Hoda Kotb: 'You gradually learn to accept your body after cancer'
Click here to read the entire essay.
Some highlights of the moving essay include:
"There are two phases post surgery. There's the 'OMG, they got it' reaction and you are just so happy they got the cancer ... 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."
"Then, when your body heals, you start to feel better. You realize that you don't care about the scars. You are just happy to have this body, a healthy body, no matter the lumps and bumps and problems."
"And even though I now consider myself about 90 percent, as far as feeling emotionally and physically recovered and body confident, I am not at 100 percent ... I still pull and tug on things I wear, like bathing suits or when I'm wearing gym clothes. The actual scars are there ... that's forever a part of me."
"Ultimately, I don't think there is an 'ah-ha' moment where you think, 'I'm back!' You gradually learn to accept your body after cancer. I have always been pretty happy inside. My outsides come and go, whether it's because of gray hairs or scars. All that stuff is going to be there, but I feel if I am comfortable with who I am on the inside, I will always be OK."
Kotb co-hosts the fourth hour of "Today" with Kathie Lee Gifford daily on NBC.