Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares the brutal truth regarding her battle with breast cancer

Jaimie-lee Prince
Dec 12, 2018
01:08 P.M.
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus spoke candidly about how she dealt with breast cancer. For the actress, laughter was a light in the darkness.


The New Yorker interviewed Louis-Dreyfus about her life following the diagnosis last year. The devastating disease is not one that many can come out the other side from.

Yet the "Veep" alum returned to film her show in August 2018, just within a year since she made the announcement in September 2017 that she was suffering from breast cancer.

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The news came mere days after Louis-Dreyfus broke the Emmy record for most titles awarded to one person for acting. The HBO political satire show allowed her to gain the distinct title.

When she learned of her diagnosis, Louis-Dreyfus tweeted: "One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I'm the one."

The 57-year-old started treatment in October 2017, and she had a strong support group to help her along. She's fully aware that this is not always the case and is grateful for it.


She said at the time:

"The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let's fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality."

Louis-Dreyfus' fight caused "Veep" to go on hiatus while she recovered. However, fans were kept in the loop thanks to the actress' regular appearances on her social media.


For some intrusive reporters, this was less than ideal. Louis-Dreyfus explained:

"There were people with long lenses trying to get pictures of me looking ill, and I think I kind of burst the bubble on a lot of it because of my social-media presence."

Off-camera, the comedian was holding up despite the life-threatening disease. When asked if she had fearful thoughts or felt sorry for herself, she responded:

“ ‘Am I gonna be dead tomorrow’ kind of thing? I didn’t let myself go there. Don’t misunderstand: I was to-my-bones terrified. But I didn’t let myself—except for a couple of moments—go to a really dark place. I didn’t allow it.”


Instead, Louis-Drey used humor to get through the ordeal.

She explained:

"When I was getting my hideous chemotherapy, I'd cram a bunch of family and friends into this tiny treatment room with me, and we really did have some great laughs."

She added:

"Of course, I was heavily medicated and slipping in and out of consciousness, so I was probably a pretty easy audience, but my point is that laughter is a basic human need, along with love and food and an HBO subscription. There's no situation—none—that isn't improved with a couple of laughs."


Dreyfus didn't only have to go through nauseau-inducing treatment, she was also facing the death of her father. He passed away a week before the Emmy's in 2016.

In facing death herself, Dreyfus said it changed how she sees things.

“I have a different kind of view of my life now, having seen that edge—that we’re all going to see at some point, and which, really, as a mortal person you don’t allow yourself to consider, ever... I was a little more breezy before. I was a little . . . breezy.”


The beloved "Veep" star also won an award for her role in "The New Adventures of Old Christine" in 2006. Of course, "Seinfeld" was the sitcom that propelled her career.

Her story has inspired others. More so, the willingness she showed in sharing her journey prompted a wave of positivity to come her way.

Louis-Dreyfus said she was "pleased with the reaction." The move inspired other celebrities to increase awareness of various forms of the disease. It hopefully inspired those going through it to remain positive and try and laugh, too.