Samantha Harris, former Entertainment Tonight correspondent and Dancing with the Stars co-host, has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the television personality reports she will battle against the disease by getting a double mastectomy for the sake of her two daughters. Harris said she realized she needed to take control, and when she decided to get the surgery it made her feel much calmer about her reality.
When Harris, 40, heard the unfortunate news, her instincts focused on her daughters, three and six, instead of wallowing in self-pity. Unfortunately accustomed to tragedy, the popular television face lost her father when he was only 50-years-old. She has recently mentioned recalling the significance of him not being there to walk her down the aisle. In an act of courage, she has made her personal goal to be there and help plan her young daughters’ weddings. “They better like the dress I pick,” Harris quipped in good spirits.
During a routine self-examination last fall, Harris detected a lump in her right breast. Despite cautious concern and a follow-up mammogram, no evidence of cancer was ever discovered. Although the mother-of-two was grateful for the news, she claims that after listening to her body, intuitively she did not feel certain of the clean slate; she just did not feel right. Her refusal to believe the lump in her breast was benign led her to getting a second opinion, and she scheduled an appointment with a breast cancer specialist. The specialist performed a needle biopsy and a lumpectomy, which revealed confirmation of cancerous tissue. When Harris heard the news, she said she felt like she had an elephant-sized lump sitting on her chest.
The television personality was then faced with two different treatment options. She had a choice between undergoing a double mastectomy or a less-invasive second lumpectomy coupled with radiation treatment. At first, the news was overwhelming, but she was able to pull herself together and concentrate. She knew how important it would be to get the facts straight in order to make an appropriate and informed decision. It was at this point that Harris decided to battle her breast cancer for her daughters by getting the double mastectomy. She was not going to let this diagnosis keep her from seeing them grow up and go through life’s multiple phases. She knew she had to do it.
Although it has been difficult for her to remain optimistic at times, Harris is doing her best to listen to her doctors and trust the positive prognosis they have given her. She wants to remain an active, vital role in her daughters’ lives and be able to hold them and kiss them. Doctors have assured her there is no reason she should not be able to be close to them.
Harris is scheduled to undergo the procedure later this month. Opting for the double mastectomy was not an easy decision, but she claims taking control of the situation made her feel much more relieved. In addition, the television star is not a new-comer to the breast cancer battlegrounds. She has been an awareness advocate and has also volunteered for a variety of charity events such as Feeding America, the Revlon Run/Walk and What A Pair. Hopefully Harris’ history of good works will karmically reward her and her daughters during their own battle against breast cancer.
Opinion by Stacy Feder