Three months after announcing she had throat and breast cancer, tennis great Martina Navratilova is back at the Tennis Channel in time for the Miami Open.
Navratilova said, “It’s great to be back. ... Thrilled to be here. So happy to be working. How many people can say that?” The Associated Press reported.
The 66-year-old, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion and International Tennis Hall of Famer was not able to appear during the Australian Open in January or the BNP Paribas Open this month. Her ongoing treatments make her lose her sense of taste and she lost 15 pounds.
It all started when she found an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA Finals last year, CNN reported. A biopsy led to a stage one throat cancer diagnosis, her agent, Mary Greenham, told CNN earlier this year. Then during throat testing, they found a suspicious form on her breast which was also diagnosed as cancer. She had battled breast cancer in the past.
At first, she didn’t know if doctors would be able to help her.
“It puts you face-to-face with your mortality, No. 1, because at the beginning, I wasn’t sure if it was treatable, so that was hard,” Navratilova said, according to the AP. “But once I got into the program, it was a little easier emotionally, but more difficult physically. ... But I’m still standing.”
The words couldn’t be more appropriate. When she was undergoing her cancer treatments, the nurses would play whatever music she asked them to, and one time she picked Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” a song that she said he dedicated to her during a concert in Paris during one of her French Open tournaments, The Sun reported.
She told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan that doctors told her she’s cancer-free and that she should be “good to go” once she has additional radiation treatments, The Sun reported.
Navratilova retired in 1994 but returned to play doubles in 2000 in some tournaments. Her last championship was a mixed doubles with Bob Bryan at the 2006 U.S. Open a month before her 50th birthday, the AP reported.
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