Wilson says that she no longer feels like “bad things happen to other people”

By Julie Mazziotta
May 12, 2020 12:09 PM
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Rita Wilson
| Credit: Jim Jordan

Rita Wilson’s experience with breast cancer changed how she considered her risk of contracting coronavirus.

Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Prior to that, the singer and actress, 63, never expected to develop cancer.

“You always think that bad things happen to other people — until it happens to you, and you realize you’re not immune to it,” she told Health magazine for their June cover.

That changed her perspective on health in many ways. And when COVID-19 began to circulate earlier this year, Wilson said that she told her husband, Tom Hanks, that they might get it.

“While all this was going on, I actually said to Tom, ‘Before breast cancer, it was a thing that was sort of in the distance or something that happens to other people.’ And then I said, ‘But I don’t feel that way anymore. I mean, who’s to say we won’t get [COVID-19]?’ And then we got it,” she said. “It was so strange.”

Rita Wilson
| Credit: Jim Jordan

The couple are now famously the first celebrities to  go public with their COVID-19 diagnosis, announced on March 12 while Hanks was filming a movie in Australia. They stayed in the country to recuperate before heading home to Los Angeles.

“We had really great medical care, and thankfully we are doing well,” she said.

RELATED VIDEO: Rita Wilson Celebrates Being a ‘COVID-19 Survivor’ and ‘Five Years Cancer Free’ on March 29

Going through breast cancer forced Wilson to accept “a new normal” for her health.

“Once you realize that there’s something in you that is trying to kill you, you have to accept that there’s going to be a new normal,” she said. “Look, I’m five years clean now, and it evolves. When it first happens, you’re like, ‘What is this?’ It’s different.”

Rita Wilson on the June cover of Health, on stands May 15
| Credit: Jim Jordan

Now though, Wilson appreciates her healthy days.

“I’m healthy today. I am not going to take it for granted, and I’m not going to mess with it,” she said.