'Disbelief. Shock. Tears': Katie Couric reveals her daughters' reaction to cancer diagnosis
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Journalist and author Katie Couric has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been documenting her journey and spreading awareness about cancer for the past few days across her social media platforms.
In a recent Instagram post, she revealed her daughters are the reason for her prioritizing her health. The journalist announced to the public that she was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 21 through a personal essay published on Wednesday, September 28.
In her Instagram post, she stated, "Hi friends. It’s the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the Screen Queen (lol) is here to remind you all to get your annual mammogram (❗️and ask your radiologists if you have dense breasts and need additional screening❗️)." She further continued, "I was six months late getting mine and was shocked when I found out I had stage 1A breast cancer. Early detection is so important to a favorable outcome."
Then she said, "This #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, help me spread the word that screening saves lives. Share a photo with whoever or whatever inspires you to put your health first, and share it on social using the hashtag, #IScreenYouScreen. I will repost you! Here are two of my reasons… what are yours? #iscreenyouscreen. Tapping you in, @jenarnoldmd, @kchenoweth, @elainewelteroth @hologic."
The award-winning journalist came up with yet another post requesting all women to take mammograms annually. The post read, "Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21st, I became one of them." She added, "As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with you all and encourage you to get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram."
Further she requested her followers to read her essay, "Head to the link in my bio or katiecouric.com to read my essay. PS. Updating this to say thank you for your wonderfully supportive and loving comments. Call for your mammogram and ask if you should be getting a breast ultrasound! And if someone is struggling with cancer, please reach out to them and give them the love you’ve shown me today. Thank you everyone. ❤️"
Katie also appeared on 'Today' show on Monday, October 3, where she extensively spoke about the importance of early detection, mammograms, and how she spoke to her daughters on the diagnosis. She stated, “I’m feeling just fine, I finished radiation last week. They said it makes you tired. I was actually not too tired from it.” She added, “I just feel super lucky that it was diagnosed when it was, that I went, even though I was late, that I went when I did."
Further, the 65-year-old said, "I think there’s something we really need to biopsy and I want to do it today.’ So I thought, ‘Oh my, God, you must be kidding me'." Katie then said, “And then when I found out the next day, she called me. I was pretty stunned, and I think those words ‘it’s cancerous’ or ‘you have cancer’ do stop you in their tracks, but she told me it was treatable. We needed to have a plan.”
Katie also mentioned that she lost her husband, Jay Monahan due to colon cancer in 1998, hence it was tough for her to reveal it to her daughters."I was nervous about it. I waited a few days so I could process it and really understand what we were dealing with," she said. "I told them, but I was very reassuring," she added.
She then explained, "But I saw on their faces, you know, it's just hard to deliver that news, no matter how you do it. But I assured them that I was going to be fine. And Carrie came with me when I got my lumpectomy, when I was being wheeled into the operating room. She was singing 'The Arms of an Angel.' She's so funny. ... They've been incredibly supportive."
The journalist has also explained in detail about speaking about the diagnosis to her daughters in the essay, where she explained, "I didn’t want to call Ellie and Carrie until I had a better idea of my prognosis. Finally, four days after I was diagnosed, I FaceTimed each of them. I tried to be as reassuring as (my doctor). Their faces froze in disbelief. Then shock. Then they began to cry."
Katie further claimed, "Don’t worry,' I told Carrie then Ellie, 'I’m going to be fine,' trying to convince myself as well as them. They’d already lost one parent. The idea of losing another was unfathomable." Meanwhile, her daughters have also taken genetic testing to assess the risk of getting diagnosed with cancer. "It really is a great tool to help you understand what you need to do vis-à-vis screening and how often you need to do it." She added, "And you should be having a conversation with your health care provider about breast cancer as early as 25 just to start the conversation."
The writer further explained the importance of women advocating "for their own health," and said that dense breasts increase breast cancer risk and might require an additional screening. "(Whether your breasts are dense) is not something you can tell by feeling your breasts, if your breasts are lumpy, you have to ask your radiologists, or your radiologist, ideally, should be telling you, 'You have dense breasts,' and then you often need secondary screening." Later, she added, "So, my radiologist compared it to trying to find snow balls in a field of snow. (I'm) just so grateful that they caught it early enough so it could be treated."