Tuesday, June 30, 2015

N.Y. governor supports cable star's surgery

Famed TV chef recovering from double mastectomy after breast cancer diagnosis in New York 

Sandra Lee gets kiss from partner,
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in
hospital after double mastectomy.
Sandra Lee, celebrated Food Network chef and longtime partner of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is recovering from a double mastectomy.

He was by her side during last month's operation — along with her sister, Kimber.

Cuomo, who's been the 48-year-old's boyfriend for a decade, has assumed the role of prime caregiver, one that I, Woody Weingarten, author of "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," am totally familiar.

Lee reported that the 57-year-old Cuomo had been "extremely supportive."

The star of "Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee" underwent the procedure last month after tearfully announcing it to co-anchor Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America.

She said she'd been stunned by the diagnosis by her medical team that she was "a ticking time bomb." 

Lee said she hoped her story would inspire women to get mammograms, even though the cancer industry is split on what age those screenings should begin. 
Sandra Lee, recovering at home,
 admires gifts from fans.

Some groups recommend they don't start until age 50; others prescribe 40 as a beginning point.

Lee said that one of the first things she planned to do next was encourage the women in her family to have mammograms. She emphasized that if she'd waited until she was 50 to have the screening, "I probably wouldn't even be sitting here."

Her original lumpectomy hadn't resulted in clean margins, so she faced six to eight weeks of daily radiation. She opted not to do that.

She said, however, that she was opting for reconstruction surgery.

Roberts herself had breast cancer more than four years ago.

According to ABC News, a "devastated" Cuomo, when he originally heard the news, had said in a statement to the media that "a situation like this quickly puts life in the proper perspective and reminds one of what's truly important…I want to be with Sandy to support her in any way I can as she handles the trauma of her operation and the pain of the recovery."

Lee, who lost 15 pounds during her hospital stay, earlier had exclaimed that cancer "beats up your body [and] beats you up emotionally…I wasn't going to let it rob me from one day of happiness."

On her Facebook page, she subsequently wrote, after her week in the hospital and "a rough couple days" — "So happy to be in my own backyard. There is no place like home."

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