Leave it to Oprah Winfrey to help get Robin Roberts back on her feet.
Winfrey, 58, was the guest host on Good Morning America Thursday when regular GMA anchor Roberts — out on medical leave since Aug. 30 — called in to the ABC show to update viewers on her recovery from the bone-marrow transplant she had last month. Roberts, 51, has been writing periodically about her health on her blog, but the Oct. 25 call marked her first on-air chat since the procedure.
"Usually I'm watching…in bed. [But] you got me on my feet. You got me dancing this morning," she told Winfrey. "It's all about being uplifted."
The beloved GMA host could certainly use a lift. Back in June, she revealed to fans that she had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone marrow disorder that sometimes results from cancer therapy. (Roberts is a breast cancer survivor.)
Treatment for MDS often demands a bone-marrow transplant, so in August, Roberts left her spot on the GMA couch to prepare for the procedure. She had the surgery in September, using donated cells from her sister Sally-Ann.
Five weeks later, the newscaster is home and feeling better every day.
"It is a journey, my friend, as you have taught me," she told Winfrey during their chat.
"I am so incredibly blessed to be doing as well as I am. Some days I do feel like I am 35 days old and can't get my head off the pillow. But those days are becoming fewer and fewer."
Aiding her recovery, she added, is the fact that she has been documenting her experience, and her feelings about it, in writing.
"You'd be very proud of me, Oprah. [I'm] journaling a lot," Roberts joked, adding that the support from fans had helped as well.
"[I'm] so appreciative of the outpouring," she said. "It would be a whole lot easier not to be so public when you're going through something like this…[but] it's a privilege to be a messenger."
Winfrey, for her part, said she too felt privileged — to fill in for her friend.
"I felt your presence when I walked into the studio," the guest host told Roberts. "I am so happy to be here with your family…you are here in spirit, and we are so happy to have you call in this morning."
"I can't wait to come back," the anchor replied. "I want to be back on that couch with those froggy slippers. It's just about understanding the moment. Why I am here now."
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