Cover Story

Giuliana Rancic: 'My Breasts Have Never Defined Me'

Giuliana Rancic: Double Mastectomy Fears and How She's Coping
Giuliana Rancic

12/07/2011 AT 08:00 AM EST

Giuliana Rancic knows she'll have scars from her upcoming double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. And she plans to embrace them.

"I think scars tell such an incredible story," the E! News anchor, 37, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "I'll always look at them and think, 'Wow, I made it through that.' "

Still, she admits that there are moments as she lays in bed next to her husband Bill, 40, when impact of her shocking cancer diagnosis hits her.

"Usually it's 2 in the morning, and I'll turn around from Bill so I don't wake him up, and I just cry," she says. "I sob and think, 'How did this happen?' "

Mostly, though, the "tough Italian woman," as Bill calls his wife of four years, is determined to eradicate the disease that has turned her world upside down since being diagnosed three months ago.

"My breasts have never defined me – and now they never will," says Giuliana, whose surgery is scheduled for Dec. 13.

For more with Giuliana and Bill, including their plans for parenthood, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE

Reporting by ALEXIS CHIU

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