In this brave and deeply personal memoir, one of America’s most beloved journalists, mother, and New York Times bestselling author speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it’s had on her life.
When former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden was diagnosed with breast cancer, she set out to learn everything about it to help her survive. With seven children counting on her, giving up was not an option. After announcing her diagnosis on Good Morning America, people all over the country rallied around Joan as she went into Warrior mode. Within a few months, after losing her hair, Joan appeared on the cover of People magazine bald, showing the world she could, and would, beat the disease. Determined to remain upbeat—to look in the mirror with a brave face—her resolve empowered women everywhere. The Today show quickly recruited Joan as a special correspondent and continues to follow her progress.
A deeply personal and powerful story of pain, persistence, and perseverance, Had I Known is a chronicle of Joan’s experience and the plan she formulated and followed to battle with her disease and treatment. As Joan reveals, while her journey was not easy, it profoundly changed her in unexpected ways. Her odyssey helped Joan redefine herself, her values, and most of all, her health. Following a new clean way of eating, Joan lost thirty pounds, became more aware of the food she was eating, and avoided many of the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.
Dealing with the cancer also changed her perception of true beauty. Being attractive isn’t about the hair on your head—it’s about the strength and character you bring to everything you do. Positive yet down-to-earth, told with piercing honesty leavened with warmth and humor, Had I Known offers unforgettable, inspirational lessons for us all.
In this memoir, Lunden, author (Wake-Up Calls) and former Good Morning America co-host, shares the details of her battle against breast cancer. In 2014, Lunden's cancer was discovered via ultrasound; an initial mammogram showed nothing out of the ordinary, but she requested the additional exam upon learning that her breasts were dense. The veteran journalist, who has long been an advocate for women's health, parallels her personal struggle with discussions of the importance of additional ultrasound testing for women with dense breasts, and she clearly describes the characteristics of triple negative breast cancer, which does not respond to treatments that target hormone receptors. Lunden emphasizes that each woman's breast cancer is unique, and that each patient needs to work closely with a knowledgeable team. Lunden is well aware of the uncommon blessings of her notoriety; after some indecision, she agrees to pose bald on a People magazine cover, using her public persona as a means of connecting with and informing others. Despite her celebrity status, many will relate to her desire to maintain a sense of normalcy in her family, her fears about death and recurrence, and her courage and strength. Lunden's forthright, informational, and intimate story will resonate with women from many walks of life, and particularly with those who have confronted this formidable disease.