(ABC/Nicolette Cain) Breast cancer patient Sarah Weimer opens up about her breast cancer journey on “The View” on Oct. 17, 2019, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.(NEW YORK) — For Sarah Weimer, a 36-year-old mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer, the “hardest thing” wasn’t the side effects of chemotherapy but telling her six children that “mommy has breast cancer,” she told The View on Thursday.
Weimer, who is from Idaho, was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer earlier this year. She opened up about her journey on Thursday, speaking about the warning signs that she had missed months before her diagnosis and the ongoing treatment she expects to face in the future.
The whole world felt like it had stopped, Weimer said of the moment her breast cancer diagnosis was confirmed. “No one ever wants to hear those words: ‘cancer’ or ‘you have cancer,'” she said.
“The hardest thing was to tell my kids mommy has breast cancer,” she said tearfully. “My two older ones, I could see the fear in their eyes a little bit. I could see them being scared and they knew instantly that it was serious, and that was really hard for me to stay strong in that moment. We just ended our conversation with hope and with, you know, we know where our strength comes from, and as a family, we’re going to work together.”
Summur Shaikh, a producer for The View who was successfully treated for breast cancer earlier this year, found Weimer’s story online. She said the story “stuck out” for her because they were both diagnosed at the same age and Weimer’s “positivity really inspired” her.
“I have always been a positive person, but dealing with cancer, you could easily get into a very dark place,” Weimer said on Thursday. “I knew that wasn’t how I wanted to live my life. I chose to focus on waking up and just being thankful that I have another day to be here, being thankful I have another day to be with my kids.”
As a mother of six, Weimer admitted that she didn’t prioritize her health as much as she should have.
“I first noticed [in] the beginning of this year [that] something was different,” Weimer said, referring to her early signs of breast cancer. “I thought, ‘OK, maybe it’s an infection. Maybe it’s just something minor. Maybe it’s hormonal.’ There was one day where I really looked in the mirror and realized my breasts were literally two different sizes and that’s when I decided to call the doctor.”
Weimer explained to Whoopi Goldberg, who grappled with her own health issues earlier this year, why she waited so long to see a doctor.
“As a mom, I’m just busy and life happens, and we don’t make the time to stop and take care of ourselves. We’re taking care of our kids, our house, our family, our job, and we forget to stop and say, ‘Wait a minute. Am I okay? Is anything going on with me?'”
“I didn’t take the time for myself like I should have,” she continued. “I was thinking, ‘It’s going to go away. It’s nothing serious.’ And when I realized the changes continued to get more aggressive, I just had a sinking feeling.”
With no other options, Weimer had to put her breast cancer treatment before anything else to save her life and be there for her family. She sought treatment three hours from her home at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, which was founded by The View co-host Abby Huntsman’s grandfather, Jon Huntsman, who passed away from prostate cancer in 2018.
Jon Huntsman’s wife, Karen Huntsman, had designed parts of the hospital and she was seated in The View‘s audience on Thursday.
“I want to say thank you, Grandma,” Weimer said to Karen Huntsman. “Thank you for having a wonderful family because I know that the investment over at Huntsman means a lot to my family and to my life.”
In September, Weimer underwent a double mastectomy and what she thought was her last round of chemotherapy treatments. After the surgery, however, her doctors informed her that the cancer had spread and that she would have to restart chemotherapy.
“Cancer is life-threatening and it’s really important that you go to a facility that is going to be well taken care of, and they’re going to take care of your needs and have the best outcome,” Weimer said. “I really just love Huntsmans in general. The view of Salt Lake is gorgeous, so I’m just so, so grateful that I have a great place.”
After hearing of Weimer’s story, Ford Motor Company’s Warriors in Pink donated $20,000 to support her to journey to recovery.
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