Tom Brokaw Interviews Daughter About His Cancer Diagnosis: "It Was Awful"

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Tom Brokaw

"I was determined to go on with my life at full force, not knowing how unrealistic that would be," Brokaw said of keeping his diagnosis a secret in the beginning.

Tom Brokaw is opening up about his battle with cancer.

On Thursday's Today, he spoke about a 2013 incident in which he had to be medevaced to the Mayo Clinic during a family vacation in Montana. That's when his daughter, Sarah, realized that he was sicker than she'd thought and learned that he was battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

"It was awful, especially since [my son Archer] was only 6 months [old],'' Sarah told her father during an interview that aired Thursday morning. "And I was mad, too. I thought, 'You only had six months with him.' I wanted to envision you playing baseball with him and fly fishing, and not knowing if that was ever gonna happen."

Brokaw, 75, also recounted how he'd only been diagnosed four days before that incident and had shared the news only with his wife, Meredith.

"I was determined to go on with my life at full force, not knowing how unrealistic that would be," Brokaw said, adding that he then made a "dumb" decision. He decided to go fishing at a friend's stream a few hours away, and suddenly he was gripped by pain and "had to crawl out of the water into a nearby cabin porch." He "curled up in agonizing pain" until a friend came along. He was in bed for two days in pain, and Meredith decided to get him help.

Brokaw is now in remission. A Dateline special airs Thursday night on NBC in which Brokaw goes into more detail about his battle; he also writes about his experience in his new book, A Lucky Life Interrupted, in which he aims to help families dealing with cancer.

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