Julia Volkova beat cancer but 'mistake' during surgery damaged her singing voice
Julia Volkova revealed she had beaten cancer, but a "mistake" during surgery left her with damage to her singing voice.
The 31-year-old Russian – who performed during the Opening Ceremony of 2014's Sochi Winter Olympics – said the mishap during her Moscow surgery had left her initially unable to speak.
A mum of two, she added she'd now recovered from thyroid cancer but needed further surgery in South Korea to restore her voice, which is now soft and husky. Volkova had hidden her cancer from the world for four years, even during the Olympic reunion with her t.A.T.u co-singer Lena Katia – with who she famously kissed during performances.
"It was a critical moment for me. When the surgery was over, I had to open my eyes and start talking," she said.
"But it didn't happen. - I was whispering. Forget about singing. I could not say hello on the phone, people were not hearing me. Many friends and those who were close to me have gone, saying something like 'Ah, Yulia Volkova, she's a thing of the past, forget about her. When I was expecting surgery, all kept calling - 'Come on, we're with you, you are strong, you will make it'. But when it was all over, and they heard my voice after the surgery, they realised they did not need me anymore. Nobody called, even Lena."
She added: "I lost lost my voice because of the doctors' mistake. I mean they hurt my vocal nerve. I had a thyroid cancer. They damaged my vocal nerve."
But despite the pain, Volkova is bravely putting it behind her and moving on: "All the worst is behind me. I never think why or what for," she added.
"It happens, and it means it happened in my life in order to take me through it. It is a certain stage of my life and I believe that such diseases are sent only to strong people. It is only for strong people, even if they do not survive, they fight to the end."
• Interview • 50.12min