TODAY   |  October 24, 2013

Breast cancer survivor’s optimism is radiant

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Jill Conley, who was diagnosed in 2008 with Stage III breast cancer, sits down with TODAY’s Kathie Lee and Hoda to speak about her journey and how she’s encouraging others to continue the fight.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in this job of ours we get to meet a lot of amazing people doing incredible things. sometimes we meet that one person who just stops us in our tracks.

>> earlier this month i was lucky enough to meet kill connolly at an event called the breast cancer gala. out at the kaymcayman islands. her outlook was so inspiring we had to bring her here to share her story.

>> when hoda got back from cayman islands all she did was talk about you. have you gotten to meet her? she's got a light all around her. she's so full of joy. you really had a huge impact on hoda.

>> when i first met you, you said you were diagnosed six months after you got married with breast cancer .

>> 31 years old.

>> at 31 years old. how did you deal with it at that point?

>> i was shocked. my family was shocked. my husband. i just fought through it. i'm so blessed because i was the best family and support system with my friends, husband, mom.

>> when you stood up before that group in the cayman islands and you got some not great news about a future diagnosis, tell us what that is.

>> about two years ago i went in because i thought i broke my ribs. then after the p.e.t. scan it showed it's in my bones now. i'm battling stage 4 bone cancer. unfortunately it's incurable but treatable. after i found that out, i felt like i -- this is happening for a reason. i'm supposed to be a voice to help other people out there.

>> but that's so different from what would be the natural reaction, which would be why me, god? i'm so young. i'm just in love. i just got married. you don't have a root, an ounce of bitterness in you. help somebody out there that's struggling with that, just received that kind of news.

>> just to know that you're not alone. you know, i've been traveling so much. just to let you know that through this journey, i'm there with you. and so, mine, i have a website out so you can always e-mail me. and i try to respond to all of them. if you do e-mail me and i don't e-mail you back right away, i will.

>> you know what you said? you said in that room, i'm the luckiest girl in the room.

>> yeah.

>> i literally -- the place was weeping when you said that. why do you feel like you were the luckiest girl in the room?

>> first of all, my husband.

>> bart, step out for one second.

>> hey, babe.

>> you have bart. that makes you feel like the luckiest girl.

>> yeah. he's been my rock throughout this whole --

>> it must be -- you know, because i noticed the same thing with you. you have the same light that your wife has. when i saw you, i said, i wonder what he's going to be like. how do you stay optimistic and hopeful?

>> i'll be, you know, watching her do what she's doing. makes me stay positive . makes her feel positive. the support we've gotten from the fact that we're here, this is just -- it's something that makes you want to keep going. she's just spreading the word. it's hard, but this -- stuff like this is what makes it all -- makes us stay so positive.

>> you're in the, like, you're not counting months. you're not living like that, are you?

>> no. i know i'm going to die of cancer. i know that. i've accepted that. i've just always said that when i do pass away , i want to have a legacy. know that i've touched as many people as possible. that's my chemo to me. knowing i've helped and touched people.

>> there's a video video people can watch. when you went to paris. where can people see that? that's so moving.

>> thank you. go under -- i have a nonprofit. jill's wish. it's go on that. the video is on there.

>> please go watch that video. it will make you feel blessed just to know you and to watch you. i want to thank you guys for coming to see us.

>> thank you so much. it's been awesome.

>> oh, my god. thank you. i love you.

>> i love you, too.

>> i want another one. bless you, sweetheart. thank you, bart.

>>> tomorrow we'll have another show. and there'll be some wine.

>> thank you.