The sportscaster returned to work two days after surgery

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January 24, 2017 at 10:37 AM EST

Erin Andrews was diagnosed with and successfully treated for cervical cancer in the fall, she revealed to Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB.

The sportscaster — who settled a lawsuit over a secretly recorded video of her from 2008 in April — learned of her diagnosis on Sept. 24, the morning before the Week 3 game between Washington and New York. However, she decided not to tell her colleagues and covered that Sunday’s game, eventually undergoing surgery on Oct. 11.

“I’m not watching any football games at home. This is [Fox’s] Super Bowl year, and I’m not missing the Super Bowl,” she told her oncologist before entering the operating room.

She was being serious about not missing any games. Two days after surgery, Andrews flew from Los Angeles to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to cover the Packer’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. “Should I have been standing for a full game five days after surgery? Let’s just say the doctor didn’t recommend that,” said the Dancing With the Stars host. “But just as I felt during my trial, sports were my escape. I needed to be with my crew.”

Andrews, who had another procedure in November to completely remove the cancer, credits the long legal battle she went through over the illegally recorded tape with helping her get through her diagnosis.

“After the trial everyone kept telling me, ‘You’re so strong, for going through all of this, for holding down a job in football, for being the only woman on the crew,’” said Andrews. “Finally I got to the point where I believed it too. ‘Hey, I have cancer, but dammit, I am strong, and I can do this.’”

Andrews said she decided to keep her diagnosis a secret because she didn’t want to be treated differently. “Throughout my career, all I’ve ever wanted is to just fit in,” she said. “That I had this extra baggage with the scandal, I didn’t want to be any different. I felt that way about being sick too. I don’t want players or coaches to look at me differently.”

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