June 12, 2012 03:00:56 GMT
The 'Good Morning America' host has started pre-treatment to prepare her for a bone marrow transplant with her sister, Sally Ann Roberts, as a donor.
Five years after battling breast cancer, Robin Roberts has another health scare. The "Good Morning America" host announced on the ABC breakfast TV show on Monday, June 11 that she has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS.
Talking further about the illness, Roberts dished on she would begin pre-treatment later that day and would get a transplant this fall with her sister Sally Ann Roberts, an anchor for WWL-TV in New Orleans, as a donor. "It's about focusing on the fight, not the fright," she said.
MDS itself is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia. It's a result of the breast-cancer treatment she underwent years ago. "Sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues. That's what I'm facing right now," she explained.
In her blog, she wrote, "I received my MDS diagnosis on the very day that Good Morning America finally beat the Today Show for the first time in 16 years. Talk about your highs and lows! Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing, I received word that I would interview President Obama the next day."
The 51-year-old host continued, "The combination of landing the biggest interview of my career and having a drill in my back reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life."
First lady Michelle Obama tweeted to Robin soon after learning about the diagnosis, "Barack and I have you in our prayers. We believe in you and thank you for bringing awareness and hope to others." In a message to her followers, Robin herself "so appreciates all your love & tweets. Right now she is a little overwhelmed but you'll hear from her soon."
She decided to share the news because "I didn't want you to be concerned if you see a bandage tomorrow," she reasoned. During the treatment, she would be given "drugs ... for a period of time ... to prepare me for a bone marrow transplant," she added. "I am going to beat this. My doctors say it and my faith says it to me."
Robin concluded, "[I] will continue to anchor GMA. I love what I do and the people with whom I do it. Along with my faith, family and friends, all of you at ABC News give me the motivation and energy to face this challenge."
In response to her announcement, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos showed his full support for her. "I am just in awe of the way you've handled it," he told her before adding, "We love you and know you're going to beat this."