The former “CBS Evening News” and “Today” anchor said she learned of her illness on June 21, her eighth wedding anniversary. Upon receiving the news, she immediately “felt sick and the room started to spin.”
“I was in the middle of an open office,” she said. “So I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head.”
Couric also confirmed that she’d completed her final round of radiation Tuesday. The cancer was detected, she said, when she received a mammogram at the suggestion of her gynecologist, who pointed out during an annual pap smear that her last screening had taken place in December 2020.
“I was six months late this time,” she wrote. “I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer.”
Elsewhere in the essay, the veteran journalist noted that the process reminded her “how lucky I was to have access to such incredible care, since so many people don’t.” She also shared information about the prevalence of breast cancer in an Instagram post, alongside a photo of her in what appeared to be a doctor’s office.
“Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States,” she wrote, before urging her followers to “get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram.”
Couric became an outspoken advocate for preventive cancer screenings following the loss of her first husband, Jay Monahan, to stage 4 colon cancer in 1998. Her sister, Emily, died from pancreatic cancer three years later.
Despite her diagnosis, Couric is maintaining a positive attitude, she said.
“I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022,” she wrote in her essay. “And how many times I silently thanked all the dedicated scientists who have been working their asses off to develop better ways to analyze and treat breast cancer.”