Short hair, don't care: Joan Lunden is chic, cheerful and cancer-free

Joan Lunden on "Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival"
Joan Lunden on "Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival"


Sometimes, follicular kismet happens in the most unlikely ways.

It took beating triple-negative breast cancer for Joan Lunden to find her inner rocker chic.

"I had to get cancer to find my best haircut. My 12-year-old daughter says I look like Pink. I'm liking it," she says.

The former "Good Morning America" anchor has written a book about her ordeal, called "Had I Known." The journalist went through nine months of treatment that included 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation. She's now cancer-free and trying to not fixate on the possibility of the cancer making a comeback.

And she tries to stay in the present, as opposed to dwelling on worst-case scenarios.

"If it's going to come back, it will be in the next 2-5 years. It's very fast growing. I'm not metastatic thank god," she says.

Her message is simple: "It's so important for every woman out there to think it's going to happen someone else. Everyone is susceptible. Every woman has to monitor her body and do self-exams."

Now, the veteran journo and mother of seven is back working the pre-dawn circuit, after leaving 'GMA' in 1997 after covering everything from the Olympics to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

"I've been a special correspondent to the 'Today' show. I was really taken last September when they called me and asked me to join them. At first I thought, 'Will people think it's kind of strange?' But it's been over two decades and so I said yes. I was so welcomed. It's all like we're all part of this early-morning club that has to wake up at 3:30am to do this show," she says.

And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, Lunden is truly in the trenches.

"I'll be there every Friday of the month doing stories for them. I have so many stories. I'm out shooting the stories with the Today show cameras," she says. "On Nov. 19, I will be back on 'Good Morning America' for the 40th anniversary."

Lunden is active on social media, but please, think before you Tweet, she says.

"I'm such a stoic person. I'm GI Joan. Here I was, so emotionally vulnerable and so questioning. Everyone was writing to me, asking about recurrence," she sighs. "The hardest day of the entire thing was my last day of chemo. You feel like everyone has been watching over you and keeping you alive and suddenly, you're done. You walk out and I hope I'm done. Did I do enough?"