Martina Navratilova Says She Almost Had PTSD from Having to Fight 2 Cancers At the Same Time

The former athlete announced that she was cancer-free in March

<p>Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty</p> Martina Navratilova

Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is speaking openly about her health.

Although the former athlete announced that she was cancer-free in March, she reflected on her experience facing stage 1 throat and breast cancer during a recent appearance on the Today show.

“The first one diagnosed was throat cancer, and then when they were looking to see exactly where it was, that’s when they found a lump on my breast as well," she explained Monday. “I knew it was cancer because it lit up in the MRI. I'm like, great, I got double whammy."

Related: Martina Navratilova Says She Is Cancer-Free: 'Good to Go'

PEOPLE confirmed that the tennis star received the two diagnoses after seeking medical attention for an enlarged lymph node in her neck in January. The discovery came years after Navratilova was first diagnosed with breast cancer and declared cancer-free in 2010.

At the time, the diagnosis was a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. Navratilova shared that her recent diagnoses "were two totally different cancers unrelated to the first one" and explained that she's been diligent with getting screenings.

"Physically, it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through,” she added. “I almost get PTSD when I come to New York (because) several weeks of treatment were here.”

Related: 'RHOM' Star Julia Lemigova 'Proud' Martina Navratilova Has Beaten Cancer Diagnoses: 'Amazes Me'

Navratilova is married to Real Housewives of Miami star Julia Lemigova, who previously opened up to PEOPLE about having a new outlook on life following her wife's health journey.

"After your wife is diagnosed with two cancers, it really changes your perspective. We all have to be strong for her. There is no time for sitting around and crying," Lemigova, 51, previously told PEOPLE.

John Lamparski/Getty Julia Lemigova and Martina Navratilova
John Lamparski/Getty Julia Lemigova and Martina Navratilova

"I'm a strong believer that when life hits you with a tragedy, no matter how big the tragedy is, you have basically two choices," she added. "You submit, or you push back and rebel. And all my life I was, I'm a rebel in a way, and I always push back. So this is just one of those huge tragedies that hit our family. And there is no time or space to sit and cry because that will not help. That will only make things worse."

After Navratilova became cancer-free, Lemigova told PEOPLE in a separate interview that she was "so proud."

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"I don't even have the words to say how proud I am of my champion for playing singles against the nastiest double partners she ever faced in her life, and beating them both triumphantly," she said in March. "She amazes me every day."

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