Robin and Sally-Ann Roberts
Courtesy Robin Roberts
11/20/2012 AT 09:40 AM EST
A recent visit to the hospital
for a "tune-up" took an emotional toll, but Good Morning America
host Robin Roberts says she has a lot to be thankful for as she continues to recover from a Sept. 20 bone marrow transplant
"It's a journey that kind of zigzags, and there are complications and things like that, but I feel good. I feel stronger every day," she told her sister and donor, Sally-Ann Roberts, in a segment that aired on WWL-TV Eyewitness News
in New Orleans Monday and on GMA
Since being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome
, Roberts says the love and support from friends, family and fans is very much appreciated.
"I have felt the prayers. I have felt people lifting me up," she said. "I put no small measure on that as the reason that I'm doing as well as I am."
Although Roberts lost her mother
, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, in August, she described what it has been like to face life without her.
"This is the first time that I have been through any traumatic experience without her physically being here, and it has weighed on me," Roberts told her sister, who asked if she believed their mother stayed alive to say goodbye and be sure her daughters would be okay.
"I do believe it was her way of making sure that all of her children could be taken care of," she continued. "She was there when I took my first breath and what an honor it was to be there when she took her last."
As Roberts reaches a new milestone on Friday – her 52nd birthday – she has a hopeful and inspiring outlook on life and the challenges it has dealt her.
"I look at it as a clean slate," she said. "How many people can say at this point in their lives that they get do-over, that they get a chance to start again? And that's how I feel. We're all a little bit stronger – a little bit stronger than we think we are. And that's all we need."
And besides that, she added, "My great doctor ... told me recently I'm going to get to go to early bird special. I'm going to get to go out [and] be around people!"