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Rita Wilson reveals what she told husband Tom Hanks after breast cancer diagnosis

With decades of marriage behind them and a then-uncertain prognosis ahead for her, the star had a simple message for her real-life leading man.
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attend 'The Post' European Premeire at Odeon Leicester Square on January 10, 2018 in London, England.Tristan Fewings / Getty Images file
/ Source: TODAY

Today Rita Wilson is in good health and cancer-free, but four years ago, it was a different story.

In early 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and with it came fear, uncertainty and a sudden awareness of just how short life is — and how much shorter it could be.

So, like anyone in that situation, she turned to her partner for support and to let him know what he could do for her. And on Tuesday, the 62-year-old revealed just what she said to husband Tom Hanks at the time.

"Four years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had so many different thoughts," she wrote alongside a sweet photo of her and Hanks that she shared on Instagram. "You’re scared, anxious, you think about your own mortality."

And, evidently, you find a way to make your significant other smile in the midst of it all.

"So I had a serious discussion with my husband that if anything happens, I wanted him to be super sad for a very long time," she wrote, adding a smiley emoji to her message.

She had one more request, a serious one: "I'd also like a party, a celebration."

It proved to be an inspirational conversation.

"Out of that story, I wrote 'Throw Me a Party,'" she explained of the single from her upcoming album, "Halfway to Home."

"So when I'm gone, throw me a party / You should dance as if I was there / Don't be sad or be brokenhearted / Just send your voices up in the air," she sings on the track.

Wilson underwent a double mastectomy one month after her diagnosis and announced that she was "100 percent healthy" in December of 2015.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Wedding Reception
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attending their wedding reception at Rex's in Los Angeles, California, in 1988.Jim Smeal / WireImage

As for Hanks, who she wed back in 1988, Wilson told The New York Times he became "even closer" to her as she navigated those difficult days.

"You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this," she said. "I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time."