I was lucky enough to be apart of this project with Katie Couric. She interviewed me and two other amazing women to talk about the toll of a diagnosis. How a cancer diagnosis can be hard on the patient, caretakers, and family members.
The conversations we had were so powerful, validating, and eye opening to the effects a cancer diagnosis can take on everyone involved. Alua Arthur is a death doula which I had never heard of before and I loved everything she said. I wish I had someone like her when I was going through some of those last hard months with Justin.
Kate Bowler is a cancer survivor and shared her experience of going through cancer. Then Katie and I are widows sharing our experience from a partner to a cancer patients point of view. Having these three perspectives made for some powerful conversations around the toll of a diagnosis. You can watch the interview below! Continue reading to see how this all came about and more about meeting Katie for the first time.
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Backstory how this all came together
It all started when I opened my DM’s on Instagram with a message from Katie Couric. I did a double take and thought this couldn’t really be her. I went to her account and saw the blue check mark next to her name and thought, ok wow this is really her account.
Katie kept messaging me and I didn’t think it was really her. I would respond, but was still unsure if this was legit or not. It seemed too good to be true. I know that some celebrities have a team of people who control their instagram accounts so I wasn’t sure.
I got a message from her in January about a project she was working on and she wanted to send me some information on it. I still wasn’t sure if it was legit, but I sent her my brand managers email. I honestly never thought anything would come of it.
A week later my brand manager calls me and she says “are you sitting down?” and I was like yeah why. She responded and said “Katie Couric’s team wants to do an in person interview with you.” I started jumping up and down and screaming. What?! I was sure glad I responded to those DM’s. lol
Our secret project in LA
I flew to LA for the project and I decided to have my friend Brittany come with me for emotional support. She has a ton of background in broadcast journalism and politics. She has done a ton of TV interviews before as well and I knew she would be able to help give me some tips. Brittany and I grew up together and she also knew Justin really well. It was nice to have her there for support.
The location for this project was at this beautiful home in LA. I started to get nervous when I saw all the production lights and the crew setting it all up. It all started to feel super real when I walked into the room where we would be filming.
Meeting Katie Couric
When I found out that I was going to be doing this interview with Katie Couric I started reading her book “Going There” the next day. I wanted to read it all before I met her for this interview. I didn’t know much of her story with her husbands cancer and I found it very comforting to read about. I felt like she was describing how I had felt during my journey with Justins cancer. It really does help to know that someone knows what you are going through. I was excited to meet her and talk about it.
I thought that I would have a couple minutes to say hi and then we would have to start filming, but we ended up chatting with her the whole time. I had a conversation with her while she was getting her hair done and even after filming she stayed awhile and chatted with all of us. She was seriously so nice and knew so much about me and my story.
I was a little nervous for the interview and she was so supportive and kind. It’s so easy to talk to her and she is so great at what she does. I felt like we were all just having dinner with friends chatting. When I was hugging Katie goodbye she reminded me that when she sends me a DM on Instagram its really her and I should reply. lol
The topic of cancer, death, and a diagnosis are all very heavy topics, but I believe they need to be talked about. I thought it was very special to have all the different perspectives of a cancer diagnosis. The cancer patient, the family members to a cancer patient, and a death doula. All coming together to bring awareness of how a diagnosis can effect everyone involved.
I feel so grateful to be apart of this! These types of conversations can be hard, but I hope the more we talk about it the more it can help others. I felt lucky to be around such amazing women! I learned so much from each one and will carry that with me for the rest of my life. It was a day I will never forget and truly cherish forever.