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Blythe Danner says she is ‘lucky to be alive’ after suffering from the same type of cancer that killed her husband

Lucky to be alive: blythe danner said she

Blythe Danner said she feels “lucky to be alive” after suffering from oral cancer for several years, the same disease that killed her husband, director Bruce Paltrow, nearly 20 years ago.

told the Emmy Award-winning actress, 79 — and her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow People She was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease, adenoid cystic carcinoma, which often forms in the salivary glands, in 2018.

It is estimated that 54,000 people develop oral cancer each year Oral Cancer Foundation.

Lucky to be alive: Blythe Danner said she was “lucky to be alive” after suffering from oral cancer for several years, the same disease that killed her husband nearly 20 years ago; Seen in 2019

“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, but it’s very unusual for a couple to have the same cancer,” said the Will and Grace actress.

She and the duo’s manager have been bumbling together for 33 years.

Blythe was working in London when she went for a check-up. I was starting to get really dizzy and I was forgetting everything, and then I felt a lump in my neck, right next to where Bruce had found his spot. [in 1999].

I remember looking up at the sky and saying to Bruce, “Are you alone out there?”

Oral cancer: Bruce Paltrow died of oral cancer in 2002 at the age of 58, shortly after this photo was taken with Blythe and her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, 50.  The couple has been married for 33 years.

Oral cancer: Bruce Paltrow died of oral cancer in 2002 at the age of 58, shortly after this photo was taken with Blythe and her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, 50. The couple has been married for 33 years.

The American Gods actress didn’t tell anyone, including her children, Academy Award winner Paltrow, 50, and director Jake Paltrow, 47, about her diagnosis at first.

I kept it from my kids for a long time. I wanted to move forward as a mom, and I didn’t want them to worry.

When the Meet The Parents star finally broke the news to her family, it came as a shock.

“It was scary,” Gwyneth admitted. And it just felt really weird because it was so similar [to my dad’s]”.

Scary: When the Meet the Parents star finally broke the news to her family, it came as a shock. "It was scary, Gwyneth admitted.  ’ And it just felt really weird because they were so similar [to my dad's]

Scary: When the Meet the Parents star finally broke the news to her family, it came as a shock. “It was scary,” Gwyneth admitted. And it just felt really weird because it was so similar [to my dad’s]”

Blythe underwent two surgeries, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and alternative therapies to combat the disease.

I had a third surgery in 2020 with Dr. Marc Delacour to remove the remaining cancerous tissue.

“She went through it with great grace,” Gwyneth recalls. I was amazed at how strong it was.

Grace: Gwyneth said of her mother's battle with cancer,

Grace: “She went through it with so much grace,” Gwyneth said of her mother’s battle with cancer. “I was amazed at how strong it was.” (Pictured in Los Angeles in March 1999)

When reflecting on how her cancer diagnosis affected her family, the Broadway star said, “I think we’ve all become stronger in a way. It’s kind of a bummer — this disease and this life. But I’ve had a career and amazing kids and a loving husband. I’m so grateful.”

Now in remission, Blythe continues her work to raise awareness of oral cancer, something she’s been doing since her husband’s death in 2002.

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You can’t get over this kind of loss. Bruce was the heart of our family. And life is much paler without it. But grief is the price we pay for love.

Awareness: Blythe has continued her work to raise awareness of oral cancer, something she's been doing since her husband's death in 2002.

Awareness: Blythe has continued her work to raise awareness for oral cancer, something she’s been doing since her husband’s death in 2002. “You’ll never get over this kind of loss…but grief is the price we pay for love” (pictured in Sarasota, FL in April 2019)