We're Going to Get Through This

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 31, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: You have seen our colleague Jennifer Griffin covering wars in the Middle East for Fox News. So you know she is tough as nails. But the truth is, Jennifer is tougher than you can imagine.

As you probably heard, she is battling breast cancer. Tonight you hear from Jennifer.


VAN SUSTEREN: Jennifer, I guess we start first with this is pretty rotten. We've got to build up from there.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know what Greta, it is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me. It has been a tough year and I wouldn't wish this on any family, but I'm here to tell you, you can get through it.

Life isn't fair. I think one of the things I learned working at the Pentagon and working with the military and meeting all sorts of wounded warriors who came back and there were a lot of unfair things that happened to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: When did you first get your diagnosis?

GRIFFIN: September 28th. It was eight years to the day that Ariel Sharon took that walk on the Temple Mount. The day that they say the intifada was launched. I thought, isn't this fitting, the anniversary of that particular day, the beginning of the intifada, I started this incredible journey and fight against this terrible cancer.

What is interesting about this breast cancer I have is it's called triple negative. And I think a lot of women when they get that diagnosis, it's a breast cancer that strikes young women.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is rare too, isn't it?

GRIFFIN: It's somewhat rare. It's about 10 to 15 percent of the breast cancers are triple negative. That means it's not estrogen positive, not progesterone positive and not HER-2, which is a growth. It means we don't have what the other breast cancers have where the targeted treatments, the wonder drugs -- triple negative doesn't have that drug, and it is very aggressive and it can come back.

And it seems to strike young women. So I found it when I was nursing. And more and more women I talked to were either pregnant or nursing when they found it. And we need research done now on triple negative and a targeted therapy.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did you tell the two girls? Obviously you had an infant at the time. How did you and Greg decide how to do that?

GRIFFIN: We told them very quickly, within the first week. I was very nervous. It was right here in this living room. It was after Annalisa's soccer game. She's eight. I thought "how am I going to do this?"

They came in and we sat them down here. Kids take their cue from you. And Greg is a very calm person and a very optimistic person. And I just started talking very quickly. I said we've got this situation.

And the only thing that shocked them, they are seven and eight-year- old girls -- what shocked them the most, not the word "cancer." They wanted to make sure they weren't going to get it. We cleared that up quickly.

But when I told them that I was going to be bald, that's when the seven-year-old's mouth just dropped and stood there. Immediately I went into mommy mode and I said, but just like Hanna Montana we are going to go shopping and find the best wigs, and you can choose the wigs, and we can get a different color for everyday of the week.

And suddenly they were talking about wigs and on to other things.


GRIFFIN: Welcome to the wig shop this is where -- this is where we are going to find mommy a wig like Hanna Montana. What color should we get guys?


GRIFFIN: Is it scary the idea of mommy losing her hair?



GRIFFIN: Through this process, we've been totally open with them. There's no "Big C" in our household. We tell them everything. You give me a camera when we started. Amelia our seven-year-old has videotaped me through almost everything.

Watch Greta's interview with Jennifer Griffin

When I went to get my head shaved, because on day 17 your hair falls out when you are doing chemotherapy. And I knew this, so I wanted to preempt it and I wanted to shave it off because I wasn't going to let it just dribble out. I took control of the situation.

And the best thing I ever did was to take Amelia with me. She videotaped it. I shed a few tears and she hugged me. I think it was much less scary for her to see me through that camera as we were going through this process together.

VAN SUSTEREN: You haven't looked sick to me.

GRIFFIN: Well, I attribute it to exercise and nutrition. I keep telling my doctors I've never been healthier. Get me out of this world of cancer, because the moment I got diagnosed, there's enough research done to suggest that with triple negative breast cancer and breast cancer in general you can change your diet -- and I exercised almost every day through chemotherapy.

I choose to do Pilates because even when I didn't feel well, Pilates is based on basically strengthening your core. I thought I need to strengthen all these muscles in here, every little muscle has to be strengthened so I can go in strong to the mastectomy. And so I was almost in training during this period, thinking every day I need to exercise.

VAN SUSTEREN: No processed food for you -- alcohol?

GRIFFIN: No alcohol. Alcohol and breast cancer do not mix.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who is a good eater?

GRIFFIN: Hello mister.

VAN SUSTEREN: He's one year and two weeks?

GRIFFIN: He is one year and two weeks. He is saying what is all this fun? Come here, that is Edgar. Where is your dog?


VAN SUSTEREN: The double mastectomy is Tuesday. Are you ready?

GRIFFIN: What's my choice?


GRIFFIN: I decided after three children I'm going to trade up.

VAN SUSTEREN: There you go. What is the recuperation?

GRIFFIN: I've talked to a lot of women who have gone through it. It is a rough surgery, there's no getting around it. The first two weeks you are pretty much, I think, in bed. Then you want to get back on your feet as quickly as possible, but you have to relearn how to move your arms. You can't lift over your head.

They tell me I can't lift anything heavier than a newspaper or coffee cup for at least possibly two months. I can't lift Luke for three months.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you explain that to him?

GRIFFIN: That is going to be my biggest challenge.


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