Hoda Kotb Opens Up About Post-Cancer Body Image

By: Chris Tepedino - May 1, 2014

Hoda Kotb, the fourth-hour Today Show host and Egyptian-American television journalist, wrote today about how she came to terms with her post-cancer body image in an article titled “Hoda Kotb on post-cancer body image: ‘You live your life and you carry it with you.’”

In the article, she describes the extensive eight-hour surgery she went through and the damage it took on her body, saying “I had a hip-to-hip incision as well as more incisions on my chest. Let me tell you: it looks like a roadmap.”

The article is very candid and highlights the strength it takes to recover from that kind of surgery and from cancer in general.

She says of the first phase of recovery post-surgery, “There’s the ‘OMG, they got it’ reaction and you are just so happy they got the cancer. You are so grateful, and you think, ‘I don’t care what my body looks like, I am just happy to be here.’ I still feel that deep in my soul every day. This is the body I have and I’ll take it.”

But there’s a more difficult side as well.

“But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there is a second phase, a window of time where you don’t even want to look at yourself. It’s jarring. I remember a moment in the hospital when a nurse said she needed to help bathe me and I had to be standing up, in front of a mirror. I told her, ‘Please, just turn me around. I’d rather not see it.’”

And it’s difficult too. She writes that she’s not 100 percent comfortable emotionally and physically recovered from the cancer and the surgery, and that “I still pull and tug on things I wear, like bathing suits or when I’m wearing gym clothes.”

She writes that “you live your life and you carry it with you.”

Kotb has written about her fight with cancer and her recovery before, in an article titled “Your life after cancer is better than the one before.” In the article, she notes that it was tough at first opening up her life to the public but based on the responses she’s received, she’s glad she has opened up.

In the end, she writes, “That’s probably the best advice I have: If you are worried about how you look and how you feel, just take the focus off yourself. Turn the spotlight somewhere else and in the process, you’ll realize that you feel so much better.”

Read the full article here about Hoda Kotb’s recovery from breast cancer and on her post-cancer body image.

Image via Twitter

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Chris TepedinoChris has been a writer since about forever. Follow him on Twitter, Pinterest, and/or Google+.

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  • Jennifer

    Would love to see an article that doesn’t feel obliged to include the ethnicity of the subject. Why do we feel obligated to label everyone? Are we patting ourselves on the back for being inclusive and so diversity aware. Rather it only keeps us focused on our differences. We should cease to be XYZ Americans. We are Americans. We all need to be a little less aware on this matter.

  • Lynn

    Cancer knows no ethnicity of the subject.

  • divette10

    Thank you Hoda for talking about post cancer treatment body image and emotional difficulties. I have said I would gladly go through chemo again if I didn’t have to deal with the emotional aftermath. Too many celebs and public figures put on a happy “no big deal” face right after treatment. I believe that makes people feel that they are “defective” if they don’t just “be happy to be alive” and causes others to expect that. In my experience it has taken a little over a year and a lot of therapy to accept what has happened, feeling better now and look forward to the future.