AceShowbiz - Sarah Ferguson is "very lucky to be alive" after undergoing an eight-hour mastectomy. The 63-year-old author - who is patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust - is being taken care of by her family after the anaesthetic took its "toll," with daughter Princess Eugenie, 33, having "all but moved in" to Royal Lodge in Windsor, Berkshire, to tend to her mother, and her other daughter Princess Beatrice, 34, at the other end of the phone.
Sarah had a single mastectomy and reconstruction with skilled Surgeon Christine Choy and his colleague Stuart James, respectively, as the procedure was "more involved than people think."
A friend of Sarah's told The Sun newspaper's Fabulous magazine, "The surgery took getting on for eight hours and was more involved than people think. Today, the message she wants to get out is that she's very grateful and she feels very lucky to be alive. She wants to thank the two incredible surgeons Christine Choy and Stuart James who saved her life and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her."
The insider added, "Most people usually associate breast cancer with a lump but that's not always the case. A lump can be detected by the patient, but this was a 'shadow', which can go undetected as it's a wider spread of cancerous cells. In Sarah's case, a biopsy was taken from the shadowy area of tissue and a few days later the results came back to confirm the diagnosis - breast cancer."
Sarah's ex-husband, Prince Andrew, 63, is also supporting her as she recovers and she's also received well-wishes from her former brother-in-law, King Charles, 74.
Sarah revealed she almost cancelled the routine mammogram appointment that led to her breast cancer diagnosis. The Duchess of York - who has been helping cancer patients and children for years and also founded the charities Children in Crisis and Sarah's Trust - admitted she was going to put off her appointment because she didn't feel like the journey on a "hot day."
Speaking on an episode of her "Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah" podcast, which was uploaded just after the diagnosis was made public, Sarah recalled, "It was after a bank holiday, and I live in this area - in the Windsor area - and it was a hot day, and I didn't feel like going to London. It's easy to put it off - 'I'll do it next week.' "
Fortunately, her sister, Jane Ferguson Luedecke, persuaded her to go. She continued, "I always normally do what she says because she gets so cranky. She said, 'No, go. I need you to go. I need you to go.' "
A small shadow was detected by the mammogram, and if she hadn't gone, she would have delayed the immediate attention it required. Sarah said, "Had it not been for that extraordinary, they put an injection in you, contrast and it shows the contrast, and it shows them where to go, if I hadn't had done that … it was only a shadow. They wouldn't have found out that it needs to be immediately sorted."
Sarah vowed to get "super fit" as part of her recovery. Her long-time friend Piers Morgan, 58, said moments after he read the news that Sarah had cancer that he texted her and she replied, "Time to heal and nurture me now!"