It’s been a difficult journey for Robin Roberts, who after battling breast cancer, then had to fight off myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder that required her to undergo a bone marrow transplant in September.
“I had to start getting up earlier and earlier just to re-acclimate my body to that 3:45 A.M. wake-up call,” Roberts said. “I did not miss my alarm clock, nor these heels, I didn’t miss either one,” she laughed.
Roberts also explained that her doctors smartly advised her to first do a test drive stint on “GMA” to see how her body handled it and revealed some of the side effects she’s suffered as a result of the procedure.
“My vision is affected by the bright light,” Robin says, “My skin … they don’t tell you that you get a free chemical peel with every bone marrow transplant, and so I have very sensitive skin.” Roberts also did things like yoga and working with a physical therapist to help get her strength back.
“Did it ever occur to you not to come back?” Whoopi Goldberg wondered, causing Robin to get choked up.
“I didn’t know if I could come back,” a teary Roberts responded after a long pause. “It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, but I didn’t know if I could, if that was something that was going to be possible.”
“But I have to tell you, God is good,” Roberts concluded. “And I worked really hard.”
About 6.1 million viewers tuned in Wednesday to watch Roberts’ “Welcome Back Party” on “GMA,” the morning show’s biggest audience since the day after the presidential election in November, while “Today” drew approximately 5 million viewers.
Roberts discusses her recovery process more in depth in a special edition of “20/20” airing tonight on ABC.