Emily Strohm
March 02, 2018 02:42 PM

Robin Roberts just celebrated the five-year anniversary of her return to Good Morning America after medical leave for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone-marrow disease, but the longtime anchor almost forgot the milestone.

“I used to think, ‘There is never going to be a day where I wake up and not think about cancer.’ Then it happened.”

Roberts, 57, was diagnosed with MDS in 2012, just a few years after her breast cancer battle.

“I want people to realize if you know somebody that has gone through something like this, that it’s not over once we return to work and complete treatment,” she says. “Continue to be patient with us.”

Roberts’ diagnosis required a bone-marrow transplant in 2012 and her sister Sally-Ann was a perfect match.

  • For more on Roberts, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now 

“I can’t think of a day that’s gone by that someone hasn’t said and they still say to me ‘I’m praying for you.’ To know that people from all walks of life and all faiths are lifting you up, it’s the most remarkable feeling you can have.”

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