The actor Val Kilmer, 60, is continuing his remarkable journey opening up about a battle with throat cancer in his first television interview in a decade, and telling fans that his disease has not stifled his voice.
Speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Kilmer said his throat and lungs swelled up as result of cancer, but the the tracheostomy surgery has helped him regain his speech despite his voice being altered.Read More
Known for his roles as Iceman in Top Gun and Batman in Batman Forever, clearly Kilmer is no stranger to the screen. However, on Instagram, Kilmer shared a sneak peak of his interview with fans and revealed that this interview marks his first television appearance in over 10 years since his throat cancer diagnosis. In the post, he warned fans that his voice may sound altered as a result of his treatment, but he is still sharing his story.
“You may notice I sound like I have a frog in my throat. It’s not. It’s a buffalo. Though being healed from cancer, I am slowly and surely regaining my speech. As I haven’t let the adversity stifle my voice as an artist. I hope you’ll tune in and follow me on my journey,” Kilmer wrote.
View this post on Instagram
Getting set-up and ready for my interview with Chris Connelly on @goodmorningamerica tomorrow morning. This will be my first television interview in nearly 10 years and the first since being diagnosed and healed from throat cancer. We’re going to talk about my new book and some of the most memorable and difficult moments throughout my life. You may notice I sound like I have a frog in my throat. It’s not. It’s a buffalo. Though being healed from cancer, I am slowly and surely regaining my speech. As I haven’t let the adversity stifle my voice as an artist. I hope you’ll tune in and follow me on my journey.
Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016, but initially denied rumors that he was battling the disease. As a part of treatment, Kilmer underwent a tracheostomy which is a surgery that connects the windpipe to a hole in the front of the neck. The procedure is done when patients have obstructed breathing, throat cancer, or throat paralysis. Tracheostomies can be removed once a patient is able to breathe on their own, but in cases where the entire voice box is removed, the tracheostomy will be required permanently. During recovery, Kilmer has embraced other passions including painting and writing. In his upcoming memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, Kilmer is giving readers the opportunity to follow this journey with him by telling it in his own words.
Cancer Survivors Open Up About Their Disease
Although it clearly might be difficult for cancer patients and survivors to speak openly about their disease, survivors have told SurvivorNet that talking through their diagnosis has been important during recovery and helps people feel supported. Longtime TV news host and breast cancer survivor Joan Lunden told SurvivorNet that it may be difficult to discuss cancer and how it’s affected the body, but no one should be ashamed.
“It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary, and it’s embarrassing,” Lunden says. “I needed to throw it all out there, no holds barred. This is all the stuff that happens to us, and these are some of the things you can do about it.”
Some family members of cancer patients have also talked about how helpful therapy is to talk through emotions. Camila Legaspi lost her mother to breast cancer and explained to SurvivorNet why therapy saved her life while coping with her loss.
“The reality is when you lose someone, it’s really, really, really hard. And it’s totally OK to talk to someone, and I’m so happy that I talked to my therapist,” Legaspi said.