The Duchess of York opens up about her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on her podcast.
The Duchess of York once again took to her Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah podcast to open up about the medical scare, reflecting on her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery which she says took eight hours to complete.
"It's really just extraordinary to come to terms with a new you," she said on the July 5 episode of her podcast with entrepreneur Sarah Thomson, which was recorded about one week after the procedure. "It's extraordinary. You just cannot be complacent with yourself or life or just how lucky you are."
Ferguson recalled receiving her diagnosis after a routine mammogram showed a shadow, leading her medical team to recommend swift action.
"From the drive from the Royal Free over to the VII, I sort of looked up mastectomy," Ferguson shared. "And then pathology came back a few days later and then, of course, your mind's already gone racing in every direction. And then [I] get a text saying, 'We think it's mastectomy.' Then your mind plays more tricks. And then you go and meet the reconstructive surgeon and you suddenly think, 'OK, we can do this.'"
Her initial confidence waned, she admitted, upon arrival at the hospital.
"When I walked in on the day, I walked straight into critical care and that made me a little bit wobbly," she said.
Ferguson and Thomson had been exchanging texts before and after the surgery, with the former joking about "that lovely morphine smile" she was sporting after it was done.
"I was chatting away," she shared. "I kept taking my oxygen mask off and saying, 'Sorry! It's the morphine.' I got away with talking an absolute load of rubbish."
Jokes aside, Ferguson continued on her mission to urge others to be diligent about medical checkups. In catching her own cancer diagnosis early, she said she considers herself fortunate to have avoided treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or Tamoxifen.
"We must make people realize, it's not OK. But if you're going to get it, then catch it quick," she insisted. "Do the screening, catch it quick and go and say I can do this….It's not bravery. It's not courage. It's about understanding that you're not going to feel as you did for a bit. So don't try and be a superhero. Take many steps, have the cup of tea, trust people. Very important not to be complacent with every single thing now."
Last month, a representative for the Duchess of York issued a statement about her prognosis to ET.
"Sarah, Duchess of York was recently diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer detected at a routine mammogram screening. She was advised she needed to undergo surgery, which has taken place successfully," the statement said. "The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her family. The Duchess wants to express her immense gratitude to all the medical staff who have supported her in recent days."
The statement continued, "She is also hugely thankful to the staff involved in the mammogram which identified her illness, which was otherwise symptom-free, and believes her experience underlines the importance of regular screening."
The Duchess of York was previously married to Prince Andrew. The pair are parents of Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice. Ferguson did not join the royal family last month during the Trooping the Colour, which marked a birthday celebration for King Charles III. She also did not join the royal family during Charles' official coronation ceremony. However, she was in attendance at the concert.
The Tea Time with the Duchess & Sarah podcast host spoke to ET about her life since the death of her former mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, whom she maintained a close relationship with.
"I am growing much more in my own voice now. I think also the queen dying has sort of liberated me a bit. My sense of purpose has always been, for 62 years, 63 years, to be very loyal and to uphold Her Majesty's values," she shared. "She was more a mother to me than my own mother, really, and therefore now she's not there anymore, I feel as though maybe I can be free to be Sarah. I feel as though I'm liberated from my own mental shackles."