Dame Julie Walters 'changed' after cancer diagnosis


Dame Julie Walters has "changed" since having cancer.

The 70-year-old actress recently revealed she had been diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in 2018 and now she's had the all clear, her battle with the disease seems "unreal", even though she's now "the same but different".

She said: "It seems unreal now, it seemed unreal at the time, but it was very real. Very real. It's changed me because it's changed the way I live my life. I'm the same but different. I'm not rushing about all the time, getting up at 5am and coming home at midnight...

"I've made changes. I saw a doctor about what food I should and shouldn't eat. I was told not to go vegetarian, but I avoid red meat and I have lots of greens. I try not to eat sugar because it's cancer's best friend, but that's hard."

Julie feels "lucky" she had a treatable form of cancer, and had been living with the disease for some time before her diagnosis.

She said: "Apart from that I just think I was lucky that I had bowel cancer because it is one that there can be very good results with. I was told that I had had it for four years before I was diagnosed. Four years."

The 'Secret Garden' actress kept her diagnosis so secret, she didn't tell her daughter Maisie - who she has with husband Grant Roffey - or her older half-brothers until after she'd had her tumours removed because she didn't want people to "worry" about her.

She told the Telegraph magazine: "People deal with it in different ways. I couldn't bear the thought of everyone worrying - particularly my daughter. I told her I needed to have my appendix removed because there was a problem. I couldn't say the word 'cancer' to her. She said, 'OK, Mum.'

"I knew she knew it probably didn't sound right, but she also knew I wasn't going to talk about it and she didn't push me.

"She knows me and she understood why I waited to tell her."

Julie admitted she found having cancer "frightening" and was grateful for the support of her husband.

She said: "I didn't want to upset people around me. I wanted to keep it small. Of course it was frightening, but Grant was with me every step. I wanted to wait till I was in the right place and then I had my dramatic moments.

"If people fussed I'd shout I was fine, if they treated me like I was fine I'd complain I still wasn't totally better. But really I didn't want to have to talk about it until I'd processed it myself. I still find it a bit hard to be honest."