Robin Roberts: 'I Feel the Best I've Felt in a Long Time'
updated 05/06/2013 AT 06:15 PM EDT
•originally published 05/08/2013 AT 03:15 PM EDT
"I feel great. I feel the best I've felt in a long time – and I mean that sincerely," Roberts told PEOPLE Monday at the 12th Annual Women Who Care Luncheon benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.
Roberts, rocking tight black leather pants and spiked heels at the luncheon to celebrate women's accomplishments, took Thursday and Friday off last week on the heels of a brief hospitalization in April. But taking care of herself has worked wonders, she says.
"It's really funny because I'm not able to work a full week yet, but it's Monday, and having the long weekend, I come back and and it's like a rebirth. So I'm very grateful."
Roberts, 52, has spoken candidly about her recovery from a bone-marrow transplant she had last September after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome.
She also noted that Monday represented an exciting milestone for her (she was honored last year with the group's Luella Bennack Philanthropy Award, which Roberts presented to Cyndi Lauper this year.)
"Events like this mean so much. I was here a year ago and I didn't know if I'd be back," Roberts said. "It's tradition for the person before to give [the award the next year], and they didn't know if I'd be able to, and ... I'm here. I'm here!"
She added she admires Lauper's work to increase acceptance in the LGBT community.
"I know what it's like to face discrimination, and to be looked at differently. And what United Cerebral Palsy is doing in providing for these families is tremendous," Roberts added.
As for Lauper – who also sported leather pants – Roberts congratulated the musician in her presentation for her, "fierce conviction to fight discrimination for us all."
Later, Roberts joked to PEOPLE, "Look at how we're dressed! My cool factor has to go up because I'm dressed like her."