(NEW YORK) — Sandra Lee opened up on social media about the latest on her yearslong breast cancer journey, sharing the news with her 119,000 followers that she was going in for hysterectomy surgery.

The former Food Network star of Semi-Homemade fame, cookbook author and expert of all things home and kitchen snapped a selfie with a caption detailing the health decision and hailed the grace and bravery of other women who have undergone the procedure.

Shortly before the operation Lee explained on Instagram Tuesday that she “repeatedly” put off this “intense surgery” that was meant to be a follow-up to her breast cancer surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Fast forward to now, during a routine appointment with my gynecologist, she noticed a change in some of my cells,” Lee, 55, wrote. “I went for a second and third opinion and they all confirmed the same. My mind immediately thought of a conversation I had years ago with a friend who sat me down for a much needed talk about considering a complete hysterectomy. But after all of the issues I had experienced with my breast cancer surgery, the last thing I wanted to do was have another major operation — so I didn’t!”

“Over the last few years I have watched and admired the grace of other women who went public with their own health decision while I sat on the sidelines in awe and with a bit of fear. Brave women, like my friend’s mother who sadly had lost her battle with breast cancer after it had spread to her ovaries. I admit, I am a little embarrassed that I hadn’t had the courage to get this final stage done until now,” Lee said in the post. “So while you’re reading this post I am undergoing hysterectomy surgery. A surgery that so many brave women before me have had to do. It’ll be an everything-out procedure and after that, there won’t be any more halo of worry hanging over my head. My sweet Ben is with me and will be taking a little time off work to stay home. I’m so grateful for his and everyone’s support, my friends and family have been incredible.”

She continued, “I am filled with all sorts of emotions. I am scared but also happy to be getting this done — strength and courage! We must always remember to have strength and courage.”

Her hope in sharing the personal news on social media was to “encourage anyone who needs to get a concerning procedure done to take the opportunity now so you can live as happy and healthy as possible.”

“We must all live our best lives every day and in every way,” she said. “With that I send you all the love in the world, your well wishes and prayers are appreciated more than you know.”

The breast cancer surviver was first diagnosed in 2015 and previously shared publicly about her lumpectomy and double mastectomy.

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