Harry Connick Jr. Reveals Wife's Battle With Breast Cancer After Losing His Mom to Ovarian Cancer
Harry Connick Jr. and his wife, Jill Goodacre, are opening up about her secret five-year battle with breast cancer.
Goodacre was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma in October 2012, the couple reveals in a new interview with People, and had to immediately undergo a lumpectomy, followed by radiation. But 53-year-old Goodacre says the hardest part was actually telling the devastating news to their three daughters -- 21-year-old Georgia, 20-year-old Sara Kate and 15-year-old Charlotte.
“It broke my heart,” she says.
The news was especially harrowing for 50-year-old Connick Jr., whose mom died of ovarian cancer when he was 13 years old.
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“I was scared I was going to lose her, absolutely," the singer says. “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.”
Goodacre ended up having to undergo a second surgery just one day after her first surgery, and has been taking Tamoxifen -- an estrogen modulator that helps prevent the development of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer -- for the past five years. The former Victoria's Secret model admits that she's had difficulty dealing with the side effects, which includes weight gain.
“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 -- that’s been hard," she acknowledges. "It’s taken a lot out of my self-confidence."
Though Connick Jr. has been nothing but supportive.
“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,” he says.
These days, Goodacre is staying positive about her health after passing the five-year mark since her diagnosis.
“We wanted to be well on the other side of things before we told everybody," Goodacre says about why she didn't go public with her cancer battle. "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,” she adds. “I’ll always be a little nervous, always having to get checked, always hoping it doesn’t come back.”
The couple will open up more about her cancer battle on Thursday's episode of Connick Jr.'s daytime talk show, Harry.
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ET spoke with Connick Jr. in May, when the former American Idol judge had nothing but kind words about Kelly Clarkson joining rival singing competition, The Voice.