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I really have people who stand by me and were there all the way.” There were times, Hoda says, when friends who provided the opportunity to laugh in the face of all the ugliness and the pain allowed her to see through to a new day: “You know, I had people in my life who could just make me crack up when I felt like dying; they just picked me up.” It was also during her recovery that Hoda was able to return to the one place that can always bring her peace, where she was able to again regain her physical strength in walking, and eventually running, as her body healed. I went running every morning up until the day of my surgery, and the minute I could get back in the park, I did…it’s like church for me; it’s like home.” For Hoda the period following her recovery was also ultimately a time of personal and professional clarity. It was crystal clear to me,” she says of the resolution of the marital issues that she had been experiencing.du Pont–Columbia University Award and a Peabody Award.
Though she hosts a syndicated show for NBC called Your Total Health, at 43 Hoda had not yet had a mammogram.Now, describing her own lack of screening, her voice reflects her awareness of the irony of the situation: “I just didn’t do it,” she says. I ask people all the time why they haven’t gotten checked for various things, and here I was not getting screened.” Now, however, with a diagnosis in hand, Hoda was able to use the resources she had as a journalist to make sure she faced her diagnosis head…on and made the right decisions about her care.She credits her many friends and colleagues with helping her find a truly wonderful medical team. We have great doctors here.” And though she had many recommendations as a result of the input, she says it ultimately came down to personality when she chose her physician. After a while, when everyone tells you that you should have the same procedure, it’s about a personality.Luckily I’ve never had to experience that, but I can see where they’re coming from.” Despite the pain, she says, waking from the eight…hour surgery was actually a day that allowed her to feel incredible gratitude for all the people who were supporting her.“I get out of surgery, I’m bleary eyed,” Hoda says, describing that day, “and the phone rings in the room and it’s Matt [Lauer]. My brother, my sister, my mom, my friends were there all the time.” It took a couple of months, but before long she was up and walking around. Hoda, who does not have kids of her own yet, must consider the toll that her treatment is taking on her ability to carry children.
“Like, at 50 years old you can have butterflies — you can feel that again.