As a year ends, we often take stock of what happened over the past 365 days and what we have to look forward to over the next 365 days. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, did just that on Instagram this week, and her post included an update on her breast cancer battle.
In a New Year’s Eve post, the 64-year-old author and mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie highlighted some of 2023’s “ups and downs, trials, lessons, laughter, miracles and joy.” On the bright side, that included becoming a grandmother again and making the Sunday Times Top 5 bestseller list for her historical romance, A Most Intriguing Lady. However, she also touched on her health, after she’d announced she’d had surgery for breast cancer back in June.
Her new post reads, “I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I beat breast cancer and now I have got a Derek on my left.”
Derek is her pet name for her reconstructed left breast.
At the time of her diagnosis, a spokesperson for the Duchess shared that she’d had surgery and was recovering with her family, but that the prognosis was good.
She also used her podcast “Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah” to encourage people to get their regular cancer screenings. She’d said she hadn’t felt like going in for her mammogram, but her sister Jane insisted that she do so.
She added, “I don’t mind if no one wants to hear from me. Because I’m telling you that I am doing this. I am telling people out there because I want every single person that is listening to this podcast to go get checked, go get screened and go do it.”
Her father died from prostate cancer, so she was clear that her message meant all types of screenings, not just a mammogram.
As for her own life, she said that the diagnosis was a chance to change things up and nurture herself. Based on her New Year’s Eve post, it appears that she took that self-directive seriously.
She wrote, “I have had the pleasure of meeting some very inspiring people from around the world with beautiful stories to tell. I have discovered within myself that I, too, have more stories to tell. I am 64 and just getting started. I hope everyone takes time to reflect and to look forward with love and positivity.”