Julie Walters reveals she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer
Julie Walters has revealed she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer.
The 69-year-old, who has starred in Mamma Mia, Harry Potter and Billy Elliot, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire that she was diagnosed 18 months ago, when doctors found two primary tumours in her large intestine.
She explained [via BBC] that following chemotherapy, she has received the all-clear. The actress added that her next film, The Secret Garden, may be her final one.
She recalled how she had gone to see a doctor a year before her diagnosis with "slight discomfort" and indigestion. She later returned with stomach pain, heartburn and vomiting - and was later referred to a gastric surgeon, and ended up having a CT scan.
While on the set of The Secret Garden, she received a phone call asking her to come in - and the specialist informed her that they had found an abnormality in her intestine.
"I was still thinking, 'That's ridiculous, he must have made a mistake'. I couldn't believe it," she said, as she added that she would "never forget" the face of her husband Grant Roffey when she told him the news.
"Tears came to his eyes," she added.
Dame Julie told how she had 30 cm taken out of her colon while she was in the hospital. She added that when she came around from her anaesthetic, it was a "weird" experience as she felt "absolutely marvellous."
"I said to the night nurse, 'Is Love Island on?' - because we were talking about it - and we watched it together," she continued. "It was only a couple of days later I thought, I feel exhausted, and a bit low actually."
She added that she was doing "really well" now, and that after a recent scan she had been told she was "clear".
In an effort to keep her diagnosis and her recovery out of the spotlight, she had to be "cut" from some scenes in The Secret Garden - and she missed the premiere for Mamma Mia 2, with her agent saying she had a ruptured hernia.
She explained that her diagnosis had "completely changed" her thoughts and perspective towards acting, and that it was possible The Secret Garden could be her last movie.
"It would have to be something I'm really engaged with [to take another role on]," she said.
"I'm not saying I'll never act again. But I certainly don't think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o'clock at night."