Julie Walters breaks her silence about heartbreaking cancer diagnosis

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  • Dame Julie Walters kept her cancer diagnosis a secret as she didn’t want to “upset people”.

    Back in February, the 70-year-old revealed she was diagnosed with stage three-bowel cancer 18 months prior.

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    And now Julie has explained the reason she kept the heartbreaking diagnosis a secret. In an interview with The Telegraph, the Harry Potter actress admitted, “People deal with it in different ways. I couldn’t bear the thought of everyone worrying – particularly my daughter.”

    The mum-of-one added, “I didn’t want to upset people around me.”

    Speaking to BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire back in February, the actress – who has appeared in the likes of Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot and Calendar Girls – said she’d been given the all clear after having chemotherapy.

    And now she’s had time to reflect on the cancer – which started with two primary tumours in her large intestine before spreading to nearby lymph nodes – Julie has a newfound perspective on life.

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    “It seems unreal now, it seemed unreal at the time, but it was very real. Very real,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s changed me because it’s changed the way I live my life.

    “I’ve let a lot of noise go and now a year and a half has passed. I’ve gone from thinking of my cancer as a shock and something terrible that has happened to me, to thinking in a way it was a gift.”

    Having starred in some of the world’s biggest films, it is a sad prospect that Julie might not act again.

    Credit: Getty

    While she hasn’t confirmed The Secret Garden – the last film she worked on but was unable to complete to do her cancer diagnosis – will be her last, Julie is certainly enjoying a slower pace of life with her husband Grant Roffey.

    She said, “I thought about stopping at 60, but I didn’t. I carried on getting up, pushing myself, working all the time, and then this cancer came and it stopped me, which is why I now think of it as a gift.

    “I thought I would just carry on, but I couldn’t and I’ve been happy.”

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