When Pamela Carter was attorney general of Indiana, she thought she “could get through it without letting anyone know, which was naive.” Instead, a newspaper got word of her diagnosis, and she had to rush to tell her kids. “Our daughter, her class did government affairs on Monday, and I was the story,” she told Rogin.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz got “lucky,” as Rogin puts it, since she was able to keep her diagnosis under wraps until she was ready to talk. She had her surgeries during recess weeks in Washington, and went public the next year.
“I didn’t want a well-meaning reporter, every time they referenced me in a story, to write my name as ‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz who’s currently battling breast cancer,’” she told Rogin.
Among the non-politicians profiled in the book are “Nurse Jackie” actress Edie Falco and rocker Sheryl Crow, along with several journalists. Rogin devotes the introduction to the late Cokie Roberts, her onetime colleague and mentor at ABC News.
The broadcast legend didn’t share everything. When Roberts sat down for the interview three years ago, she talked largely in the past tense, describing how her 2002 diagnosis hit a family already familiar with tragedy, starting with the plane crash in the 1970s that killed her father, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs.