Actor Evan Handler on Life After Cancer
How this 'Sex and the City' actor manages career, health, well-being -- and a new baby -- after leukemia.
A lot of cancer survivors get nervous when it's time for follow-up tests. Do you?
I do have panics that come on me if I have something wrong with me. It's
difficult to presume it's nothing serious when it has been something serious in
Were you anxious about your health before you were diagnosed with leukemia?
It was definitely there before, but nothing to be paid very much attention
to. I was just another neurotic New York Jewish actor, but being a
hypochondriac who gets a catastrophic diagnosis makes you the paranoid person
who is really being chased.
How do you stay in shape when you are filming?
It's very difficult. Exercise wouldn't be that hard, but
it's difficult to motivate to begin with. I used to run, but I don't run very
much anymore, now I lumber. I have been hitting tennis balls against the wall.
Physical fitness is an ongoing challenge. Eating is a real problem both on the
set and when I travel. I am either in a small town where there is nothing good
available or in a big city where all I want to do is go out to good
You mention your family's genetic propensity toward obesity in your new book. How do you fight that?
Luckily for me, I didn't have any of those issues for the first 30 to 35
years of my life. I was the skinniest kid in the neighborhood and the kid who
could eat whatever he wanted without gaining a pound. The last few years have
brought about a steady swelling.
How does one stave off "steady swelling"?
I try to make myself more and more naked every time I weigh myself.
When you were filming Sex and the City, the tabloids widely reported that you suffered from "intractable hiccups" that stopped filming. Care to comment?
It was not true. I have no chronic hiccupping condition. I met a couple of
writers in a bar and was hiccupping and it had been bothering me. That's all.
It ended up being reported that I had them for two years and they disrupted
filming. I got emails from all over the country from people wanting me to
be a spokesperson for hiccup solutions. It's funny, I have had serious medical
conditions in the past and I was never able to get as much press for them as I
did for my nonexistent hiccups.