Kylie Minogue on How 2005 Breast Cancer Diagnosis Changed Her: 'You See Everything Differently'

"It's like the earth had kind of slipped off its axis," Kylie Minogue says of her 2005 cancer diagnosis

kylie minogue
Kylie Minogue. Photo: Jamie Mccarthy/Getty

Kylie Minogue is reflecting on how her harrowing cancer journey changed her life.

The Australian pop icon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

"It's like the earth had kind of slipped off its axis. You see everything differently," Minogue, 52, recalls in this week's issue of PEOPLE.

"I remember having had my diagnosis, but the world didn't know. I was with my brother and my boyfriend at the time — we were all in a daze and went to a cafe. The server at the cafe was like, 'Hey, how are you today?' We just kind of robotically said, 'Good, thanks,' and in that moment I just thought: You really don't know what anyone is going through. I thought that same person by tomorrow is going to see the news and say, 'Oh my God, she was here yesterday, and we didn't know.'"

kylie minogue
Kylie Minogue performing after announcing her cancer diagnosis in 2005. John Stanton/Getty

Following her diagnosis, Minogue underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free in February 2006. The experience forever changed the Grammy winner's outlook.

"It's a huge change, and it is before and after," Minogue says. "Now with what's happening in the world, there's a lot of people talking about a new normal, but I think after cancer or any other big, life-changing incident or illness, you have to adapt."

On her new album DISCO, Minogue finds light in a year of darkness.

"Life is a series of challenges and you aim to have as many good times as possible," she says. "At this stage in my life I really feel like life is just made of moments, and the more moments that can be good, try to acknowledge that that was a good moment. Because it's all coming at you, good and bad."

For more on Kylie Minogue, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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