Monday, October 5, 2015

Good Morning America host reveals struggle

TV anchor's marriage survives breast cancer, mastectomy, 'hurtful' People mag headline

Amy Robach, Andrew Shue at Breast
Cancer Research Foundation gala.
Statistically speaking, nine out of every 10 relationships will survive breast cancer, its treatments and its aftermath.

That may not sound so good, with 10 percent failing, but consider that conventional wisdom predicts as high as 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will fail sooner or later.

The positive 90 percent includes me, Woody Weingarten, and my wife, Nancy Fox; everyman John Doe and his everywoman wife, Jane; and 42-year-old Good Morning America host Amy Robach and her 48-year-old husband, actor-entrepreneur Andrew Shue.

Robach, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2013, admitted to People writer Emily Strohm in a series of stories last month and this one that the disease had threatened their marriage.

"All of a sudden I felt like I needed him in a very needy way, and that's not my personality," she said. "It threw everything up in the air. It was rough."

She said she had "completely crumbled" during the crisis.

He, in turn, explained that he struggled to find the right balance when it came to her emotions. "You find yourself walking on eggshells a little bit. Like, did I say the right thing? Did I do the right thing?"

After her diagnosis, which she'd disclosed — with Shue by her side — on television to Robin Roberts, another GMA anchor who successfully battled breast cancer, Robach underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.

She was glad she'd chosen that particular surgery because physicians found a second malignancy that hadn't previously been detected.

But Robach and Shue both had to overcome their anxieties to reach the point where, she explained, she could learn "how strong we can be together. We're a solid team now." 

To get there, they had to "be honest about the fears" and change the way they were communicating. That included not withholding anything from each other.

Robach has also taken out the time to blast People for its negative headline, "Cancer Nearly Destroyed My Marriage," which she told "The View" had been "very hurtful." 

After her criticism, People softened its online headline.

Robach, who earlier had proclaimed that "I'm the poster child for someone who thought cancer couldn't happen to them," had been diagnosed after an on-air mammogram that had been intended "to help encourage women to get checked."

The news anchor has a new book, "Better," which tracks her battle with breast cancer and its aftermath.

Meanwhile, my book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," which is aimed at male caregivers, directly addresses how relationships can grow closer despite the ups and downs of the morass caused by the disease.

Check it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment