On Wednesday, actress Kathy Bates broke her two-and-a-half month silence on Twitter by dropping a bombshell to her fans: The ovarian cancer survivor had to undergo a drastic procedure after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Hey All, sorry for the long silence. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 months ago & am recovering from a double mastectomy,” she tweeted, later adding, “I don’t miss my breasts as much as I miss Harry’s Law. 😉 Thanks for all the sweet tweets. Y’all kept me going.”
Harry’s Law is a reference to the comedy-drama she starred in, which was cancelled after two seasons by NBC, right around the time Bates got the awful news.
The 64-year-old told People early Wednesday afternoon that it was after much consideration that she opted to have both breasts removed — not exactly an easy decision.
“Luckily, I don’t have to undergo radiation or chemo,” she told the magazine. “My family call me Kat because I always land on my feet and thankfully this is no exception.”
In the typical sunny fashion we’ve come to expect from Ms. Bates, she tells People that “doctors have assured me I’m going to be around for a long time” and “I’m looking forward to getting back to work doing what I love to do.”
Best known for her role in 1991’s Misery, Bates is up for an Emmy for Harry’s Law and for a guest appearance on Two and a Half Men.
One or both breasts may be removed as a preemptive strike for those at particularly high risk of developing cancer or for those who, like Bates, already have it, according to the Mayo Clinic, which lists a number of reasons why a doc may recommend removal of the breast (instead of a lumpectomy to remove only the tumor, not the breast itself), including: if two or more tumors in separate areas are present, you carry a gene mutation that puts you at higher risk of a recurrence or if the tumor is very large compared to the overall size of your breast.