Harry Connick, Jr. has opened up about his wife Jill Goodacre’s battle with breast cancer.
The former Victoria’s Secret model was diagnosed with a Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma after a routine mammogram in October 2012 and had to undergo a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment.
Speaking about his spouse’s health struggles, Harry, whose mother died of ovarian cancer when he was 13, told People magazine: “I was scared I was going to lose her, absolutely. 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.”
Following the lumpectomy, Jill had to have a second operation after doctors discovered she also had extensive ductal carcinoma in situ – another, less invasive, form of the disease. After radiation, she was put on the drug Tamoxifen, which she has been on for the past five years.
Jill’s now approaching the five-year remission mark, and told the magazine she finally feels confident to tell the world about her cancer battle.
“It wasn’t like we were superstitious, like if we said something about being in the clear we’d somehow jinx it,” the 53-year-old said. “But we wanted to be well on the other side of things before we told everybody. The doctors all say that after the five-year mark, things look optimistic, so we’re starting to feel pretty good.”
However, Jill added that she will never be completely confident that she’s entirely cancer-free, telling the publication: “It’s not something that’s just going to go away like it never happened. I’ll always be a little nervous, always having to get checked, always hoping it doesn’t come back.”
Harry and Jill, who have three daughters together, also discuss her illness on Thursday’s (26Oct17) episode of his talk show Harry, in which the singer tells her in a heart-to-heart discussion that he was terrified that their time together would be cut short when she was diagnosed.
“All I wanted to do was grow old with you and have as many years as possible as I could with you,” he shared. “I wanted to know what you would look like older… I made the right decision.”