GMA's Robin Roberts talks about breast cancer

October 20, 2008 11:35:15 AM PDT
ABC7 Chicago's Roz Varon sat down one-on-one with Robin Roberts before a recent event in Chicago.ABC's Robin Roberts was in town over the weekend to serve as the keynote speaker at the 30th anniversary gala for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength held Friday. I sat down one-on-one with her before the event.

From the day that Good Morning America's Robin Roberts shared her breast cancer diagnosis with the public, I've wanted to talk with her, share our experiences, support her courage. Well, that day finally came and this admirable woman, this tower of strength is one of the most amazing women I've ever met.

It was like catching up with an old friend. Robin Roberts looked fabulous, glowing. Even though her treatments ended in April, I know first-hand that cancer takes its toll.

"I'm a little bit more ahead of the game mentally than I am physically, but I'll take it," Roberts said.

We talked about everything, from going public with breast cancer, to how it changes us.

"I am different. I'm physically different than what I was, and when I look at the video of myself?especially the morning of my announcement, I look at myself and go, 'That was me?' I just look so much different!,'" said Roberts.

But she looks so beautiful, especially with what the Good Morning America anchor calls "The Chemo Curls." Robin Roberts and I shared our hair loss experience; somehow, it always comes back to the hair.

" That's what I'm thinking of doing, that Halle Berry pixie-spike," Roberts said as we looked at photos of different hairstyles.

"We get used to our 'anchor hair.' I had my 'whoop-de-doo' and that. It's amazing how many comments I get on my hair, and I really don't sweat the small stuff anymore," she said.

The two of us discussed life after cancer, as well as what we do to stay strong.

"I don't want people to look at me and feel that's all that's going to come out of my mouth. I want to have fun around the water cooler. I want to travel as I'm still doing and covering the presidential election and who knows what's around the bend," said Roberts. "

She also said she does pilates and acupuncture.

In addition to those well-being practices, Robin Roberts and I also share a tremendous support group from our families, our respective morning teams and thousands of viewers from all walks of life.

"It's wonderful when you think about people in temples, churches and synagogues and all the different places of worship, they are all praying for you. [I've been] flooded with emails," she said.

I was very moved by Robin Robert's inspirational bestseller From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By. In the last chapter, titled "Make Your Mess Your Message," she writes, "I was asked to write an entire book about my experience with cancer. I respectfully declined."

"It is not my life story. It is not. I'm sorry, it's not. It's one chapter in my life, but I'm determined it will not be the last chapter, and I think once you realize it doesn't define you, it's a part of the journey in life, but I'm not going to let it consume me. I refuse to let it consume my life," said Robin Roberts, network news anchor, author, cancer survivor, and I'm proud to say, my friend.

" We look so much better now," I told to her.

"We're mature women now. We've faced cancer," she said.

"We rock!" I responded.


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