Harry Connick Jr. & Wife Jill Goodacre Open Up About The Model’s Secret Five-Year Breast Cancer Battle
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
In October 2012, Harry Connick Jr.‘s wife Jill Goodacre became one of those women. For a candid chat with People, the twosome opened up about the retired Victoria’s Secret angel’s five-year cancer battle. Oh man.
According to the mag, Jill learned of her breast cancer diagnosis during a routine checkup. Although the model’s annual mammogram came back clear, her doctor advised her to have a sonogram just to be safe. It was during this procedure that something was detected.
The industry vet shared:
“They said, ├óΓé¼╦£Okay, looks good. Since you have dense breasts, just go across the hall for your sonogram.'”
After the sonogram, Goodacre underwent a biopsy and learned that she had Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. Jill immediately had a lumpectomy and started radiation. As Harry lost his mother at 13 to ovarian cancer, the hitmaker was terrified of his wife’s diagnosis.
The former American Idol judge explained:
“I was scared I was going to lose her, absolutely. I wasn’t going to let her see that, but I was. I know from losing my mom that the worst can happen. She’s my best friend, and I really don’t know what I would do without her.”
As for Jill, it just “broke [her] heart” to tell her daughters — Georgia (21), Sara Kate (20), and Charlotte (15) — about the cancer.
Although Goodacre never underwent chemotherapy, her treatment has been tough nevertheless. Jill relayed:
“The lumpectomy didn’t come back with clean margins. So I had to go in for a second surgery the very next day. And then radiation absolutely wiped me out. And since then there’s been the Tamoxifen, which I’ve now been taking for five years.”
We honestly are in shock that Jill’s been going through this for FIVE years. While Goodacre is grateful for the medicine Tamoxifen, she has struggled with the side effects the estrogen modulator has caused. Specifically, the pill has caused her to gain weight.
On the hit her self-confidence has taken, the 53-year-old noted:
“I’ve always been a pretty fit person, and so to be just rounder and heavier and not to really be able to do much about it ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ that’s been hard. It’s taken a lot out of my self-confidence.”
We can’t imagine this process has been easy. Harry even noticed how the medicine impacted his wife, as he added:
“It’s a part of how the cancer and the treatment impacted her, and it was a real issue, even though she will always be the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Awwww. Thankfully, as Jill is hitting her five-year mark of remission, the blonde stunner can stop taking Tamoxifen soon. On why she chose to stay silent about her cancer fight, Goodacre stated:
“It wasn’t like we were superstitious, like if we said something about being in the clear we’d somehow jinx it,. But we wanted to be well on the other side of things before we told everybody. The doctors all say that after the five-year mark, things look optimistic, so we’re starting to feel pretty good… It’s not something that’s just going to go away like it never happened. I’ll always be a little nervous, always having to get checked, always hoping it doesn’t come back.”
Makes sense. The couple are slated to discuss Jill’s health struggles in depth for the Thursday’s episode of Harry. In a sneak peek for the episode, Connick Jr. is seen telling his wife:
“All I wanted to do was grow old with you and have as many years as possible as I could with you.”
We’re not crying, YOU are.
At the end of the day, we’re just happy that Jill’s health is significantly better these days. *Hugs*
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]