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Kathie Lee sends love after Hoda opens up about her mastectomy scars

In 2007, Hoda Kotb underwent a mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Today - Season 68
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Kathie Lee Gifford is always there for her friend Hoda Kotb.

On Thursday, Kathie Lee responded to an emotional Instagram post that TODAY shared about Hoda's mastectomy scars. The TODAY co-anchor had the procedure in 2007 as treatment for breast cancer.

In the comments section, Kathie Lee wrote, “You are, and always have been, simply beautiful. I love you.”

The Instagram post featured a story Hoda recounted about meeting an older woman who'd had the same surgery.

Talking about her mastectomy on TODAY With Hoda & Jenna Thursday, Hoda explained that it took her a while to love her scars. She said that she felt “horrified” seeing her body after the surgery.

“You know when you look, and you’re like, ‘That’s me now? Like, this is the body for the rest of my life that’s going to carry me through?’” Hoda said. “You don’t see it as, 'The cancer is gone.' Right then, that moment, you see it as this horrible (thing).”

Hoda noted that she felt like “hiding.” She didn’t start to good about her appearance until she met a woman named Harriet who showed Hoda her own scars.

She also said she felt confident when she started to see her beauty through other people’s eyes, in particular someone she dated at the time.

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on TODAY in March 2019.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“There was a person who was in my life at that time who saw me as really beautiful,” she said. “That was his purpose, I think, in my life. I remembered feeling not pretty and not worthy, and then somebody doesn’t see the scars. Like, someone looks at you and just doesn’t see that.”

“All of a sudden your back is straighter, you feel better and you made it through that hurdle,” Hoda continued. “Now I look at my scars, and I’m happy.”