USMagazine, Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:45am (PST)
Roll out the welcome mat -- Robin Roberts is returning to work! The Good Morning America anchor, 51, announced Monday, Jan. 14, that her long road to recovery would at last bring her back to work, possibly as early as February.
"I'm coming home," Roberts declared triumphantly during a live interview from her New York apartment, where she has been holed up in isolation for several months following a bone marrow transplant in September. "We're talking about weeks, not months."
The ABC host and breast cancer survivor said that her comeback would be a gradual process, beginning with a "dry run" next week in which she'll come to the Times Square studio for hair and makeup (but no air-time) to see how her newly fragile body reacts to the harsh studio lights and early wake-up call. She likened the situation to an athlete coming off the injured reserve list and easing his or her way back into the game.
"After I go through this dry run, my doctors will sit down with me again and we'll evaluate where I am," Roberts explained, noting that she is still dealing with a few lingering symptoms, including sensitive skin and blurred vision. "I should be back sometime in February...I have a date in mind that's very personal and very important to me, but I will ultimately listen to, of course, what my doctors say...There are a lot of factors still."
Among those factors is this year's intense flu season. Roberts' immune system is still rebuilding from the transplant (which she got to treat her myelodysplastic syndrome), so she has to be careful about how many people she comes into contact with. That means limiting her interactions with fans outside GMA's street-level studio in Manhattan. It also means taking the "process of re-entry" one step at a time.
"I am excited, but there's a range of emotions," she told her fellow hosts on-air. "I haven't been live on television since the end of August. My heart is beating so fast right now, but -- you know what? -- it means I'm alive. I'm alive, and I'm so grateful to be as excited as I am, and I can't wait to be back."