AceShowbiz - Clea Shearer has revealed her battle with an "aggressive" form of breast cancer. In a candid social media post, "The Home Edit" star asked for prayers ahead of a double mastectomy, a surgical removal of both breasts.
Taking to her Instagram account on Thursday, April 7, the 40-year-old author announced that she's recently been diagnosed with stage 1 mammary carcinoma. "I have breast cancer. It's a hard thing to say, but it's easier than keeping it to myself," she captioned a photo of her wearing a hospital robe at the Vanderbilt Breast Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "I'm having a double mastectomy tomorrow (prayers are welcome!), and I wanted to say a few words before I do."
"I found a lump myself the last week of February," Clea recalled. "I had been trying to make an appt with my OB for several months, and even when I told them I found a lump, they couldn't accommodate me. I had to request a mammogram from my general doctor, which led to an ultrasound, and then an emergency triple biopsy."
Clea continued, "I have two tumors, 1 cm each, that are aggressive and fast moving - but I caught it early." The Netflix personality later noted, "Had I not taken this upon myself, I would be in a completely different situation right now."
Clea went on to say that sharing her experience "makes cancer feel purposeful" as she wants to convince her fans and followers to "self-examine on a regular basis" and "prioritize [their] health over [their] busy schedules." She added, "It's also important to note that I was under 40 when these tumors formed, and have no history of breast cancer in my family. Even if cancer feels improbable, it's still very possible."
"I have to admit, for the first few days I endured the 'why me' feelings. But quickly, I started to think 'honestly, why NOT me?!' " Clea shared. "I have all the support, resources, and a platform to help other people through this. So if anyone has to have breast cancer, I'll gladly let it be me." She concluded her post by thanking those who always support her as saying, "Thank you for being on this journey. I love our community, and you mean more to me than you'll ever know. [heart emoji] xo, Clea."
Clea, who shares her 11-year-old daughter Stella and 8-year-old son Sutton with her husband John Shearer, told PEOPLE that she was in New York City filming a segment for "Today" show with her co-star Joanna Teplin when she discovered two lumps. "I felt something, a mass, a lump. But I didn't know what a lump actually even felt like, so I was just in my hotel room Googling, 'What does a breast tumor feel like?' " she remembered.
"I went in for a mammogram and then it turned into an ultrasound and the ultrasound came back as 'suspicious and concerning,' which led to an emergency triple biopsy, that same day," she recounted. "The radiologist at that point, pretty much confirmed that she would be shocked if this was anything but cancer, but we waited for the pathology to come back from the biopsy."
Then on March 11, Clea was informed that she has breast cancer. "I think I had convinced myself, because of my age and because I don't have a history of breast cancer in my family, that it was something, but it would not be a cancerous tumor," she said.
"It's crazy to look in the mirror and tell yourself that right now, as you're physically standing there, you are a person who has cancer. It's crazy to say it out loud. It was really scary and really, really, really emotional," Clea explained. "At that point, I didn't know what stage it was. I didn't know if it had spread. You go into a pretty dark place until you have more information."