Celine Dion is opening up about her husband Rene Angelil‘s ongoing battle with throat cancer in this new emotional interview with ABC news, after announcing that she will be resuming her Las Vegas residency later this year.
The 46-year-old superstar explained to Deborah Roberts, while wiping away tears, that she cares for Angelil on her own, and helps him eat through a feeding tube. Due to his extensive throat surgery, Angelil is unable to speak and has difficulty hearing because of past radiation treatments.
“He can’t eat so I feed him. He’s got a feeding tube. I have to feed him three times a day.”
When his cancer returned in 2013, she explained, “I had to leave him behind because he wanted me to start the shows again…Sometimes, you don’t feel what you need to feel. You just do it, because I love him, and I did…It was very hard. I realized I couldn’t do both. I mean, the fans, they know, that I’m an open book, and I sing, that’s the only thing I know.”
“I really believe that children know it all,” Dion said. “We are afraid of explaining because we’re scared, because we’re worried. [But] If you tell the kids, like I said to my children, ‘You want to come and help me feed papa today’, and not making a deal out of the feeding tube. ‘You want to help me out? Want to hold the water? You are a good feeder. Good job, Nelson. Good job, Eddie. Thank you so much. Come on, give a kiss to papa.'”
— Deborah Roberts (@DebRobertsABC) March 20, 2015
“We are taking life one day at a time,” Dion added to Roberts. “We are choosing to live.”
Dion put her career on hold indefinitely last year in order to focus on her family and care for 73-year-old Angelil, in light of his health issues. Now, she’s preparing to return back on stage at Caesar’s Palace Colosseum resume her residency with 40 shows, starting on August 27th.
She told People (in this week’s issue): “I am scared of losing him, because it’s bad. But I have to show myself, my husband and my kids that I’m strong and we’re okay.”
“When I stopped performing, I wanted to be just a wife and a mother,” she added. However, “He wants me to sing again, and I want to do this with him.”
As for opening night, Dion remarked on her biggest fan, “René will be in the audience. I promise there will be high, happy notes, but it’s going to be very emotional for me.”
“I’m doing it for him. I’m doing it for my fans,” Dion said to Roberts. “We have a ticket to live. We have a ticket to ride. We’re living, so live. Let’s go.”
Angelil, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999, had a procedure in December 2013 to remove a tumor in his throat. The couple married in 1994 after meeting one another 14 years prior, and have three children together: Rene-Charles, 14, and twins Eddy and Nelson, 4.
See Celine Dion’s entire interview tonight on Nightline.