"Breast cancer was not going to kill me.”
While we may already have no shortage of reasons to think Linda Evangelista is a total badass, the supermodel just opened up about her private years-long battle with breast cancer for the first time. In a new interview with WSJ. Magazine for its Men’s Style Issue, the original super revealed that she was diagnosed with the disease two separate times: first in 2018 and again in 2022.
“It was detected in my annual mammogram,” she told the publication. “The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me.”
Linda then added that despite her best efforts, she learned that the cancer had returned upon discovering a lump in her breast in July 2022.
After recalling that she told her oncologist to “dig a hole” in her chest following her second diagnosis, Evangelista remembered explaining, “I don’t want it to look pretty. I want you to excavate. I want to see a hole in my chest when you’re done. Do you understand me? I’m not dying from this.”
“I just went into this mode that I know how to do — just do what you’ve got to do and get through it,” she continued. “And that’s what I did.”
As for why the model opted to keep her battle private until now, Evangelista explained that she just wasn’t ready to share that part of her life with the world while she was actively going through treatments.
“I’ve kept it quiet. Only a handful of people knew. And I’m just not one of those people who has to share everything,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘I will share this one day, but while I am going through it, absolutely not.’ I don’t want the Daily Mail waiting outside my door like they do every time something happens. ‘Linda seen for the first time since blah blah blah.’”
Although Evangelista’s oncologist recently told her that her post-cancer prognosis is “good,” she explained that “there’s still a chance” that cancer could return, adding that she also received “a horrible Oncotype score” (which represents the risk of cancer returning).
“I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode,” Linda shared. “I’ve come through some horrible health issues. I’m at a place where I’m so happy celebrating my book [Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel], my life. I’m so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is bonus.”
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