Fergie, as the Duchess of York is known, previously told PEOPLE that her daughters are her "wholehearted cheerleaders"
The Duchess of York, 64, announced on Sunday she had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma just months after undergoing a mastectomy to treat an early form of breast cancer. But a friend tells PEOPLE that her "family is rallying 'round," especially her two daughters.
"They've been terrific since the summer," the friend says.
Fergie, as the Duchess of York is known, exclusively told PEOPLE in November that Princess Beatrice, 35, and Princess Eugenie, 33, "are my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are."
She added that her grandchildren — Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have two young sons, August and Ernest, while Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi share daughter Sienna plus Edo’s son Christopher Woolf, whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend Dara Huang — are "spectacular healers."
"Joy and laughter can be powerful tools when it comes to healing,” the Duchess said.
While Fergie is going to "take some time to myself" amid the news of a second cancer diagnosis, going forward, she wants to make the message of testing a central part of her public work. Her father, Major Ronald Ferguson, was diagnosed with skin cancer in the months before he died in 2003 from a heart attack, and it's already a cause that Princess Beatrice works closely with as a patron of the British Skin Association.
"It would make sense for them to team up on this,” the source adds of Fergie and Beatrice.
The Duchess of York was also "very struck" with how people responded positively to her message of getting checked regularly following her breast cancer diagnosis, the friend says. TV presenter Suzannah Reid shared that she had been inspired to undergo a scan because of Fergie's situation.
Now, she's getting similar feedback.
"She was encouraged that people have said online that they have been prompted to get their moles checked out. If only one person did that, then it was worth speaking out,” the source adds.
The friend tells PEOPLE that it was a "shock" for Fergie to find out about her second cancer diagnosis.
"It is hard to get your head around, particularly when you get over one and then get a second diagnosis,” the friend says.
However, Fergie’s attitude is "onwards and upwards," the friend says. "That’s the attitude, whatever’s thrown at her."
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While Fergie has been receiving treatment for her melanoma in London, she has been recuperating at the MAYRLIFE Clinic in Altaussee, Austria, before returning to her home of Royal Lodge in Windsor.
“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” her representative said. “Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the Duchess remains in good spirits.”
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