Robach had her first mammogram at age 40 in a very public forum – on air during a GMA segment in October 2013. She didn’t expect much out of it, so learning that she had Stage II breast cancer a few days later was a shock.
“I started dry heaving,” Robach, now 43, tells Good Housekeeping. “I had no idea how I was going to tell my daughters.”
But delivering the difficult news with Ava, 14, and Annalise, 10, her daughters with ex-husband Tim McIntosh, was key to her treatment, and Robach says her girls got her through a double mastectomy and eight rounds of chemotherapy.
And Robach even did it all while continuing to go to work each day because “I didn’t want cancer to take one more thing away from me.”
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Robach previously revealed to PEOPLE her treatments led to challenging times in her relationship with husband Andrew Shue, 49, because “we were learning how to live with each other and raise kids together” just three years after getting married.
“This was not something I would wish on anyone’s marriage, but I think it was especially hard on a newer marriage. All of a sudden I felt like I needed him in a very needy way, and that’s not my personality,” she said. “When I had my crisis I completely crumbled. It threw everything up in the air. It was rough for several months.”
But thinking back to why they wed in the first place helped them survive.
Said Shue, “We knew what we had when we found each other, and we knew that if we could just get back to what our connection was about and just be honest about the fears, then we could get through it.”