“Nothing makes you prioritize your time like hearing the words, ‘You have cancer,'" writes Good Morning America mainstay Amy Robach in her recent memoir Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held On to Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour. The 44-year-old speaks from first-hand experience — she revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in November 2013, a month after she had participated in an on-air mammogram for GMA.
“From the moment my doctors told me the tumor they discovered in my right breast was malignant, the blanket of security I carried around with me my entire life — the myth that I always had tomorrow and the next day — was suddenly shattered,” she writes. “It’s one thing to physically battle cancer… but it’s another thing altogether to mentally take it on.”
Ever the hardworking journalist, Amy returned to her post at GMA the following month and worked throughout her chemotherapy. She even became the morning show’s news anchor in March 2014. Now, after a double mastectomy and eight rounds of chemo, she’s doing well and serving as an ambassador for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “They’re the leading private research center, and they’re working with doctors all over the world to find a cure,” she told Shape Magazine in October. “They want to make breast cancer a chronic disease instead of a terminal one.”
And even though she admits to the occasional dark thought, she writes in her memoir that her bout with cancer has made her more present in her family life with her husband, Andrew Shue, and her two daughters and three step-daughters.
“I am a better parent,” she says. “I yell less and cuddle more with my daughters. I am a better wife. I yell less and choose my words more carefully, remembering we are what we say… I want to leave every room I enter better than the way I found it. I’m not saying cancer is a gift — because if it was I would gladly return it — but now that the box has been opened, so have my eyes and my heart.”