Trisha Goddard, host of the nationally syndicated talk show "The Trisha Goddard Show," found her strength to battle breast cancer in her work, her friends and her love of health and fitness.
It's a story she's telling at the B'More Healthy Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center today during a 1 p.m. talk at the event, which will provide free health screenings, health-care enrollment information, interactive workout ideas on site and more.
Goddard shared her experiences on how she stayed - and remains - strong with the Times prior to today's event.
Q: I understand you'll be giving a talk on beating breast cancer and the importance of health and fitness. Do you mind talking about when you were diagnosed and your experience beating the disease?
A: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 after a visit to the hospital for an X-ray on a running injury. The lady doing the X-ray asked if I'd ever been in for an X-ray before and I said, "A mammogram - does that count?" She asked when it was and I couldn't remember so she looked it up and said, "2001 - you're due for another one." So, she booked one and things went pretty quickly from there. So, thank God for running.
I think five days was the longest I took off work - and that was only because the hospital had stuck so many tubes in me.
I play Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger" when I come on stage on my show because there are a lot of elements of survival in those lyrics. I'm living life in the moment now. I'm not sure I've got my groove back, really. I may have looked as strong as an ox in public but, behind the scenes, I struggled.
Being six years out, I'm checked every year, but when I go back to England, I see a surgeon or a specialist each time to get privately checked. I need to be free from worry. It never fully leaves your brain. I do worry it'll return. Not a day goes by when you don't think about that. Anyone who's gone through cancer will tell you that.
Q: What coping mechanisms did you use to help stay grounded?
A: Going through something like breast cancer, you just get on with it and have a different attitude toward life. I'm not scared of it these days. I've just have the mentality, "You need to just carry on."
I could easily have retired permanently and been in a quiet town hiding away. If the team at NBC had not been so fantastic, then I would be definitely living in a house with an extra few dogs, removed from everyone. I could have easily been that woman who was beaten by the disease, but I think my family and friends would go crazy if I was that person at home not living life to the fullest.
Q: About 12 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Cancer. What advice do you have for others battling breast cancer?
A: Cancer will always be a part of my life now, but it's not going to take over. I used to live everywhere but in the here and now. I live in the now these days, I really do. If people think you're going to have the last treatment and that will be it, it's not. There's always going to be that doubt. Some stupid newspaper will run a report on a "Pill That Cures Breast Cancer" - you think you're over it, but you're reading every line. It never goes away, but as long as you're aware of that, you can be kind to yourself. You can't battle breast cancer, but you can get yourself in the best shape mentally and physically to get through treatment.
Q: Health and fitness sound like they're an important aspect of your life. What tactics do you use to stay healthy?
A: I was working out like mad when I was ill with cancer reveals. I was doing five-mile runs if I felt rough, but eight miles if I was feeling okay. Staying fit and working out is honestly what got me through my treatment. If I was a race car driver, then I'd be looking after my car every day. If you earn your money from your body then you need to look good. My fitness and strength has to be a part of my daily maintenance.
Q: Have you ever attended the B'More Healthy Expo, and what aspect of the event are you most looking forward to?
A: This is actually my first time at this event, but I think the Expo is a fantastic idea. I'm a great believer in fitness of mind, body and soul. I'm so looking so forward to meeting new people in Baltimore and talking to them.