Unfortunately, there is “bad news” for you. The five words from a doctor’s phone call to Hoda Kotb in February 2007 alerting her that she had breast cancer have stayed with her. The Today co-anchor said, “I guess I just blacked out for the rest of it,” in an exclusive interview with E! News.
“Nonetheless, the realization slammed through me. Truthfully, I was taken aback by it. We’ve covered a million people who said, “I didn’t believe it would be me,” and I felt the same way.” Hoda was 43 years old, had no health problems, and came from a perfectly average household.
But now, nearly fifteen years after her cancer struggle began, the journalist reflects on her experience and speaks up about what she wishes she had known on the day a devastating diagnosis altered her life forever.
I thought I was going to die,” Hoda, now 58, recalled. “I now wish I had gone in sooner for testing. Yet, at the time, I was preoccupied with other things. Just contemplating the meaning of life.”
As a cancer survivor, Hoda is doing just that after a mastectomy and treatment plan gave her the green light. According to her new motto, “You can’t terrify me,” she no longer lets fear control her.
The talk show presenter claims she feels quite courageous after getting her dream job on Today and adopting Haley Joy, 5, and Hope, 3.
“the world is out there for me” and “the best years are ahead of me” were her exact words. “Being brave is a remarkable quality because it provides the freedom to enjoy life.
You aren’t living if you’re terrified of everything. The fearful are protected from the world. There’s no point in venturing outside if you’re too scared to leave the house.
You won’t go out and meet someone if you’re nervous. Yet, after you conquer your fears, the world opens up.” Hoda has a range of emotions during October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but she is grateful for the chance to spread awareness and reassurance to women.
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She encourages her audience to prioritize their health by getting themselves checked for breast cancer. The ex-Dateline reporter is also passionate about communicating that the impact of a doctor’s bad news need not be permanent.
After the cancer treatment, she realized she was living her best life. “From that point, things only got better. That was not the final chapter. The story began there.”
And maybe, just maybe, for Hoda, the adage that everything occurs for a purpose holds water. During her travels, the newscaster was able to start a family, and she now counts two beautiful children among her greatest joys.
And although though Hoda’s health issues prevented her from having children of her own, she still believes that “God put them in my life at the appropriate time.”
“I want my children to know that resilience is what we are about,” she added. “We choose to see the bright side of things. As a group, we seek the positive and ignore the negative.”
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