The much-loved House Husbands star tells how her family beat cancer.
As Julia Morris and husband Dan Thomas sat in a doctor’s waiting room a few days before Christmas last year, they never imagined their lives were about to be changed forever. A few minutes later, Dan was told he had breast cancer. “It was a huge shock,” says the 44-year-old comedian and actress, during a candid chat with Woman’s Day on the Melbourne set of her hit TV show House Husbands.
Welsh-born comedian and illustrator Dan never dreamed he’d hear the C-word when he returned to the doctor after a minor, unrelated operation. “He’d had an umbilical hernia operated on,” Julia recalls. “The surgeon, who’s a really old family friend, said, ‘I might just take that [breast lump] out anyway.’” The diagnosis – which accounts for less than one per cent of all cancers in men – was truly a bolt from the blue. “When we went back to see the surgeon, we were laughing and joking. He kind of had to bring us under control to have a moment.”
Almost four months later, Julia and Dan, who have two daughters, Ruby, 6, and Sophie, 4, are counting their blessings. “He’s made a slow, but terrific recovery,” Julia reveals. “And you know what? He’s terribly, terribly lucky. We’ve definitely had a full reset of, you know, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ “You don’t need an illness to remind you [of that], but it’s pretty hard – if you wake up alive, you are living the dream. The rest is whatever you make of it, every single moment.” And funnygirl Julia truly believes that laughter is the best medicine. “Humour has got us through it, even though it’s not a funny disease,” she says.
“It’s not your dream come true, obviously – it’s not the best news. But I think you try to keep everything normal because something so abnormal is happening to you. Maybe that’s what it is. “I don’t even think we still have realised properly what’s happened to us. We’re getting a vague understanding of it… you just go to ‘business as usual’, particularly if you have little people.”
Read more about how Julie and Dan are making every moment count in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday April 8, 2013.