The widely celebrated E! News anchor and celebrity survivor opens up about life after treatment and lends advice to women of every age.
You’ve been very vocal about your experience with breast cancer. What went through your head when you first found out?
I will never forget the moment I first found out I had breast cancer. When I heard the words, I literally felt like the world was crashing down on me. There was an immediate darkness. The shock turned into tears that turned into anger and back again. My world changed forever in that moment.
What have you learned about yourself throughout your battle?
Throughout my battle with breast cancer, I learned how strong I really am. I learned how truly powerful a positive attitude can be and I also learned that it’s okay to go through all of the emotions that come with being diagnosed with cancer. It’s what you do with that emotion that makes the difference. It would have been so easy to sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself every day, but I realized that I had to be strong and get back up again and fight this disease.
You have overcome more than many can imagine during the last few years. What motivates you?
I am most motivated by my husband, Bill, and our son, Duke. Family is everything to me and I always put them first. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Bill told me, “We are going to fight this. I need you around for the next fifty years.” And that’s what life is about. Living and enjoying every moment with the ones you love most. I want to live a long and healthy life so I can be there for my family.
What is one piece of advice for women who have been recently diagnosed?
Like I said before, keeping a positive attitude is the absolute most important thing when facing a disease like cancer. It’s okay to be sad and angry, but at some point you have to pick yourself up and press on and fight. No one can do it for you, and having the courage to tackle cancer head on is the most amazing thing you will ever do. Attitude is everything. You just have to pick yourself up and keep living.
You had an immense amount of support from friends and family. What advice can you provide for loved ones who are faced with this situation?
I was so fortunate to have my incredible support system of family and friends behind me while I was going through breast cancer. Bill was my rock and I don’t know where I would be without him. He allowed me to cry and be angry a million different times, but he was also quick to help me pick myself up and make a treatment plan. He did a ton of research and helped me decide what was best for me and for our family in terms of treatment. It was so helpful to have someone not only let me feel the way I needed to feel in those moments, but also go into action with decision making. I would advise any loved ones facing similar situations do just that because it got me through.
It is obvious that that you are driven by passion and your personal experience. Is there one phrase or mantra that has inspired you?
I live by the phrase, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” It all goes back to keeping a positive, upbeat attitude.
Is there a particular message we have not discussed here that you’d like readers to know about?
I have been very fortunate to have a platform to help others. Through my experience with breast cancer, I have been so encouraged by the women who have come up to me and told me they got a mammogram or found a lump because they heard my story and looked into their own breast health. I am so proud of my charity, Fab-U-Wish, which grants wishes to women going through breast cancer. I feel so lucky to be able to give back in this way and I can’t wait to continue to help others who are going through their own struggles for many years to come. I also want to encourage other women with cancer to share their journeys and advice with other women in their community in order to help make their journey a little easier. I have also been fortunate to be involved with many other projects that have helped spread awareness and raise money for the cause. For example, my clothing line for HSN, G by Giuliana, has donated proceeds to Fab-U-Wish in the past and I plan to do the same with my new wine Xo, G which hit Walmart shelves on November 3rd. I am particularly excited because it is targeted towards women and feels like a natural fit to raise money next October with a special wine. I can’t wait for that.