Samantha Harris

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Despite her many years as a broadcast journalist, nothing prepared Samantha Harris for this moment.

The former E! News correspondent has been diagnosed with breast cancer—she's getting a double mastectomy this month—but she hasn't told daughters Josselyn, 6, and Hillary, 3, what's going on.

Harris, 40, and her husband of 10 years, financier Michael Hess, will tell their girls separately due to their varying ages. "I want them to hear from me first what Mommy has and that I'm going to be fine," the former Dancing With the Stars co-host says of their joint decision. "I don't want them to be afraid."

The couple will make a video diary documenting Harris' health journey; they'll consider showing it to their daughters at a later date. "The day we found out while it was still fresh in our minds, we made a video," Harris tells People. "I don't know if we'll end up showing it to them, but at least we have the option."

The Entertainment Tonight correspondent discussed her diagnosis for the first time Wednesday. When it comes to her children, Harris said her only concern was that she wants to "be able to hold them, hug them, kiss them, be there, be present for everything." The TV personality added, "Having lost my dad when he was just 50, I was lucky because I was 22 and I'd had him through my whole adolescence."

"No matter how positive of a diagnosis as I have, it doesn't keep the demons of fear from taking over your mind and your thought process and thinking about the girls and thinking about [how] my dad wasn't able to walk me down the aisle," she added. "I will be here to plan my daughters' weddings and they better like the dress I pick."

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