Former ‘Good Morning America’ co-host Joan Lunden, 64, has bravely decided to appear bald on the cover of the cover of ‘People,’ opening up about her struggles with breast cancer and her decision to avoid a mastectomy.
Joan Lunden made her career out of being an honest and straightforward risk-taker during her tenure on Good Morning America, and she is not slowing down any time soon. Joan announced on GMA in June that she was suffering from breast cancer, and in People‘s latest issue she reveals how far she’s come, why she decided to shave her head, and why she opted for poisonous chemo over a mastectomy.
Joan Lunden: Breast Cancer Sufferer & Former ‘GMA’ Co-Host Goes Bald In ‘People’
Knowing that chemotherapy would cause her to lose her hair, Joan decided to shave it all off on a whim just one day after her public announcement. “You wonder how your hair is going to fall out, when it’s going to fall out. I knew I was going to lose it, so I just decided to own it.”
On appearing bald on the cover, “I decided I was going to try to help others and show women this is not the end of the world,” Joan told People. “You can go on.”
Joan was faced with a lot of difficult choices when she was diagnosed — as she put it, “you go to three oncologists, and they all tell you to treat it in a different way. That’s a really scary position to be put in. It can paralyze someone.”
Eventually, however, Joan decided against an invasive mastectomy or lumpectomy in favor of chemotherapy; the plan is for the chemo to shrink her tumors and then to follow with a minimally invasive surgery in order to remove them entirely.
Joan Lunden: Despite My Breast Cancer, I Am Incredibly ‘Lucky’
Despite everything that Joan has been going through, she is aware that she is incredibly lucky. “What if you don’t win against your insurance company? Or have insurance at all? Or the time to take the better part of a week off to get treatment? How many bosses are okay with that?”
And Joan is lucky indeed — after 12 weeks of chemo, Joan’s “tumors had shrunk by nearly 95 percent,” and she underwent surgery to remove the remaining mass on Sept. 23, according to the mag.
“Breast cancer is a tough, challenging journey, and I want to go out there and help people. I just got handed the opportunity to turn something bad into something good. And that is the most amazing thing,” Joan finished.
Wow — she is so brave! It’s incredible how well she has handled her journey. Our best wishes to Joan as she recovers from surgery.
HollywoodLifers, leave your good vibes for Joan in the comments below! For the rest of Joan’s touching story, check out People‘s latest issue.
— Amanda Mitchell