Amy Robach: Chemotherapy made me forget being on air

“Good Morning America” news anchor Amy Robach memorably found out she had breast cancer after she was prompted to undergo a mammogram on live TV for a show segment. The 40-year-old then had a double mastectomy and returned to work three weeks later while still receiving intense chemotherapy treatments. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Robach admits she suffered memory loss from the chemo.

“When I was on the air, I felt like I was functional. But chemo is cumulative, so each round it hits you harder and it has some pretty scary side effects, like memory loss,” the mother of two and stepmother of three said. “I would have conversations with people, they would take pictures with me after the show and they would send them to me and say thank you and it took my breath away — it upset me tremendously because I actually wouldn’t be able to remember taking that picture or having a conversation, and for me that was one of the hardest side effects of chemo.”

Robach said she was unable to recall an entire on-air segment about “Mad Men” that she filmed.

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“During the break we had a whole wardrobe change, they picked out a new dress for me and they had us wear 1960s-style glasses and they changed our whole look — but I did not remember doing any of it,” she revealed. “The next day I saw pictures from the segment and I started asking people, ‘Why am I in another dress? And why do I have those glasses on?’ and I was told, ‘Because we did the ‘Mad Men’ segment.

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“It brought tears to my eyes because I just could not believe that I couldn’t remember doing any of it. I figured that out when I was in the moment, doing things, I functioned — but I couldn’t remember doing any of it afterward.”

Robach said she decided to work during the chemotherapy because she needed a distraction.

“I wanted to have something in my life to focus on other than doctors and needles and medicines and just looking at numbers and statistics and waiting for tests.”

The news anchor spoke to People magazine back in April shortly after her final round of chemo.

She said she was looking forward to enjoying the summer, though she knows she may still sometimes feel effects from all she’s been through.

"It can hit you at the most unexpected moments, but it's a reminder of what you've been through. I think they are badges of honor, because I'm a warrior,” she said. “And anyone that goes through this, that's how you have to think of yourself, as a warrior."