“Several years ago I was supposed to have quite an intense surgery,” the chef, 55, wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 1. “It was a follow up to my breast cancer surgery, but I had repeatedly put it off and then Covid hit.”
During a recent visit with her gynecologist, the Daytime Emmy winner learned about “a change” in some of her cells. After consulting two additional doctors, she decided to go through with a full hysterectomy.
“Over the last few years I have watched and admired the grace of other women who went public with their own health decision while I sat on the sidelines in awe and with a bit of fear,” the former Food Network personality continued. “Brave women, like my friend’s mother who sadly had lost her battle with breast cancer after it had spread to her ovaries. I admit, I am a little embarrassed that I hadn’t had the courage to get this final stage done until now.”
The Semi-Homemade Desserts author revealed that she would be undergoing the surgery on Tuesday as fans were reading her post. “It’ll be an everything out procedure and after that, there won’t be any more halo of worry hanging over my head,” she added. “My sweet [fiancé] Ben [Youcef] is with me and will be taking a little time off work to stay home.”
“I was early stage and what the beautiful thing is about early stage cancer … is it gives you every option in the world, and that is what I took,” Lee said during a September 2015 appearance on Good Morning America.
The lifestyle expert has since become an outspoken cancer advocate, pushing for laws that expand breast cancer screenings and remove insurance copays for mammograms. In 2018, she released an HBO documentary about her personal cancer battle titled Rx: Early Detection — A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee.
“I was terrified,” the Sandra’s Restaurant Remakes alum told Us Weekly in October 2018, reflecting on her initial diagnosis. “[But] I was going to walk into the operating room with my head held high. I was not going to be wheeled in on a gurney. I was not going to let myself feel like a victim. We are in control.”
Lee echoed those sentiments in her post on Tuesday, noting that she was “scared but also happy” to be putting the procedure behind her.
“I am filled with all sorts of emotions,” she wrote. “We must always remember to have strength and courage. Hopefully this will encourage anyone who needs to get a concerning procedure done to take the opportunity now so you can live as happy and healthy as possible.”
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