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Giuliana Rancic Breast Cancer: 'It Was Hell'

First Posted: 12/30/11 01:22 PM ET Updated: 12/30/11 02:36 PM ET

Giuliana Rancic appeared on the "Today Show" Friday morning to talk about her progress post double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. The E! News host, who returned to work earlier this week just two weeks after her surgery, had displayed a transparency and openness about the process that touched many who followed the story, but told Matt Lauer that it hadn't been easy.

"I feel great considering it's been two and a half weeks, but I still have a ways to go as far as recovery," said Rancic, who appeared on the show with husband Bill.

"It was definitely hard. Up until about a week and a half ago, it was hell."

Rancic described the physical difficulties she still faced -- including fastening her seat belt and raising her arms above her head -- but insisted for the most part that returning to work was with the doctor's blessing. Rancic also said she had opted to stop taking morphine for the pain because it had made her ill.

"She wanted to turn a negative into a positive. If you can save one life through this process, it's worth it," Bill said.

The 36-year-old first appeared on the "Today Show" in October to reveal the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the midst of one of her fertility treatment sessions, which had been well-documented on the Style Network show "Giuliana & Bill."

The two will appear at Times Square on New Year's Eve on NBC to announce the Nivea's Kiss of a Lifetime Contest winner.

SLIDESHOW:

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  • Giuliana Rancic Attends 18th Annual 'FFANY Shoes On Sale'

    Bill Rancic and Giuliana Rancic attend the 18th Annual QVC 'FFANY Shoes On Sale' at The Waldorf=Astoria on October 13, 2011 in New York City.

  • 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

    Giuliana Rancic arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles.

  • Giuliana Rancic Hosts VIP Preview of the NIVEA 100 Year House Pop-Up

    NIVEA Birthday Ambassador Giuliana Rancic explores the interactive Skin Education Station, learning tips, tricks and product recommendations for touchably soft skin at Grand Central Station on July 25, 2011 in New York City.

  • 'Night Of Generosity' Benefit - Red Carpet

    Giuliana Rancic arrives to Generosity Water's 3rd Annual 'Night of Generosity' benefit on March 18, 2011 in Los Angeles.

  • Woman's Day 8th Annual Red Dress Awards

    Giuliana Rancic attends the Woman's Day 8th Annual Red Dress awards at Jazz at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2011 in New York City.

  • 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    Giuliana Rancic arrives at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles.

  • 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards

    Giuliana Rancic arrives at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

  • Comcast Entertainment Group TCA Cocktail Reception

    Giuliana Rancic attends the Comcast Entertainment Group Television Critics Association Cocktail Reception at The Langham Hotel on January 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California.

  • 2011 New Year's Eve In Times Square

    Bill Rancic and Giuliana Rancic celebrate New Year's Eve 2011 in Times Square on December 31, 2010 in New York City.

  • New Year's Eve 2011

    Bill Rancic and Giuliana Rancic, co-hosts of the NIVEA Kiss Platform in Times Square, help others 'Prepare to be Kissed' on New Year's Eve 2011.

  • OK! Magazine USA's 5th Anniversary Party

    Giuliana Rancic and Bill Rancic arrive at the OK! Magazine USA 5th Anniversary Party on September 1, 2010 in Hollywood, California.

  • 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

    Giuliana Rancic arrives at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles.

  • Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala

    Giuliana Rancic attends Time's 100 most influential people in the world gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 4, 2010 in New York City.

  • 'American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity' Met Gala

    Giuliana Rancic attends the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the 'American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity' exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 in New York City.

  • World Premiere Of Cirque Du Soleil's 'Viva ELVIS'

    Bill Rancic (L) and Giuliana Rancic arrive at the world premiere of Cirque du Soleil's 'Viva ELVIS' production at the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter February 19, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards

    TV personality Ryan Seacrest (R) films E! host Giuliana Rancic on arrivals at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles.

  • 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    Giuliana Rancic arrives at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 23, 2010 in Los Angeles.

  • Comcast Entertainment Group's TCA Party

    Giuliana Rancic attends the Comcast Entertainment Group's Television Critics Association Press Tour Party at the Langham Hotel on January 15, 2010 in Pasadena, California.

  • Around Bryant Park - Spring 2010 MBFW

    Lance Bass and Giuliana DePandi attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park on September 12, 2009 in New York.

  • 18th Annual 'FFANY Shoes On Sale'

    Bill Rancic and Giuliana Rancic attend the 18th Annual QVC 'FFANY Shoes On Sale' at The Waldorf=Astoria on October 13, 2011 in New York City.

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Filed by Youyoung Lee  |