In March 2020, Rita Wilson and her husband, Tom Hanks, announced they would test positive for COVID-19, making it public with the diagnosis among the first celebrities. His decision to come forward was heroic in its own way given the fear associated with the virus. The revelation removed some of the stigma surrounding COVID-19, and prompted other celebrities to reveal their diagnosis.

On March 29, soon after recovering, Wilson posted an Instagram message in which he wrote, “I am very grateful for my health.”

As it happened, the date marked another milestone – 5 years had passed when his medical team announced him Breast Cancer-free. In the same post, he expressed his “gratitude to the doctors, nurses, friends and family that got me through that time.”

Wilson was originally diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), abnormal cells in his breast milk-producing glands, called lobules. LCIS ​​is not cancer, but increases the risk for it Invasive breast cancer. LCIS ​​eventually turned into paleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ (PLCIS), with doctors believing it could turn into cancer compared to LCIS. After Wilson received lump surgery (surgery to remove abnormal tissue), her doctor told her she did not have cancer, but “I had a gut feeling”, she says.


According to VK Gadi, MD, PhD, MD, PhD and MD, MD, director of medical oncology at the university, “portions of patients who are eventually diagnosed with LCIS develop from the original site or elsewhere in the breast.” Of Illinois in Chicago. (He did not treat Wilson.)

It was revealed that Wilson was one of them. When she second opinion, She finds out that her PLCIS has moved on Invasive lobular carcinoma.

Suddenly, he noticed that cancer was no longer a disease that had only occurred to other people. “Once you have something, you realize that you are just a statistic,” she says. “There is nothing that protects you.”

Cancer survivors

Months after wilson cure cancer Her plans were replete with a series of important tasks needed to plan and complete her. Therapy for invasive lobular carcinoma may include Lumpectomy Or a breast. Wilson opted for a double mastectomy, then Breast reconstruction Surgery.


Focusing on the survival process left him little time to focus on the prevalence of cancer. “Once I have had a permanent implant and the surgery has gone well, I can start feeling a little more relaxed,” she says.

Conscious note Helped him get through that dark time. Along with other healthy habits like swimming, walking, and exercise, he made it a permanent part of his post-cancer lifestyle Total. He started eating less red meat, replacing it with more fish and grains. And he cut back Alcohol, Which some studies suggest may increase the risk for breast Cancer recurrence.

“These things are now a part of my life. They are not going to change, ”she says. “Once you have a health crisis, you don’t want to play with it.”

“Throw me a party”

He had a few moments before Wilson could be declared free of cancer and feel a sense of relief. anxiety And fear. Unsure of knowing if her cancer would support treatment, or if she survived her surgery, Wilson did not expect to be in her 50s.


“I was having a conversation with my husband, which if I were to go in front of him, there were some things I should have. One of them was, ‘I would like you to give me a party. And I want all my friends to get there. “I wanted it to be something that would allow people to celebrate my life.”

He captures her request in the special song “Throw Me a Party,” on his 2019 album, Halfway to Home. One line is, “I always lived as if there wasn’t enough time.” Cancer brought a deep awareness that time is a resource in limited supply.

She says, “After that the choices I made, I just wanted to do the things I love so much … and the work I think is really worthwhile.”

“What do I want?”

The meaning of his life was discovered relatively late. Her acting career has already traveled more than 30 years with memorable roles in films sleepless in Seattle, runaway Bride, And Song all the way. In 2005, Wilson had a soul-searching moment when he finally asked himself, “What do I want?”


The inspiration for the question came from an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she must have read Los angeles times. The multimedia icon attributed her success to her ability to get clarity about purpose in her life. “I ask people what it is,” Winfrey said in the article. … If you focus on what you want, things become clear. If you don’t, you get stuck in this messy, fuzzy place. “

Wilson was so caught up with his acting career and family (his two sons with Hanks), that he didn’t even think about what he wanted. But once he stopped thinking about it, the answer was obvious.

“It was music,” she says.

“I think people have things inside them that they want, that annuities are … something that they think is a true part of who they are. To me that was always music, but I was so little He had become an actor at the age and got away, and I never really looked back. “


In 2012, he released an album of cover songs called AM / FM, but he secretly yearned to become a singer-songwriter. Without the ability to read music or play fluent instruments, Wilson felt it was out of the question. Then, a chance meeting with producer / songwriter Cara DiGordi landed her as a mentor. “Kara asked me, ‘What do you want to do?” I said, ‘I will give anything to write a song like you.’ He said, ‘Well, why can’t you do this?’

