9 of 14
 
Less than three weeks after Sheryl and Lance called off their engagement, Sheryl went to the doctor for a routine mammogram and left with a frightening diagnosis. "I have what they call really dense breasts, and so for me to do a self-examination, it's kind of futile," she says. "I went in and [the doctors] found calcifications. I got a lumpectomy, and it was cancer."

Sheryl says Lance was one of the first people she called when she found out she had cancer. In 1996, Lance was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He went on to beat the disease and raise millions for cancer research though his LIVESTRONG™ campaign.

After breaking the news to her friends and family, Sheryl realized she had to fight the disease on her own terms. "Life is messy," she says. "There's no way to make everybody okay with everything and that was a big lesson for me. I couldn't make everybody feel okay about it. I couldn't let everybody be there for me. I had to own it. ... When you get a diagnosis like that, you realize it's all about you. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody can go in and have the radiation for you."
PREVIOUS | NEXT

NEXT STORY

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD