Susan Lucci is “doing really well” after undergoing two heart procedures over the past four years.
The All My Children star attended the 75th Annual Writers Guild Awards over the weekend where she spoke with People and shared an update about her recent health scare.
“I’m doing really well,” Lucci, 76, said. “I always keep an eye on myself, what’s going on.”
Last January Lucci discovered she had an 80% blockage of an artery due to cholesterol. She underwent a procedure to have another stent inserted.
“It is so far so good.”
The health issues began for Lucci in October 2018 when she began feeling pressure “like an elephant pressing down.” Despite also experiencing pain around her ribcage she ignored the warning signs.
“Like most women, I thought, ‘I have too much to do. It will go away.’ I didn’t want to bother the cardiologist,” she said. “We take care of our children, we are advocates for our loved ones, but we’re not at the top of our own to-do list.”
When she finally visited a doctor a scan showed a 90% blockage in the main artery to her heart.
“I didn’t realize how close I came to a fatal heart attack.”
Her condition, which turned out to be genetic, required emergency surgery.
For a long time Lucci, an ambassador for the American Heart Association, lived without any issues, then the pandemic hit.
Like many, she ate a lot of “comfort food” during the first few years of the pandemic. Eventually her unhealthy eating habits caught up with her.
She began to feel short of breath and experienced both chest and jaw pain. But she felt none of her symptoms warranted a trip to the doctor, even after her previous procedure.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “And after telling women for three years to not be afraid to call the doctor and to put themselves on their to-do list, I reverted back to all those things.”
Once again, Lucci went to the doctor and was stunned to learn she had another major blockage.
This time doctors discovered an 80% blockage caused by cholesterol. She would need another stent in order to open up the artery.
The news left the soap opera star embarrassed.
“I almost wasn’t going to speak about it, I was so ashamed of myself. But it’s a reminder to be vigilant.”
Two months after her January 2022 procedure, Lucci’s husband Helmut Huber died at age 84.
“After that, nothing seemed important, my health or anything else,” she admitted. “I didn’t care about anything else.”
Despite the major loss, Lucci knows she’s not alone on her journey to heal both emotionally and physically.
“I lost the love of my life and that’s been awful, but I have friends who make me laugh and keep me out and about, and I’m determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
It’s so important that we take care of ourselves. While we want to put others before ourselves, if we don’t watch our own health, who will make sure we are okay?
Please share as a reminder to visit a doctor at the first sign something may be wrong, it’s important not to wait.