CBS News' Lara Logan Opens Up About Surviving Rape, Breast Cancer and the Benghazi Scandal: 'If You Can Take That Many Knocks and Stay on Your Feet, You Can Take Just About Anything'
Logan left Washington and now lives with her family in small town Texas
Relaxing in the backyard of her charming house in small town Texas, Lara Logan feels very lucky.
“I am grateful that I did it,” the 60 Minutes correspondent says of leaving behind a hectic life in Washington, D.C. to focus more on her family.
“It was one thing after another. It was really hard,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s magazine. “But if you can take that many knocks and stay on your feet, you know that you can take just about anything.”
This time five years ago, Logan, 45, was reporting for CBS News when disaster struck. While covering the Arab Spring demonstrations from Egypt’s Tahrir Square, a mob of hundreds suddenly turned on her, and brutally sexually assaulted her.
“The road is very long,” she says of her recovery. “There is just pieces of you left after that.”
Then in 2012, while still recovering from the attack, Logan was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was in a panic,” she recalls. “For me, I knew what to do when I was on the ground in Tahrir Square, I had to stand up. When I was on my way home, I had to start rebuilding. When I saw my children, I had to live. Those things were very clear.”
But when it came to her diagnosis, Logan was at a complete loss.
I didn’t know if I was going to live or die, and I didn’t know what to do with that.”
After undergoing a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation, Logan is in remission and refuses to live in fear of the cancer returning.
But still, there was more difficulty to come. In November 2013 her 60 Minutes report about the attack on Benghazi was found to be inaccurate, and Logan was forced to take a leave of absence from the job she loved.
• For more on Lara Logan pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday
Eventually returning to work, she and husband Joe Burkett, 44, a retired Army master sergeant, made the decision to move with their children (the couple share son Joe, 7, and daughter Lola, 6. Burkett also has daughter Ashley, 11, from a previous marriage) to his hometown in Texas.
“It sort of felt like everything was still looming over you, even if it wasn’t,” says Burkett of their relocation. “I think she needed this more than she knew.”
Now settled into their new life, Logan who’s still passionate about her work at 60 Minutes, has made family her first priority. Shortly before their move, Logan’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia (difficulty reading), dysgraphia (difficulty writing), dyscalculia (an inability to grasp basic numerical calculations) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
“I needed to be a mom, and I needed to be the kind of mom that I wanted to be. I’m all in,” she says. “I really believe in being there for my kids, and I really believe that I can help Joe learn how to read and write.”