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Christina Applegate Remembers 'Lying My Ass Off' After Having A Mastectomy

Christina Applegate says “lying” about her breast cancer made her be more honest than ever when she learned she was living with multiple sclerosis over a decade later.

On this week’s episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast, Applegate told host Dax Shepard that she allows herself to be angry at MS because of her experience with having cancer and undergoing a double mastectomy in 2008.

“This is the worst thing that’s happened to me in my entire life,” she said of her chronic illness and 2021 diagnosis. “I hate it so much and I’m so mad about it.”

Applegate, 52, said she hasn’t always been candid about her feelings regarding her health.

“When I had breast cancer at 36 years old, I went out and I was the good girl talking about, ‘Oh, I love my new boobs!’ ... that are all scarred and fucked up.”

“What was I thinking?” she said.

Christina Applegate attends the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards. She talked at length about living with chronic illness during a recent appearance on the
Christina Applegate attends the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards. She talked at length about living with chronic illness during a recent appearance on the "Armchair Expert" podcast. Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

The “Married... with Children” star recalled talking to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” in her first interview following her 2008 mastectomy, and “lying my ass off about how I felt.”

While she was able to act happy in front of the cameras, Applegate said she returned home and “fell into the wall and sobbed, because it was a lie.”

“Everything I was saying was a freaking lie,” she explained. “It was me trying to convince myself of something, and I think that did no service to anyone.”

Applegate said that “good” things like her charitable foundation, Right Action for Women, were sparked by the experience. But, she said, “at the back of it, I was taking off my bra and crying every night, and I wish that I had said that.”

These days, the star said she gets more out of acknowledging that some things are just “a downer.”

“It sucks. I’m not gonna sit here and... some people go, ‘Oh my God, cancer’s the best thing that happened to me!’ And I’m like, ‘Uhh, then you had a pretty shitty life,’” Applegate quipped.

Later on in the conversation, the actor talked about making fun of MS as a way to process her pain ― both emotional and physical.

“I make these jokes because if I don’t, I’ll suffocate. I’ll be done,” Applegate told Shepard.

“I’m not ready for the healing yet. I will get there,” she added. “When someone says, ‘Have you accepted this as your new normal?’ No, fuck you, absolutely not.”

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