Joan Lunden, who was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer in June, told TODAY she will be starting a second round of chemotherapy on Monday.
"I had my lumpectomy and that went well. We found we had shrunk the tumor about 60 percent. There was a larger one and the smaller one we had shrunk completely," Lunden, special correspondent for National Breast Cancer Awareness, told Matt Lauer Friday. "As I learned there was no other decision to be made — there are no shortcuts in treating cancer."
Lunden has been sharing her struggle against breast cancer this month: how she revealed her diagnosis to her family, came to accept losing her hair and found the courage to appear bald on the cover of People magazine.
During her TODAY catch-up with Lauer, Lunden said she's found strength from the overwhelming gratitude she’s received from people on social media and her website, joanlunden.com. She said some of the most common questions were about her wig and how she copes with the side effects of chemo.
- How do you make your wig look so natural? "This is a real hair wig; I had a prescription written for this wig, " Lunden said, noting that insurance often pays for wigs since they aren't considered cosmetic. Bring your wig to your hairdresser and have the stylist work on it, with the wig on your head.
- How do you cope with the side effects of chemo?
Chemotherapy can cause nausea, digestive issues and other effects such as tingling in the hands and feet. "I was able to stave off a lot of them by eating clean," she said. She avoids wheat, dairy and sugar. "I stayed active every day. You have to get enough sleep."
For more, read Joan’s “10 things I wish I knew before breast cancer.”