‘Nashville’ Actress Alicia Witt Reveals She Was Privately Battling Cancer When Parents Died

Alicia Witt/Instagram

Alicia Witt, the singer/songwriter and actress known for her roles in Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dune, Orange is the New Black and Nashville, recently revealed that she had just started breast cancer treatments when both of her parents died in late December.

According to Witt, roughly three weeks before her parents, Robert Witt, 87, and Diane Witt, 75, were found deceased in their home due to “probable cardiac dysrhythmia,” the actress underwent the first of her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

Authorities reported at the time that Witt hadn’t heard from her parents in some time and asked a family member to check on them at their Massachusetts home. Both Robert and Diane were found dead. In a post made to Instagram Wednesday (June 1), Witt shared that being able to reveal her diagnosis in her own time was particularly important “given the horribly public tragedy” that happened as she was starting her treatments.

She also Witt shared a video dated two months ago when she celebrated her last chemotherapy treatment prior to a mastectomy.

“My beloved, brilliant, collaborative, communicative doctor,@habibdoss at @tnoncology, was there to celebrate with us as I rang the bell! Although we didn’t yet know for absolute certain until after the mastectomy that the disease was completely healed from my left breast, this marked the end of my carboplatin/taxotere, + herceptin/perjeta,” Witt wrote. “I had a tiny crew of human angels surrounding me for all 6 treatments…I did deeply wish to keep my diagnosis private until it was 100% healed, god willing. I’m so grateful to all those along the way during treatment who honored me by protecting my privacy during these months.”

The post featured video clips of the actress struck a gong marking her final treatment as well as photos of her proudly displaying a Certificate of Completion from Tennessee Oncology.


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A post shared by Alicia Witt (@aliciawitty)

One week ago, on May 25, Witt shared a more detailed post about her diagnosis and encouraged, recalling the moment her doctor called her with the news.

“Coming off my 14 city album and book release tour at the end of October, I returned home to Nashville and got a biopsy I’d been trying to schedule on a lump I’d felt for the past several months. (A lump I was told by multiple practitioners, including the one who performed my biopsy, was ‘likely’ nothing to worry about…), Witt recalled. “November 4, I was heading out the door for my friend Cindy’s birthday gathering when I saw my doctor was calling. ‘Oh good’, I thought; ‘I’m about to have confirmation that all is well.’ It wasn’t.”

Wit continued that she immediately began a “crash course” as she learned everything she would need to know to fight a cancer battle. Within a month of her diagnosis, the 46-year-old began her cancer treatments. Now, six months later, Witt has received good news after undergoing a unilateral mastectomy.

“All of the tissue removed (as well as my blood) tested *negative* for any trace of remaining disease. The gratitude overrides any and all else,” she wrote.

Read Alicia Witt’s full post and update below.

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