Published May 5, 2021
Good Morning America anchor and breast cancer survivor Amy Robach is counting her blessings and reminding us what is important in life: cherishing every moment of it.
The wife and mother, 48, who has been in remission for seven years, is appreciating staying present, and celebrating with friends after receiving good news of another positive scan.
“It’s days like these – when your friends rally to support you – that I truly understand what life is all about – love, friendship, connection,” she wrote on Instagram with an emoji heart. “Surviving is one thing, thriving is another and twice a year when I get my testing done it’s a humbling day, a reset button, another pinch to remember why we are here and that all we have is right now.”
She included a photo of a celebratory girls day out.
The journalist has two teenage daughters, Ava and Analise, with her ex-husband, actor Tim McIntosh; she has been married to actor Andrew Shue since 2010. Robach also has three step-sons with the former Melrose Place star.
Robach agreed to get a live mammogram in front of millions of people on Good Morning America as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign in 2013; she never thought that the results would actually come back positive.
She had stage 2 invasive breast cancer.
The TV host admitted to SurvivorNet in a prior interview that she took the shocking news poorly and was even angry at her current husband for not reacting the way she wanted him to.
“I don’t know how other people handle that news, but I didn’t handle it well,” Robach said. “I became an absolute wreck, a total mess. I had my husband on speaker phone at the time of diagnosis because he was 3,000 miles away … I remember the radiologist, because my husband said nothing, we were all shocked beyond belief, said into the phone, ‘Mr. Shue, your wife’s not taking the news very well.’ …trying to get him to say something.”
“I had an idea of what he should be doing, what he should be saying, what he should be feeling, and if he didn’t do any of those things the way I wanted him to, or what I thought I needed, I was extra upset and extra angry.”
She said they were already struggling when she got the cancer diagnosis. “So this kind of threw everything into a further tailspin, until it didn’t … until we realized that we were only stronger together and that we had to give each other a break.”
She opted for a double mastectomy, and had to face the fact that she was unable to have a child with Shue due to side effects from her treatment. They had been trying to conceive when she was diagnosed.
Robach has physically and emotionally come a long way since, and has taken the advice of her husband to appreciate life more.
“My husband coined a phrase that I remind myself of everyday: ‘Don’t die before you die.’ I have used that, instead of feeling like I’m a victim, like this happened to me, I really feel like, what can I do to make my body stronger? So for me, I’ve been weight lifting and running. I’ve taken some control back. I might not have the breasts I once had, but I’ve got guns I never had before.”
Many cancer patients often say that waiting for the results for a scan is sometimes more difficult than the diagnosis itself. We know that with cancer, sadly, no one is truly ever “safe.” However, the more years that go by, the less anxious survivors tend to be since as we know, the first 5 years are crucial overall, and for some types of cancers, guidelines tend to say 10 years.
It’s scary to just sit back and wait for something you can’t control. But, one thing you can control is being healthy and taking care of your body, like Robach who has used running to feel more in control of her life.
Dr. Ken Miller from University of Maryland School of Medicine tells SurvivorNet the most important ways to stay healthy in between scans to help prevent another cancer diagnosis.
Recommendations for a Healthy Lifestyle One Doctor’s Advice for Cancer Survivors