Last Updated Apr 9, 2014 12:05 PM EDT
Former "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Samantha Harris has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 40-year-old mother-of-two recently sat down with ET's Brooke Anderson to talk about her health, and the overwhelming emotions she felt when first diagnosed.
"The realization sort of overtook me, my eyes started to well up from tears when I was trying to keep myself calm because I thought the most important thing ... was that I needed to focus and listen to what they were saying ... and make sure I heard the words that they were telling me because there is a lot of information," she said. "I went back for the results of the pathology and I was by myself because there was nothing to worry about or so I thought. It's not like in the movies where they sit you down across a table in their office and say, 'Well, you have cancer.' It was these wonderful surgeons [who] started drawing diagrams and talking as I was on the exam table listening to what they were saying, it dawned on me without them coming right out to say it."
After seeking opinions from three different specialists, Harris is choosing to undergo a double mastectomy.
"I was sick of feeling the way that I did in the days after the diagnosis," said Harris. "I knew I needed to take control."
After making the decision, Harris said she "feels so much calmer" and is determined to be there for her two daughters.
"My daughters are 3 and 6 [years old.] All they're concerned about is to have mommy active, [to] be able to hold them, hug them, kiss them, be there, be present for everything. Having lost my dad when he was just 50 [years old,] I was lucky because I was 22 and I'd had him through my whole adolescence. I developed as a woman, he saw me graduate from Northwestern University and he was there. I'm 40, I'm a lot closer to his age at death than he was when he had me and so those are the thoughts ... No matter how positive of a diagnosis as I have, it doesn't keep the demons of fear from taking over your mind and your thought process and thinking about the girls and thinking about [how] my dad wasn't able to walk me down the aisle. I will be here to plan my daughters weddings and they better like the dress I pick."
Harris, also a former co-host on "Dancing with the Stars," has been helping to raise awareness for cancer long before her own battle with the disease. She supports cancer research and volunteers for charity events such as Feeding America, the Revlon Run/Walk and What A Pair.
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