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In February 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer after her gynecologist discovered lumps in her breast during a routine exam.
Though she hosts a syndicated show for NBC called Your Total Health, at 43 Hoda had not yet had a mammogram.
It was a way, she says, to engage in the future and in the promise of what lay ahead.
Indeed, at the end of each journal entry she wrote throughout her treatment, Hoda would write the word Forward.
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.
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.I just found a doctor whom I clicked with.” Having chosen a doctor, Hoda says, the treatment decision was fairly straightforward: “I think the good thing was I only really had one choice for treatment (surgery).