Selma Blair is opening up about undergoing chemotherapy as a treatment for her multiple sclerosis (MS).
The 47-year-old actress participated in a panel discussion at the Time 100 Health Summit and shared details about her struggle to find effective treatment. Blair revealed she felt “out of options” after nothing seemed to help relieve her pain and was becoming increasingly physically impaired.
“The disease modifiers did not work for me at the time, and I was really declining more rapidly than I found acceptable,” she said.
When stem cell transplant and “aggressive” chemotherapy were recommended to restart her immune system, Blair admitted she was initially hesitant to try it.
“I had no intention of doing it, I was like, I’m not ruining my body, what’s left of it. Why would I put this horrible drug, chemotherapy in me? I don’t have cancer,” Blair shared. “But I was kind of out of options and I was looking.”
It wasn’t until she “immediately felt some relief” after receiving a microdose of chemotherapy prior to her stem cell transplant that the “Cruel Intentions” star decided to go proceed with treatment. However, before beginning chemotherapy, doctors warned Blair of the risks, prompting her to share her concerns with her eight-year-old son, Arthur.
“I was warned,” Blair said. “You kind of make your plans for death. I told my son I’m doing this you know and he said he wanted me cremated...It was a little hard, I had a great support system... I had more chemo than they usually do for cancer patients, because they almost kill you. And it’s the stem cell that allows you to live with that amount of chemo. The chemo is the MS cure, if it does in fact happen.”
Blair, who is currently in recovery, was hesitant to share the details of her experience.
“I haven’t talked about it much yet because I wanted to show everyone that the proof is in the pudding, but my pudding is still kind of scrambled. I don’t want to scare people away.”
Blair said she is now waiting for her hair to grow back after treatment but said she “never minded” hair loss, choosing instead to focus on the bigger picture.
"My dream was to lie next to my son at night and be there as long as he needs me and hopefully do something for people,” she explained. “I've heard so much from people with chronic diseases or MS, and they're scared and they don't know when it's going to get worse."