Actor Val Kilmer, 60, recently underwent surgery along with chemotherapy and radiation in order to treat his throat cancer. Despite the treatment being against his Christian Science faith, Kilmer decided to go through with it due to protests from his children. The surgery has left him with both a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube. Although Kilmer’s doctors say that the surgery was a success, Kilmer believes that his prayer and devotion to his Christian Science faith are what got him through it. 

“I prayed, and that was my form of treatment,” Kilmer told The New York Times. He noted that the results from the surgery are “from radiation and chemotherapy. It’s not from cancer,” as he points to his tracheostomy tube. “The treatment caused my suffering.” 

Originally, Kilmer did not plan to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. According to his Christian Science faith, Kilmer believes that he does not actually have cancer, he believes that there is a suggestion or claim that he may have it. Kilmer wanted to work with a Christian Science spiritual advisor to pray his fear away so that his body would not “manifest outwardly what can be diagnosed as a malady.” 

Kilmer’s children, Jack and Mercedes, are not Christian Scientists and wanted their father to seek medical treatment for his cancer. “I would’ve had to go away, and I just didn’t want to be without them,” Kilmer said.  

Kilmer is not afraid of death because according to his faith, dying does not mean that he will be gone, it just means that he will not be perceived by people anymore.

Kilmer and friend Tom Cruise are awaiting the sequel to their 1986 film, Top Gun, which will be released in December.

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