Robin Roberts' Ongoing Support
- Robin Roberts, 61, and partner 47-year-old partner are taking some more time away just weeks after Amber Laign completed radiation treatment for her breast cancer.
- The GMA anchor has been the primary caregiver for Amber as she has battled the disease since December.
- Caregiver burnout—the stress, anger, fatigue, and illness that can come from putting another person’s needs ahead of your own—is real. It can sneak up on you if you don’t take care of yourself.
The beloved GMA anchor revealed the news earlier this week after offering some faith-based words of wisdom to her fans via Instagram. Roberts’ sudden vacation comes just weeks after she and her partner spent time in “their happy place” following Laign’s completed radiation treatment.Read More
Previously, the couple was open about visiting their “happy place” which fans have presumed to be either in their Connecticut home or somewhere in Key West, Florida. But this time, just two days after Roberts revealed she was taking a short break from the show, the GMA star shared footage of what many would presume to be Italy.
Alongside a short video, featuring some gorgeous scenery and accompanied by Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” Roberts captioned the post, “And so it begins….wishing all a blessed weekend. Arrivederci for now!” It appears Roberts and Laign are spending time in a vacation home in Italy, on a coast that looks like it could be in Sardinia or the Island of Capri, both places which are known for their beaches and rugged landscape.
Although Roberts did not specify where in Italy they were spending time in, she did share video clips of a scenic road beside a beach, an old church, a relaxing set-up overlooking the water, and a photo of the place they are residing in, which she calls “home.”
It’s unknown when Roberts will return to work in September, but she’s been going on occasional trips after Laign finished her radiation treatments this summer, following her February diagnosis.
Earlier this summer, the GMA co-anchor concluded their getaway with an adorable photo of their dog Lukas, a Tibetan spaniel-Papillion mix, sticking out his tongue on Instagram. The Instagram post was tagged to be in Key West, Florida. “It’s time to leave our happy place and as you can see @lil_man_lukas is not too happy about that,” she captioned the post. “Sweet Amber & I are thankful for the time we had to reflect, recharge and rejoice!”
It is also presumed the NYC-based took some time in July to visit their home in Connecticut, a place that Roberts often talks about. “This is going to be our last morning with you for just a little bit …” Roberts teased in another social media post, “that’s because Amber is completing radiation, and once she rings that bell, we’re heading to our happy place,” she said.
The pair’s trip to Italy comes as George Stephanopoulos and Rob Marciano have also been absent from the show, sparking worry among fans. Stephanopoulos went away to Greece with his wife this summer and hasn’t yet returned to GMA.
Robin Roberts and Amber Laign Battle Breast Cancer
Laign and Roberts have remained partners for 17 years. And over the course of their relationship, they’ve had to support each other during many highs and lows – including each of their breast cancer battles.
Roberts, a two-time cancer survivor, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after discovering a lump. Ironically, she made this discovery while prepping for a news segment on performing self-checks.
In addition to breast cancer, which she fought through early detection and surgery, Roberts had MDS, known as myelodysplastic syndrome—a rare type of blood cancer where abnormal cells form in the body’s bone marrow. She ultimately underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Meanwhile, although Laign has completed chemotherapy and radiation, it remains unclear what further treatment she may need.
Roberts, the author of Brighter By The Day, recently celebrated 20 years with GMA, and also addressed Amber’s battle.
“When you’re the patient you know what you’re doing—by your treatment, you have your doctors, you have people watching over you that are helping you,” Roberts began, addressing how her own battle was much different than what she is experiencing now. “When you’re on the other end as a caregiver, you feel helpless,” she admits. “And that’s what’s been so difficult.”
An Important Message for Caregivers
While it is undeniably difficult to be diagnosed with and treated for cancer, family members and friends who care for cancer patients also face their own set of challenges.
“Caregiving is the most important job in the universe, because you are there through the highs and lows,” Julie Bulger, manager of patient and family-centered care at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, TN, tells SurvivorNet. “You are there to support your loved one, to manage all of the daily tasks as everything is changing in your life.”
Caregiver burnout—the stress, anger, fatigue, and illness that can come from putting another person’s needs ahead of your own—is real. It can sneak up on you if you don’t take care of yourself. “It is important to have some things that you can do outside of the focus of caring for somebody that you love with cancer,” Bulger says.
She suggests that you take a walk. Get a massage. Visit a support group for cancer caregivers, either online or in person. And see a therapist if you’re struggling to cope with all of your new responsibilities. Joining a support group and building your support team is often a very important strategy and can help prevent or reduce the risk of caregiver burnout.
Know that you are doing truly important work, and appreciate yourself for it. “There’s so much evidence that outcomes are better when somebody has an incredible caregiver by their side,” Bulger says. Research also finds that caregivers who take good care of themselves provide the best quality of care. “So you are helping your loved one in more ways than you know.”
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff