Sarah Ferguson gives post-surgery update and reveals Queen’s corgis are playing a part in recovery

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Sarah Ferguson gives post-surgery update and reveals Queen’s corgis are playing a part in recovery

Sarah Ferguson has given an encouraging breast cancer surgery update and revealed how the late Queen's corgis are playing a part in her recovery.Last

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Sarah Ferguson has given an encouraging breast cancer surgery update and revealed how the late Queen’s corgis are playing a part in her recovery.

Last month, the Duchess of York, 63, announced she had been diagnosed with the disease and undergone a successful single mastectomy at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.

In the latest episode of her podcast Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah, the mother-of-two said she is ‘slowly working her way back to a healthy body’ following the procedure with the help of her beloved pets.

Following the Queen’s passing last September, Sarah and Prince Andrew – who already had five Norfolk terriers – welcomed the late monarch’s corgis Muick and Sandy into their home on the Windsor estate. 

Speaking with her podcast co-host Sarah Thomson, the mother-of-two explained how she has recently been told that she can start going on more dog walks again.

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson opened up about her breast cancer surgery recovery on the latest episode of her podcast Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson opened up about her breast cancer surgery recovery on the latest episode of her podcast Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson opened up about her breast cancer surgery recovery on the latest episode of her podcast Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah

Describing the days after her surgery, Sarah said: ‘Having seven dogs, they don’t understand that perhaps I’m not as mobile as I was.’ 

‘They’re going, “Hello! Come on, it’s all about me!” Dogs are very needy, aren’t they?”

While Sarah was on bedrest, the Duchess said the corgis would look at her expectantly in the hopes of being taken out on a walk.

She continued: ‘They’re used to people coming in and taking them for walks.

‘So they look at me and they’re going, “and your point is what? You’ve got your feet up watching Wimbledon? Oh no mum, you’re out! We have things to do.”

What’s more, the royal went on to explain how she has just been given the green light to start going on more walks with her dogs.

She said: ‘I did hear today that I’m allowed to do more walking so they might be happy with me now.

‘I took all the seven doggies yesterday to where the Queen would have walked them, and so I was chatting to them saying, “now where do we go?” And they were sort of showing me the way.

‘And there was a little woodland walk that was made specially for the Queen and just so special.’

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson poses with the Queen's corgis on a dog walk taken around the time of her 63rd birthday

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson poses with the Queen's corgis on a dog walk taken around the time of her 63rd birthday

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson poses with the Queen’s corgis on a dog walk taken around the time of her 63rd birthday

Her Majesty's love of corgis was well-known, and after she was gifted one of the dogs for her 18th birthday, she kept the breed for the rest of her life

Her Majesty's love of corgis was well-known, and after she was gifted one of the dogs for her 18th birthday, she kept the breed for the rest of her life

Her Majesty’s love of corgis was well-known, and after she was gifted one of the dogs for her 18th birthday, she kept the breed for the rest of her life

Sharing the update with her 607,000 Instagram followers, Sarah wrote: ‘I am slowly working my way back to a healthy body post-surgery. The corgis and I are so excited to be taking our walks together again!’ 

Urging her followers to keep an eye out for symptoms, she added: ‘I can’t thank my doctors, nurses, and medical professionals enough. I encourage anyone who can to get screened. Don’t wait.’

Last September, the Duchess said that being asked to take care of Sandy and Muick has been a ‘big honour’, according to the Telegraph.

Speaking at the Henley Literary Festival, Sarah said that she’s well aware that the two new additions to her household are ‘national treasures’ who have been ‘trained well’.

As Sarah and Andrew already shared five Norfolk terriers, the two corgis have had to integrate with them.

In last week’s episode of the podcast, Sarah said she didn’t feel she had been ‘brave’ or ‘courageous‘ following her diagnosis.

Sarah Ferguson, 63, announced she had undergone surgery for breast cancer last month. Pictured in October 2021

Sarah Ferguson, 63, announced she had undergone surgery for breast cancer last month. Pictured in October 2021

Sarah Ferguson, 63, announced she had undergone surgery for breast cancer last month. Pictured in October 2021

Meanwhile she spoke about how Beatrice and Eugenie had responded to her diagnosis, saying: ‘I think it’s scary for any family member out there, you really start to look at your own demise. It’s a wake up call, and you think, how am I going to deal with this?’

Sharing a clip on Instagram, she wrote: ‘I am recuperating at the moment but keen to share my story here on my podcast, in the hope it encourages everyone who can to get screened. 

‘Thank you doesn’t quite cover it to all of my doctors, nurses and medical professionals. I’m beyond lucky to have you.

‘I encourage everyone to get checked.’

At the start of the podcast, Fergie explained her daughter Beatrice had chosen her outfit for her, adding: ‘I have to say it’s really just extraordinary to come to terms with a new you. 

Sarah Ferguson pictured with her two daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice during King Charles' Coronation celebrations

Sarah Ferguson pictured with her two daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice during King Charles' Coronation celebrations

Sarah Ferguson pictured with her two daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice during King Charles’ Coronation celebrations

‘You cannot be complacent with yourself or life or how lucky you are.’

She continued: ‘It’s really important that my father was right: The show must go on.

‘But be mindful of each word you say, be gentle with yourself and people, and be very grateful.’

She went on to discuss how she had faced her diagnosis, saying she had looked up mastectomies as soon as she had heard she had a shadow on her breast.

She said she felt ‘we can do this’ after she spoke with a reconstructive surgeon.

Fergie explained: ‘We must make people realise, it’s not okay but if you’re going to get it, catch it quick.

‘And go and say, “I can do this”. It’s not bravery, it’s not courage, it’s about understanding that you’re not going to feel as you did for a bit, so don’t try to be a superhero. 

