The presenter, 51, confirmed this weekend she is having a mastectomy next month to remove a 6cm tumour from her left breast.
Only last week she broke the news of her devastating diagnosis to son Zeph, 10, and six-year-old daughters Zena and Xanthe.
Julia told the three children, who she shares with property developer husband Gerard Cunningham, while walking around their garden at home.
She tearfully revealed yesterday how Xanthe responded by asking: “Mummy can I still hug you?”
Julia explained: “I said: ‘Yes darling, I need your hugs more than ever.’
“They were OK. I have told them to ask whatever they want...how honest can you be with children without scaring them?”
The BBC star said appearing on the red carpet earlier this month in an offthe-shoulder outfit at the National Television Awards was a “kind of goodbye to the body I’ve been living in all these years”.
Describing how she reacted to her diagnosis, she added: “It changes your world forever in an instant.
“There is no preparing you for those words. You hear ‘cancer’ and your brain starts to explode.
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