Brooke Burke-Charvet counts herself as one of the lucky ones.
The "Dancing With the Stars" co-host may have had to undergo surgery for thyroid cancer late last year, but she's fortunate she was able to catch the disease at such an early stage in the first place a move that may have helped save her life.
"I had no symptoms. It was crazy. Not one. Never felt better," Burke-Charvet says of the day she went in for a routine physical and her doctor discovered a lump on her thyroid that turned out to be cancerous. Knowing the thyroidectomy was ahead of her, the 41-year-old tried to arm herself with knowledge.
"Any kind of bad medical news can be very, very scary. I think it's super important to be a good patient, to educate yourself and do your research," the mom of four explains. "Cancer can scare the heck out of you, but what I did was really try to understand everything I could about the process that I was going to be going through."
Burke spoke with omg! a few hours after she helped kick off Kleenex brand Softness Worth Sharing initiative, during which she surprised an under-the-weather winner by showing up at his home to deliver a Kleenex care pack.
"It's sort of that thoughtful gift of TLC that we all need when weíre sick," she says of the delivery. "I'm usually the one taking care of everybody."
That changed temporarily, at least while Burke-Charvet was recovering from her operation.
"Everybody stepped up. It was quite the role reversal. I took a month off, had my surgery best-case scenario. It went so well. My husband [actor David Charvet] was awesome. My kids were great," she shares, adding with a laugh: ìI got to give up carpooling duties for a while, that was awesome."
As for how her children three daughters and a a son who range in age from 4 to 12 reacted to the news of her diagnosis, Brooke-Charvet says each handled it differently, but, in an age of texting, email, and Facebook, she and her hubby always make sure to share news (good and bad) the old-fashioned way.
"I'm a big believer in family meetings," she admits. "I think family meetings are an awesome place to prepare your family for whateverís going on in life and also to give them a platform to share their feelings. I love that."
And at one family meeting, she was able to happily share the news that her surgery was a success and sheís doing just fine.
"I'm so lucky that everything went well and Iím healthy now, back to work. Everything's great."
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