Robin Roberts. Image courtesy of ABC/USA TODAY.
By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
"Good Morning America!" said Robin Roberts, kicking off Monday's show. "I am excited."
And it was evident. The morning anchor, who has been recovering from a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder, announced with a big smile (and no hair) she'll soon be back on the job.
"I'm so happy to be sharing this news with everybody: I met with my doctors last week. My blood count continues to improve. My beloved sister, Sally-Ann, my donor. Her cells continue to make themselves at home in my body. The big news is that my last bone marrow aspiration - by the way, ouch, I've lost count how many I've had -- but the last bone marrow test showed no abnormalities. ... Praise God!"
She continued: "What all of this means is my doctors were waiting for this information to tell me I can begin the process of returning to the anchor chair. I'm coming home."
The plan is that it's like an "athlete coming off injured reserve." She'll ease into the "process of re-entry," starting with getting up early.
"I got up at 4 o'clock this morning. I have to get back on GMA time," she said. "One thing I have not missed is that alarm clock. Next week, my doctors have me doing what I'm calling a dry run. I'll get up, go to the studio. I'll have makeup and hair. Well, makeup. We'll talk about the hair later."
But, said Roberts, who has not been live on TV since August, "I will not go on the air next week." Her doctors want to see how her body reacts to the environment, especially in light of the current flu outbreak. "After you all go off the air, I'll go on set," she said. She noted her skin was "very sensitive" so she needs to see how she reacts to the studio lights.
As for getting back to a normal day-to-day routine, she said, "What happens now is after I go through this dry run, my doctors will sit down with me again and evaluate where I am. We're talking now weeks, not months. I should be back sometime in February."
She said, "I have a date in mind that's very personal and important to me, but I'll listen to what my doctors say."