Support Through Cancer
- Former “Good Morning America” host Joan Lunden, 72, shared an iconic photo of herself this week, showing her mid-air, alongside a bridge in New Zealand.
- Feeling support from a friend or a husband, as former “Good Morning America” host Joan Lunden has, can help you express your feelings and maintain a positive attitude during a cancer battle.
- Lunden, who was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer back in 2014, recently took to Instagram to remember jumping off a bridge with her supportive friend and former co-host Charlie Gibson.
- The 72-year-old journalist
- Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin previously wrote for SurvivorNet, that it’s “important that you surround yourself with individuals who care and support you throughout your treatment,” which she said can be an “arduous chapter.”
The 72-year-old journalist and mother of seven, who worked as a co-host on GMA between 1980 and 1997, shared an iconic photo of herself this week, showing her mid-air, alongside a bridge in New Zealand.Read More
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Lunden, who was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer back in 2014, replied to some of her shocked fans explaining the jump as “super scary” and “a major rush.”
Responding to some of her fans’ comments, Lunden added that the rope was “actually wrapped around your ankles,” adding, “I don’t think it could break loose.”
“It wasn’t on my bucket list but we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity while there in New Zealand. You only live once!” she wrote in response to another comment.
Lunden spoke briefly of the exciting jump, which took place as she and Gibson did GMA live for two weeks in Australia and New Zealand, in her book, “Why Did I Come into This Room?: A Candid Conversation about Aging.”
“When we landed in Queenstown and made our way from the airport to the hotel, Charlie Gibson and I saw several storefronts advertising bungee jumping,” she wrote. “New Zealand is where bungee jumping started, so I looked to Charlie and said, ‘You know what they say, when in Rome…Let’s find that famous bungee jumping bridge and have a go at it.'”
More On Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
The adventurous journalist admitted “the network executives would never have allowed” them to do the jump, so they decided to “sneak out of the hotel early the next morning with a camera crew” to move forward with her wild idea to jump off a 143-foot bridge over a narrow gorge.
The bungee jump took place nearly two decades before Lunden’s cancer diagnosis, however, it appears the TV host has always been living life to the fullest even after battling breast cancer.
Responding to one of her fans in a previous Facebook post showing her in horseback-riding attire, about two years ago, Lunden wrote, “My mom told me that I was always adventuresome. The result has been the most exciting life!!!!”
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Lunden may no longer be jumping off bridges or getting on board a USS Eisenhower Aircraft carrier, however, she is spending time with her children and grandchildren, which she often shares on social media with her fans.
It appears Lunden enjoys spending time by the ocean in California, alongside pools in Florida, eating good food, and spending time with her family in Florida, or her dog, a goldendoodle named Bentley.
Lunden has always appeared to have an optimistic outlook on life, and now, after cancer, she believes she’s meant to spread awareness for breast cancer.
In a previous conversation with SurvivorNet, Lunden said, “I’ve always loved the quote, ‘There are two great days in our life: the day we’re born and the day we discover why.
In an intimate interview with SurvivorNet about her book, “Why Did I Come Into This Room?” dealing with the aging process — Lunden explained that for her, the quote truly resonates — since she feels one of the reasons she was born was to use her own experience with breast cancer to advocate and spread awareness for other women.
“I probably ended up where I needed to be,” Lunden said.
“Those are the things, when you fight a life-changing battle, that you contemplate — and maybe you would never have contemplated them otherwise. So, when you contemplate those things it sure does focus you on what you want to do with the rest of your life.”
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And although Lunden has been happily married to her second husband Jeff Konigsberg and has had him by her side since 2000, the journalist continues to be grateful and maintain her friendship with Gibson, her former coworker who has supported her throughout the years.
As Gibson turned 80 several weeks back, Lunden took to Instagram to share a photo of her and the memorable American broadcaster, writing, “Happy birthday to my best buddy Charlie Gibson. I am so grateful to have had Charlie by my side as my co-anchor for all those years on Good Morning America. He made going to work every day a true delight!!”
‘Throw it All Out There’: The Amazing Joan Lunden on What Cancer Taught Her About Health
In an earlier interview with SurvivorNet, Lunden says that even before her cancer journey began, having support at work made her time on GMA so much more enjoyable — and a significant amount of that support was coming from Gibson.
“I am so lucky to have spent so many years working, not next to, but with an amazing guy like Charlie Gibson,” she said back in 2020. “We get together, now and then. In fact, we just texted yesterday: time for an update. Just because he’s such an incredible friend. You know, if something great happens you want to call him and tell him. And if something terrible happens, that’s the friend that will be there for you. That’s the kind of guy Charlie Gibson is.”
The TV co-hosts worked on GMA for 10 years together, but Lunden says Gibson will always be like a brother to her.
Joan Lunden’s Breast Cancer Journey
Lunden was diagnosed with stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer, which means her cancer was not being fueled by any of the three main types of receptors: estrogen, progesterone, or the HER2 protein.
Since triple-negative breast cancer is constantly unresponsive to certain targeted therapies, including hormone therapy or HER2-targeted agents like Herceptin, chemotherapy is typically the treatment and there are several options.
“Any triple-negative cancer that’s over half a centimeter or has lymph node involvement needs chemotherapy,” Dr. Julie Nangia, medical oncologist at Baylor College of Medicine said.
Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of the disease and if the cancer is advanced, your doctor may also recommend participation in a clinical trial that involves immunotherapy or targeted therapies.
“She went through chemo and if I couldn’t be at a session, Joan’s girls would be there… it’s all about the support, it’s about the family, it’s about the community, it’s about loved ones,” her husband Konigsberg said while detailing her breast cancer treatment.
RELATED: Journalist Joan Lunden’s Husband Was ‘Amazed’ by How She Bravely Battled Cancer: Celebrating 23 Years of Marriage
He described the community that Lunden created when she went in for treatment, always helping others to feel at ease through their own journeys.
“As Joan would go for a chemo session, she would go up to everybody else in the room who was receiving chemo, she wanted to know how they were doing and if they had that support. She just always cared about others,” added.
Finding Support Through Cancer
Feeling support from a friend or a husband, like Lunden has, can help you express your feelings and maintain a positive attitude during a cancer battle.
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin previously wrote for SurvivorNet, that it’s “important that you surround yourself with individuals who care and support you throughout your treatment,” which she said can be an “arduous chapter.”
Your Support System Matters — Jill Kargman on Getting Through Cancer With Support from Friends
That being said, it’s very important to know your limits on what you can handle during treatment.
“Going through treatment is a very vulnerable and emotionally exhausting experience,” she wrote. “Noticing what you have strength for and what is feeling like too much… [is] extremely important to pay attention to as you navigate treatment.”
A Cancer Survivor’s Ode To Friends and Family: “My Support System Helped Me Heal
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff
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