The Mail on Sunday revealed the full extent of her exhausting ordeal including four days in intensive care at the private hospital where the duchess was monitored around the clock

The Mail on Sunday revealed the full extent of her exhausting ordeal including four days in intensive care at the private hospital where the duchess was monitored around the clock

The Mail on Sunday revealed the full extent of her exhausting ordeal including four days in intensive care at the private hospital where the duchess was monitored around the clock

‘Take mini steps, have the cup of tea, trust people. It’s very important not to be complacent with every single thing now.’

Later, she said she felt ‘extraordinarily lucky’ but said it had given her a new appreciation for life.

She said: ‘Today before I came and did the podcast, I was in the car coming, and I said, “No can we turn around?”

‘I went back in and hugged Beatrice. I really wanted to. Just to be grateful.

‘And she said, “Mum I thought you left”. And I said: “Thankyou.”‘

She said she had received an ‘outpouring of kindness’ and ‘love’ with letters and flowers, adding: ‘It’s really amazing the love I’m getting from the entire nation, it’s extraordinary.’

Meanwhile Fergie said it was ‘very moving’ to receive notes which said how brave she had been.   

The duchess’s cancer nightmare began less than two months ago when a routine test first detected something was seriously wrong before the Coronation.

In early May, Sarah attended an appointment in London for a mammogram. Rather than being given the all-clear, as expected, the technician explained that a ‘shadow’ could be seen in the breast.

A source close to the duchess told Mail on Sunday: ‘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 because it’s a wider spread of cancerous cells that can be picked up through screening.

‘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.’

Given the size of the area, a lumpectomy was ruled out and Sarah was strongly advised to go ahead with a single mastectomy, which would eradicate the shadow of cancerous cells across the breast. Sarah was said to be devastated but determined to press ahead with a mastectomy as soon as possible, telling friends she had ‘no choice’ but to go through with the operation.

Christina Choy was the surgeon who carried out the mastectomy.

Once it was complete, consultant plastic surgeon Stuart James, who was once hailed as one of the country’s top breast doctors by Tatler magazine, then took over, performing a breast reconstruction with the ‘DIEP flap’ technique. By coincidence, Mr James is known to Prince William.

In 2013 the heir to the throne attended an operating theatre at The Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea where Mr James explained the procedure of a breast reconstruction. 

The special procedure is so complex that only highly skilled surgeons are allowed to attempt it.

It involves making an incision in the abdomen and taking fat from the stomach to form a new breast.

Experts say this can take more than six hours because it involves microvascular surgery which involves cutting and then re-joining delicate 2mm blood vessels.

But The Duchess endured a punishing eight-hour operation as surgeons battled breast cancer.

The 63-year-old was diagnosed with the disease and has undergone a successful single mastectomy at King Edward VII's Hospital in London

The 63-year-old was diagnosed with the disease and has undergone a successful single mastectomy at King Edward VII's Hospital in London

The 63-year-old was diagnosed with the disease and has undergone a successful single mastectomy at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London

This week, The Mail on Sunday revealed the full extent of her exhausting ordeal including four days in intensive care at the private hospital where the duchess was monitored around the clock.

A friend of the duchess, who is now back at home, said: ‘The surgery was very long – getting on for eight hours – and it was more involved than people think. Today, the message she wants to get out is that she is very grateful to those who saved her and she feels very lucky to be alive.

‘Specifically, the duchess wants to thank the two incredible surgeons Christina Choy and Stuart James who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her.’

But the length of time under the general anaesthetic took its toll on Sarah Ferguson, whose vital signs were then monitored in intensive care for four days. 

Last week she told friends that she is facing a ‘long road’ to recovery but is determined to ‘beat it’.

Her younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, has ‘all but moved in’ to help look after her mother while sister Princess Beatrice is said to be a frequent visitor and ‘constantly on the phone’.

Andrew has been on hand to help and friends and family have been rallying around to provide hot meals and run errands.

A Buckingham Palace source confirmed that the King had also written to his former sister-in-law, sending his sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.

A Palace insider said that plans for the Yorks to move out of Royal Lodge and into Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan’s former home, have been ‘quietly shelved’ for now.

She wants to thank Christina Choy who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her

She wants to thank Christina Choy who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her

She wants to thank Stuart James who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her

She wants to thank Stuart James who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her

The duchess wants to thank the two incredible surgeons Christina Choy and Stuart James who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her

Andrew has been on hand to help and friends and family have been rallying around to provide hot meals and run errands

Andrew has been on hand to help and friends and family have been rallying around to provide hot meals and run errands

Andrew has been on hand to help and friends and family have been rallying around to provide hot meals and run errands

The Duchess of York, whose stepfather Hector Barrantes died from lymphatic cancer in 1990 at the age of 51, has long been a champion for the charities working to combat the disease.

In November that year she opened a specialist cancer unit at the Middlesex Hospital in London for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Since then, Sarah has become a patron of the charity, attending almost all of the charity’s new unit openings. Over the years, her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie have both joined their mother in supporting the charity.

Sarah said that both princesses spent their 18th birthdays visiting teenage cancer units.

Revealing her own cancer battle before her operation, Sarah Ferguson said in her podcast: ‘I volunteered to work for the Teenage Cancer Trust… because my stepfather died of cancer.

‘He was a wonderful man. I adored him.’

A source said that, after a period of recovery, the duchess intended to ‘spread the word’ and work to raising awareness of the importance of early cancer detection.

She told her podcast: ‘I’m telling people out there to go get checked. Go get screened. Go do it. I’m not just talking about breast cancer but all cancers.’

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