Cokie Roberts - Knowledge is Power
by Julie McKenna
“Knowledge is power. That is the first thing I would tell someone who has been diagnosed with cancer,” says Cokie Roberts. This is sound advice coming from a respected journalist – especially one who is a breast cancer survivor.
Cokie is a political commentator for ABC News and senior news analyst for National Public Radio with over 30 years of broadcasting experience. In 2002, shortly after she announced her departure from This Week, Cokie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had co-anchored the weekly TV interview show with Sam Donaldson, a melanoma survivor who was featured on the May/June 1997 cover of Coping® magazine. Upon discovering that she had breast cancer, Cokie promptly had a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
“I received a tremendous amount of support – not just from friends, family and co-workers, but from the whole world,” remembers Cokie. “Total strangers walked up to me in the airport and told me that they were praying for me. I received over a thousand letters. People just protected me, cocooned me with prayers and love.”
When Cokie was diagnosed, she immediately began researching her cancer so she would understand her treatment choices. “I was very much involved in the decision making process,” says Cokie. “It is important to learn as much as you can. Fortunately, there is so much information now that is available to lay readers. Investigate all of your options, including participation in clinical trials. Do what works for you. ‘One size fits all’ does not apply to cancer treatment.”
In addition to her work on television and radio, Cokie is the author of the books We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters and Founding Mothers. She is also the co-author, with her husband Steven V. Roberts, of the book, From This Day Forward, and a weekly syndicated newspaper column.
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This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2004.