In an essay on her website titled “Why NOT Me?,” the legendary TV newscaster revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
In the essay, Katie reveals that she found out about her diagnosis on June 21 — the first day of summer, and the day of her and husband John Molner’s eighth wedding anniversary.
“I felt sick and the room started to spin,” she recalled while describing what was going on in her head when she received the call from her doctor. “‘What does this mean? Will I need a mastectomy? Will I need chemo? What will the next weeks, months, even years look like?'”
She also detailed her family’s history with cancer, and how it affected her receiving the news. “My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation,” she said. “Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from ‘Why me?’ to ‘Why not me?'”
Katie’s cancer turned out to be “highly treatable,” and after undergoing “breast conservation” surgery and several months of treatment, she completed her final round of radiation yesterday.
In the wake of her diagnosis, Katie is encouraging people to keep up with their regular mammogram checks as well.
“Please get your annual mammogram,” she wrote. “I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer.”
“But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening. Forty-five percent of women in this country (yes, nearly half) have dense breasts, which can make it difficult for mammograms alone to detect abnormalities.”
“I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022,” she also reflected on her diagnosis and treatment. “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.”
“But to reap the benefits of modern medicine, we need to stay on top of our screenings, advocate for ourselves, and make sure everyone has access to the diagnostic tools that could very well save their life.”