Her first original album, country / pop-inspired Rita Wilson, Surfaced in 2016. It included collabo-rations with a roster of top songwriters / producers (Christian Bush of Sugarland, Richard Marks, and the Warren Brothers, among others). He followed it in 2018 Big picture.


Wilson now counts himself as a member of two living communities – Breast Cancer And COVID-19. She and her husband became ill with the virus and recovered in Queensland, Australia, where Hanks was filming a Baz Luhrmann film about the life of Elvis Presley, and Wilson performed a concert at the Sydney Opera House.


This is an experience she does not want to give up. “It was very bad about 10 days [symptoms]. I had relatively High fever. I was very mean. I was Vertigo. I had stomach problems, pain, and a head ache He will not go away. I lost my taste and smell. All these things are combined with this incredible shiver, ”she says. “I don’t want to get it again.”

If one can reverse for two weeks Quarantine In Australia, it was the amazing collaboration that came out of it. On March 22 of last year, Wilson posted an Instagram video of himself rapping with the 1992 classic, “Hip Hop Hurray” as mischievous. She learned the tongue twister of a song for the 2019 film Boy Genius, a process she likens to “learning Shakespeare, but if you’ve never spoken English.”

COVID-19 made him feel a little “fuzzy”. He saw himself recording the song to see if his mind was still limp enough to remember the song. “I think, maybe I will tell people to post it that I’m doing fine,” she says. “And it went crazy viral.”

The hip-hop trio liked it so much that they collaborated with Wilson to create a remix. All profits from the song support the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps musicians affected by the coronovirus epidemic. “It was so much fun!” She says. He said, “When he started going on tour, he invited me to be with him.” You know I’m going to do it! “

giving back

Wilson found another way to put a positive spin on his COVID-19 ordinance. Both he and Hanks plan to donate their plasma (their liquid parts) blood) UCLA (as of our interview date), in the hope that their immune system produces antibodies against the virus that can help others get sick. Researchers are studying immune responses against the virus, as well as the effectiveness of covalent plasma therapy, an experimental treatment for severe COVID-19.


“The hope is that antiviral antibodies in plasma can reduce the effects of the virus, aid recovery, and reduce expected mortality,” Otto Yang, MD, professor of medicine and UCLA’s David Geffen School Says the associate head of infectious diseases. Medicine.

Yang’s team is looking at antibody levels in people who have become infected and how quickly those antibodies drop over time. Theoretically, antibodies may provide protection from future infections with the virus. He appreciates the awareness Wilson and Hanks brought to UCLA’s research efforts. “They have been supportive and publicized the project and a couple of others,” he says.

Wilson says that she and her husband were more than happy to help. “We knew it would be incredibly useful to people,” she says.

Taking nothing for granted

Living with two major health fears has left Wilson with a profound sense of gratitude. She has a lot to be thankful for – not only good health, but also several music projects that have been started over COVID-19.

In 2020, he collaborated with country artists Jimmy Allen and the Oak Ridge Boys to release the song “What This Over,” which deals with a loved one’s addiction, and “Everybody’s Crease” for the war. is. drama The outpost, Which is causing some Oscar buzz. She also starred in the country music legend Dolly Parton and the single “Pink” with Monica, Jordin Sparks and Sarah Evans. A portion of the proceeds will support Susan G. Komen’s mission to save lives from breast cancer.

“What I learned was that each day is so precious and so precious, and life is so fragile. I really don’t want to live a day that I don’t tell the people I love that I love them, I can’t find happiness in everything I do, and without a great sense of gratitude that I have to be creative, I have to write music and produce films, and act, and do the things that I like to do, ”she says. “It’s really about not giving anything away. Not a thing. “

Lobular carcinoma

Rita Wilson was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), and later with invasive lobular carcinoma. VK Gandhi, MD, PhD, explains what this means:

  • LCIS ​​is an early condition in which abnormal cells form in the lobules of the milk. Breasts.
  • People with LCIS are seven to 11 times more likely to develop invasive cancer in either breast.
  • LCIS ​​is hard to feel. Because it hides in normal breast tissue, it does not form a lump. Doctors monitor their patients, who are diagnosed with LCIS with regular mammograms, and possibly MRI.
  • Treatment depends on the extent of the disease. Mastectomy is an option. Bilateral (double) mastectomy can be done to treat cancer, prevent cancer in the second breast, or to make reconstructive surgery easier. Some people later receive hormone therapy to prevent their cancer from returning.
  • Diagnosis is generally good for lobular cancer. If it is well managed, it does not return very often.

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