Christina Applegate Has 30 Lesions on Her Brain Amid MS Battle, Recalls Crying Over Her Breasts After Cancer

Christina Applegate is done with hiding. The 52-year-old actress has been battling multiple sclerosis (MS) for years after getting diagnosed in 2021.

And while she jokes about her condition, Applegate is determined to stay honest about her health journey.

"I make these jokes because if I don't, I'll suffocate. I'll be done," Applegate shared on this week's episode of the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard. "I'm not ready for the healing yet. I will get there. When someone says, 'Have you accepted this as your new normal?' No, f**k you, absolutely not."

The Dead to Me star went on to share some of the symptoms she experiences as a result of her MS diagnosis.

"I have 30 lesions on my brain, like, herpes sores, basically, so sores all over my brain. My biggest one is behind my right eye, so my right eye hurts a lot," she said, noting that the lesions present themselves differently in each person with MS.

Christina Applegate at the Emmys

Christina Applegate at the Emmys

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

As for the ways her body responds, she noted, "My hand starts to go weird and then I'll get a seizure-y feeling sometimes in my brain, not all the time."

But Applegate is clear that she wants to be candid about how she's coping with the diagnosis. She doesn't want to sugar coat how she's feeling.

"It's the worst tattoo. It sucks. I'm not gonna sit here and… some people go, 'Oh my god, cancer's the best thing that happened to me!' And I'm like, 'Uhh, then you had a pretty s**ty life,'" Applegate said. "This is the worst thing that's happened to me in my entire life. I hate it so much. I'm so mad about it."

Part of Applegate's insistence on being raw and honest about her MS battle comes from how she handled having breast cancer back in 2008.

"When I had breast cancer at 36 years old, I went out and I was the good girl talking about, 'Oh, I love my new boobs!' That are all scarred and f**ked up. What was I thinking?" Applegate recalled. "My first interview was with Robin Roberts when I had cancer and I'm sitting there lying my a** off about how I felt."

After "lying" about how she was doing while fighting cancer, Applegate said, "I fell into the wall and sobbed because it was a lie. Everything I was saying was a freaking lie. It was me trying to convince myself of something, and I think that did no service to anyone."

Christina Applegate in 2010

Christina Applegate in 2010 at Stand Up to Cancer

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

She went on to note that though good things came out of her public cancer confession, she felt like a fraud.

"Yes, I started a foundation right away. Yes, I did all the things I had to do. And we raised millions of dollars for women to get MRIs who were at risk. Yes, we did a good thing, but at the back of it, I was taking off my bra and crying every night, and I wish that I had said that," Applegate shared. "I didn't like my boobies.  I still don't like my boobies. It's horrible. I don't have nipples. It's weird."

Applegate underwent a double mastectomy in 2008 after undergoing two unsuccessful lumpectomies.

Now Applegate wants to be forthright about how she's feeling and what she's struggling with.

"I totally hate myself. I gained 45 pounds when I got sick from medication," she said. "I've lost 30 pounds in the last few months. Not from Ozempic. I have stomach issues."

Applegate is now co-hosting a podcast with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who also has MS, called MeSsy.


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