Former Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris recently revealed she has breast cancer and will undergo a double mastectomy in the near future.
After getting the all clear following a routine mammogram last year, the 40-year-old said she still didn’t feel right, so she went to see a specialist who found a lump in her right breast.
“It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest,” Samantha said of hearing the news.
The mother-of-two underwent one lumpectomy followed by visits to three specialists to determine her next move. She decided on a double mastectomy.
“I was sick of feeling the way that I did in the days after the diagnosis,” expressed the former Entertainment Tonight correspondent. “I knew I needed to take control.”
Samantha said she “feels so much calmer” since making the difficult decision and is determined to get well for her daughters.
“My daughters are three and six. All they’re concerned about is to have mommy active, [to] be able to hold them, hug them, kiss them, be there, be present for everything,” said the star.
“Having lost my dad when he was just 50 [years old,] I was lucky because I was 22 and I’d had him through my whole adolescence…I will be here to plan my daughters weddings and they better like the dress I pick,” she joked.
After announcing the news on ET, Samantha thanked fans for their encouragement via Twitter:
Thks for the well wishes, kindness & support. It means so much to me & my family! It’s a tough road but I’m here to stand up & fight cancer.
— Samantha Harris (@SamanthaHarris) April 9, 2014
The brunette beauty’s former co-host Tom Bergeron also sent his best wishes, tweeting: “Join me in sending positive thoughts and prayers to my former @DancingABC co-host @SamanthaHarris as she kicks cancer’s ass #standuptocancer.”
As did pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy:
Couldn’t be more proud of my girl @SamanthaHarris in her fight with cancer! Please send her all of your love and support!
— Maksim Chmerkovskiy (@MaksimC) April 9, 2014
Watch Samantha’s emotional announcement below: