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Jane Fonda Admits She’s ‘Not Afraid’ of Death After Cancer Diagnosis: ‘I’m Ready’

Photo Credit: Marla Aufmuth / Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women
Photo Credit: Marla Aufmuth / Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Jane Fonda has made her first public appearance since announcing her cancer diagnosis in September. She’s being very candid about facing the disease.

Fonda attends events after cancer diagnosis

Fonda took the stage at the 2022 Pennsylvania Conference for Women as a speaker less than a month after announcing her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in early September. In a social media post, Fonda wrote, “This is a very treatable cancer. 80 percent of people survive, so I feel very lucky.” She also shared that she has already undergone six months of chemotherapy.

Jane Fonda marches in a climate protest in 2020
Actors and activists Joaquin Phoenix (L) and Jane Fonda (C) march during the “Fire Drill Fridays” climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill on January 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Paul Morigi / Getty Images)

She also added that she was “handling the treatments quite well,” and that she would not let “any of this interfere with my climate activism.” Fonda has been involved in activism for over 50 years, from the civil rights and anti-war movements of the late ’60s to women’s rights, teen pregnancy, and environmental issues like today’s climate crisis.

Fonda on dying: ‘I’m not afraid of going’

Beyond her activism, Fonda is also an Academy Award-winning actress and iconic home workout celebrity. She recently kick-started her acting career and returned to the small screen with hits like Grace and Frankie and Youth. Now, the 84-year-old is focusing on healing.

“Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me,” she shared in an Instagram post. “One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community. Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age – almost 85 – definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”

Side by side photos of Jane Fonda in 1970 and 2022
Left: Jane Fonda in 1970. (Photo Credit: STILLS / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images), Right: Jane Fonda at a Grace and Frankie event in 2022. (Photo Credit: JC Olivera / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight ahead of her 85th birthday on December 21st, Fonda also shared what she’s looking forward to in the future. “[I want to] see my grandkids get old enough so that I go out knowing they’re going to be okay,” she said, “and my work on the climate… I’ll be doing that until I drop.”

More from us: Linda Ronstadt Can’t Sing Aloud Anymore, So She Sings in Her Head

As for facing death, Fonda isn’t afraid of what’s on the other side. “When you get to be my age, you better be aware of the amount of time that is behind you as opposed to in front of you,” she shared. “I’m not afraid of going, I’m ready. I’ve had a great life.”

Elisabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards is a public historian and history content writer. After completing her Master’s in Public History at Western University in Ontario, Canada Elisabeth has shared her passion for history as a researcher, interpreter, and volunteer at local heritage organizations.

She also helps make history fun and accessible with her podcast The Digital Dust Podcast, which covers topics on everything from art history to grad school.

In her spare time, you can find her camping, hiking, and exploring new places. Elisabeth is especially thrilled to share a love of history with readers who enjoy learning something new every day!

The Digital Dust Podcast