Receiving the news from his doctor was just the beginning, as he admits telling his beloved wife, Deborah Roberts, and his children was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do.
The much-loved Today show weatherman revealed in November that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in September, and in a new joint interview with Deborah in People magazine, he explained how he delivered the upsetting news to his loved ones.
WATCH: Al Roker shares inspirational video
The doctor had told Al he was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer but that although that was "bad news" the good news was that they had caught it early.
On his way home from the surgery - where he admitted he was thrown off-kilter by the news - he called his wife and told her there was some "stuff" he wanted to discuss but wouldn’t do it over the phone.
For Deborah, this was a bad sign, since she told the publication: "Al calls me a lot throughout the course of the day, just to tell me something very simple or something very silly." She added that her husband often "rambles" to her just for the sake of it.
Al is incredibly close to his family
He didn't call her immediately after the doctors and this was also a cause for concern for the journalist.
Al had to break it to both his wife and the rest of his family including Courtney, 33, from his first marriage, and the children he shares with Deborah - daughter, Leila, 22, and son, Nick, 18.
It was his wife who took it the worst. "My heart just sank to my toes," she said. "Because it never even occurred to me that there was anything serious. When he said, 'It's cancer,' I just lost it."
The TV personality couldn't tell his children face to face and had to do it via Zoom. "There were tears but they rallied around," Al said.
Al and Deborah opened up to People magazine
Deborah insisted she would be there for every one of his appointments from there on in and told the publication.
"It was very emotional for me. What if he is not going to be here with me much longer? You really let your mind go there, you cherish and you clutch and you hold on."
Al was able to have successful surgery in November and in January he received the good news that his cancer was "considered undetectable".
He's grateful for every day he gets to be with his family, especially for Deborah, who he affectionately calls his "rock".
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