LIFESTYLE

Amy Robach Beat Breast Cancer, But Chemo Left Her Struggling With A Serious Side Effect

Date August 22, 2018

Amy Robach's fight with breast cancer

When Amy Robach, one of ABC’s star anchors, got her first ever mammogram at the age of 40 on live TV, all she wanted to do was to urge other women to go get checked. She never expected that the test would show that something is wrong.

Unfortunately, several more tests revealed that Amy had breast cancer. She went public with her diagnosis on Good Morning America.

READ ALSO: By Personal Example: Betty Ford Showed The Relevance Of Breast Cancer Problem

By the time Amy was diagnosed, the disease had already progressed to stage 2. Her treatment included a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemo, and radiation.

Amy took the diagnosis and grueling treatment in her stride. Although it was hard to maintain her usual positive outlook, she pulled through. In her candid memoir, she wrote:

Living with cancer is like your first time on a sailboat: If you’re not used to sailing, it takes a while to adjust to the way the boat heels over on its side. It takes time to relax and accept that this is just how sailboats are and that you’re not going to go down because you’re on a slant and a few waves are coming over the railing.

READ ALSO: Jill Eikenberry's Breast Cancer: How She Bravely Fought The Disease Two Times And What Helped Her Pull Through

Dealing with early menopause induced by chemo

Amy's treatment was a success, and she was declared cancer-free. But there was a downside: chemotherapy left her struggling with ‘chemo brain’ (which went away), and another, permanent side effect: early menopause.

For women who go through menopause naturally, this process may be more or less gradual. It’s a different story when your ovaries are destroyed by chemotherapy. In Amy’s case, menopause symptoms came down on her like an avalanche. She shared her experience with hot flashes on ABC News:

After going through cancer treatments, I thought menopause would be a breeze, but I wasn’t prepared for how constant and powerful the symptoms would be.

The worst one was the first one, the heat, my God the heat! And I’m still suffering four years later. My hot flashes come on fast and strong and I find myself filled with anxiety in the most inconvenient places wanting to rip off my clothes: on planes, in restaurants, in the grocery store and sometimes just walking down the street.

On GMA, Amy mentioned her other symptoms, including irritability, trouble sleeping, skin dryness, and fatigue.

Despite her struggles, Amy is simply happy that she survived. She said:

I’m alive and I’m grateful for that simple fact. I tell myself with every hot flash I have, every new wrinkle I see (yes my skin is incredibly dry in menopause) and with every mood swing I ride, I’m fighting, fighting to see another day.

Yes, I am nothing short of lucky to be experiencing what nearly every woman in the world will feel if she has the incredible opportunity to grow older. It is a gift to age and knowledge is power.

She added:

Menopause is not something to fear. It’s something to expect and even at times embrace, because, well … it beats the alternative.

We are grateful to Amy Robach for going public with her struggles. Her openness has helped many other women who had to go through the same. Keep up the good work, Amy!

READ ALSO: Robin Roberts Got Another Serious Condition 5 Years After Beating Breast Cancer. But She Overcame It And Works To Help Others

Amy Robach Breast Cancer