RALEIGH, N.C. – Former televangelist Tammy Faye Messner (search) said Wednesday that cancer has returned to her lungs, marking her third battle with the illness.
Messner was first diagnosed with colon cancer nearly a decade ago and last year announced that the disease has spread to her lungs. It has since reappeared in her lungs, she said.
"I'm not worried, I'm not afraid," Messner said in a telephone interview from New York City. "By the third time you have cancer, you begin to think about your mortality."
The Charlotte resident was just preparing for the premiere of a television documentary on her experience in beating cancer in 2004 when she found out that colon cancer had returned for a second time to one of her lungs.
The documentary titled "Tammy Faye: Death Defying (search)," on Women's Entertainment channel July 25, was a way for her to help others going through the same troubles, she said.
"I wanted to help people," she said. "I felt with cancer and AIDS and these debilitating diseases, we could maybe show the inside (of the experience) and make it a little less frightening."
Despite her ailment, Messner is planning to continue traveling the country to give inspirational talks.
"I thank God, I'm truly one of the lucky ones," Messner said. "There's always people that are worse off than you are, and that's what I look at to give me strength."
The former Tammy Faye Bakker divorced Jim Bakker (search) in 1992 while he was serving a sentence for financial fraud.