Noel Vasquez/Getty
Emily Strohm
March 24, 2015 04:00 PM

Nine months after Joan Lunden went public with the news she had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, the former Good Morning America host has finished treatment and is focused on a new mission in life.

“You go in one person, and you really do come out another,” Lunden tells PEOPLE of her battle with the aggressive form of breast cancer, which included 16 rounds of chemotherapy followed by a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation.

“I’ve always been a health addict for a long, long time, but frankly I can’t think of a more important assignment.”

On her blog JoanLunden.com, the mom of seven has shared every step of her cancer fight in hopes of helping other women suffering from the disease – despite initially wanting to keep her diagnosis a secret.

Lunden ultimately made the brave decision to share her story, announcing the news on GMA and appearing on the cover of PEOPLE without her wig.

“I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t think, ‘Can I do this? Can I really do this? What are the pros and cons?’ ” she recalls of posing without her hair. But, since the issue came out, Lunden says the reaction has been unbelievable.

“I found this breast cancer community to be such an amazing, powerful, compassionate alliance,” she says. “I realize that maybe my treatment is over, but this journey is far from over for me.”

Now cancer-free, Lunden is moving full steam ahead on her mission to save other women.

“Being able to say I’m done and I saved my life, it inspires me to keep motivating women to go to the doctor, get those lifesaving tests, the mammograms, your gynecological exam every year, your colonoscopy,” she says.

Lunden’s memoir Had I Known, which chronicles her fight with breast cancer and how it’s changed her life, is due out Sept. 22 but can be pre-ordered on JoanLunden.com.

Joan Lunden, Had I Known
Harper Collins

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