Wanda Sykes On Conquering Cancer & Explaining It To Her Twins

The decision to undergo a bilateral mastectomy was an easy one for Wanda Sykes. After being diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), the comedian wanted to give herself “the best odds” of beating the noninvasive breast cancer and sticking around for her partner Alex, and their 2-year-old twins Olivia and Lucas for many years to come.

“I made my decision because I love life,” Sykes, 47, tells People.

“My first thought was, ‘Really? Me, breast cancer?'” Wanda recalls of the day doctors discovered the cancer after her breast reduction surgery. “I just couldn’t believe it. But I knew this was doable.”

After a double mastectomy in August, Sykes spent the next month recovering at home with her family.

“I was miserable,” says Wanda. “Every day I had to change the bandages and look at it, and it was not pretty at all. I just wanted my life back.”

Regardless of how difficult things got, Sykes says that she and Alex were determined to be open and honest with the twins about her condition.

“We never hid anything from the kids. They were a huge part of my decision because I wanted to be around for them,” says Sykes.

Now, the mom-of-two says that she feels “whole again,” and is happy to be able to tell her children, “‘Mommy’s boo-boo is much better now.'”

For more of Wanda Syke’s interview with People, pick up the November 7 issue, on newsstands Friday.


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  1. I salute you my sister…been there done that 7 years ago…right breast only….was truly a scary situation….same diagnosis…opted for tamoxifen and right mastectomy….close survellance…so grateful to God for my healing. Early detection will save your life…please conquer the fear and go get your mammos!!!!

  2. Bi-lateral mastectomy April 2000 and reconstruction Sept. 2000 and repeat reconstruction Jan 2010. Actually I usually forget that it ever happened. It doesn’t define me. It was something to do to keep on living and that’s what I’ve done. But ladies, keep getting those mammograms. My daughters never miss theirs.

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