast cancer, she wasn’t that surprised because, as she says, “breast cancer runs like a river in my family.” Determined to take control of her situation, she opted for a double mastectomy, hoping it would prevent the disease from spreading any further.

Turning Tragedy into Inspiration

This time, Kathy decided to turn her tragedy into inspiration for other women. She didn’t lose her vibrant personality along the way and even joked, “I don’t miss my breasts as much as I miss Harry’s Law,” while thanking her fans for the support they’ve provided during her tough times.

She did her best to replace the plate of sour green tomatoes life served her with one of Fried Green Tomatoes instead, and we are lucky she did it.

Life After Cancer

Currently, Kathy Bates is cancer-free, but the disease left her with a condition known as lymphedema, which affects around 30 percent of breast cancer survivors. This condition, resulting from the removal of her lymph nodes, causes her pain and swelling that makes her feel uncomfortable.

“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.”

This whole experience made her speak about her condition publicly, in hopes of inspiring other women to do regular check-ups and to let them know that they are not alone in their battle. Bates even became an ambassador for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN).

Through her hardships, Kathy Bates has found a new purpose in life. She is grateful that her journey has given her the opportunity to make a difference. Funny how that happens.

Watch her brutally honest interview below, where she shares what it feels like to face the battles she fought.