NBC's Kristen Dahlgren Reveals Her Cancer Recovery 'Has Been Infinitely Harder' Than Treatment

"Cancer is not linear," wrote NBC correspondent Kristen Dahlgren of her road to recovery

Kristen Dahlgren
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC

Kristen Dahlgren is providing an update on her breast cancer journey at the start of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The NBC correspondent, 48, penned an essay for Today detailing where she is in relation to her recovery, writing that her "lowest points have come not with diagnosis or chemotherapy, but at a time when I was supposed to be 'cancer-free.' "

"This time last year, I was hopeful," the mother-of-one shared. "A year out from my cancer diagnosis, I was about to undergo surgery that would reconstruct my breasts and potentially restore the feeling I had lost to mastectomy. I had by all accounts crushed cancer."

"But cancer is not linear. In fact, for many it hovers, long after the cells have been blasted from your body," she added, going on to detail some of the "potentially crippling" side effects of her treatment, which included a mastectomy and removal of cancerous lymph nodes.

Since last sharing an update on Today in October 2020, she wrote, "I have endured three more painful surgeries. One, to reconstruct my breasts using natural tissue from my abdomen and potentially restore some feeling I had lost, and then two more when that was a devastating failure."

"It's important to note my experience is completely different than the multiple women I talked to in researching my surgery, reinforcing the fact there is no cancer playbook," Dahlgren noted in her essay.

"Each of us impacted by this disease is affected in unique ways, and for me, reconstruction has been infinitely harder than treatment," she said.

The reporter and correspondent went on to detail that, fortunately, she has been "surrounded by the most amazing network of breast cancer patients and survivors (or as I now prefer to call them, thrivers)."

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She then shared some breast cancer statistics, including the fact that "as of 2019 more than 3.8 million women were living with a history of breast cancer," according to the American Cancer Society.

"It's a club nobody wants to join," she admitted, "but one full of women who are thoughtful and generous even while dealing with their own medical challenges."

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