Beautiful People 2020: Sally Obermeder On Fearing Her Cancer Might Come Back
The Daily Edition co-host opens up about her cancer battle.
At 41 weeks pregnant with her first child, Annabelle, in 2011, Sally Obermeder was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.
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The Daily Edition co-host, businesswoman and author could have kept her devastating news to herself, but she was – and remains to this day – very open about her health struggle. This is why …
Did you think about keeping your diagnosis private?
To be diagnosed when you’re pregnant and then have a baby and be faced with not living long enough to see them grow was very traumatic, but I felt very strongly that I should speak the truth. And I contemplated just retreating and hiding, but then I thought, what does that say to other women? What would I hide?
That’s not right, and I thought if, by sharing my pain, one person self-checked or got a diagnosis [and] had an early detection, then it was worth it.
Do you feel like a survivor?
I feel like a very proud and grateful survivor. Sometimes people say, “I forget you had cancer.” But I don’t forget, because every morning I get dressed and it’s like I’ve been through a battle. I’m covered in battle scars. They remind me that you don’t know what life has in store for you.
You’ve just got to keep going, put one foot in front of the other. You have to stay strong. No-one will do it for you. No-one can make you go to chemo.
Photographed for Who by Peter Brew-Bevan
Was it hard to stay positive?
It’s impossible to stay positive. I say to people all the time, “You will fall apart, and you should. But then you will pick yourself back up.” I remember saying, “I can’t do it anymore.” You say it and you cry and pick yourself back up.
Was it hard to feel beautiful?
This might seem superficial, but I still wanted to put mascara and lip gloss on. You’re desperately clinging to old parts of your life. But I realised I felt beautiful for my strength. I felt that I had changed as a person, and that change has stayed with me. I have very deep empathy now for all kinds of things people go through.
In a way, I’m softer, but I’m much stronger, and that’s beautiful.