12/30/2011 01:22 pm ET | Updated Feb 29, 2012

Giuliana Rancic Breast Cancer: 'It Was Hell'

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.


Giuliana and Bill Rancic