The governor says he is "devastated" by Lee's breast cancer diagnosis

By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
Updated May 12, 2015 01:10 PM
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he will take time away from the job to help his partner of 10 years, Sandra Lee, through her double mastectomy this week.

Lee, 48, broke the news Tuesday morning on Good Morning America that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was devastated,” Cuomo said in a press statement. “After the news, what followed was a blizzard of doctors visits, tests and discussions of treatment options.”

As Lee undergoes a double mastectomy later this week, Cuomo, 57, tells PEOPLE he will sleep at the hospital that night to be with her.

“A situation like this quickly puts life in the proper perspective and reminds one of what’s truly important,” Cuomo said in his press statement.

“To that end, I expect to take some personal time because I want to be with Sandy to support her in any way I can as she handles the trauma of her operation and the pain of the recovery.”