Joan Lunden “Can See the Finish Line” in Her Breast Cancer Journey

Former GMA host Joan Lunden told  Today’s Matt Lauer that she “can finally see the finish line” in journey with breast cancer.

Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer last June and after a lumpectomy,  finished 16 rounds of chemotherapy in December.

Now she is now starting radiation therapy ( 5 days/week for 6 weeks) as “an insurance policy that I’ll never have to go through this again.”

Joan also gave viewers her  7 tips for dealing with breast cancer or any health crisis. They are:

“1. Don’t read the Internet. “It can be a scary place. I worked hard to stay ‘offline’ and boy, am I glad I did. Too much information can be confusing and often misleading, especially as it pertains to our health. Remember, every patient is different,” she said. Stick to expert advice from people in charge of your care.

2. Ask your doctor lots of questions. Physicians can sometimes be intimidating, but don’t let them. Approach your doctor appointments as you would a business meeting: Prepare an agenda and a list of questions to make the most of your time. We are all our own health advocates. Find the answers to anything that you’re not clear about.

3. Seek out support. “I hear from too many women who are fighting their fight alone,” Lunden said. Whether it’s with family, friends, online forums or social media, find a support group. Sharing information in groups can be therapeutic. Lunden learned there are also many local community programs across the country, often hosted by larger cancer organizations, that offer great events in the area. Check with your local hospital for information.

4. Understand there are no short-term solutions. Facing a health crisis can be very be overwhelming and for many people, treatment plans can require a lot of steps. But there are no shortcuts. Realize it’s only a few weeks or months out of your life.

5. Don’t let a bad day become a whole bad week or month. We all have our moments, but be sure to make an effort to stay positive. Keep things in perspective and stay optimistic.

6. Write yourself a prescription for a positive attitude. This is sometimes more important than your medications. Approach each day with positivity and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.

7. Be social. Even a walk outside or a movie with a good friend can can change your entire mood. It’s important to interact with others and surround yourself with love and friendship. “

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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