The English-language version of Thriving will include bonus material. Can you give us a little taste of that?
Of course! My mom was with me through my recovery and when I went through my illness. During my recovery, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She wasn’t that bad that time, she survived that illness, but years later she realized the cancer returned in another way: She had leukemia. Her battle with leukemia is the part of the story that I tell. It’s the new part of the book, which happened after the Spanish version of the book. I was on my way to see her when someone called me to tell me she died, so I didn’t make it on time to see her that last time. I tell a little bit about that important woman that was my mom. It’s maybe 6-7 more pages telling my relationship with my mom and her final days.
That sounds like a really lovely memorial to your mother
It is. When I wrote it, I cried a lot. Every time I read it I cry again. It is very touching. My mom was a very special person. She was a lovely woman. She did an incredible job raising me and my brothers.
So you grew up in Puerto Rico, right?
Yes. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
I was a very happy child. I started very young as an actress. I was very mischievous girl and liked to do jokes. I was the youngest of four, so everyone paid attention to me. I was spoiled, but a good girl. I think looking back; I had a very happy life when I was young. And I have a good life now that I’m older, too. I think that after I was diagnosed with breast cancer it made me realize what a good life I had as a kid. I started working very young, but I also went to school. I graduated from the university and got a bachelor’s in advertising. I kept going and working as an actress. Now I’m a host on a television show on Telemundo. I was always a happy girl.
Like you said, you started out acting really young so you’ve transitioned from soap opera superstar into a morning show host. Do you prefer one over the other?
They’re both very different and I enjoy both of them. As an actress, I have to perform and be who I’m not. Since I think I’m a good person, in most of the parts I do in soap operas, I’m the bad one. I think it’s fun to be someone different than I am and doing things that I never allow myself to do. I enjoy that about soap operas -- being the bad person, but really being a good human being. As a TV host it’s me. It’s me who’s speaking with the public. It’s my opinion; it’s my way to be live. I’m learning from this new phase that I’m doing now. I’ve been doing the show for a year and a half, so this new way of life is pretty new to me. I’m enjoying it and now I can’t tell if it’s better to be a host of an actress, but I do enjoy both of them.
What was one of your favorite Latin dishes from when you were a child?
From when I was a child until now, foods that are not very healthy but very tasty [laughs]. I like rice, beans, fried chicken, pork, fried pork. I also eat salads, but those are a little bit boring for me. Just a few months ago I stopped drinking soda because I know that it’s not good for my health. Those are one of the things that I like that I’m not letting myself have because of my health. I like all those Latin things though.
What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I want to keep promoting the book right now and stay as the host of the TV show, and maybe do a small appearance on a soap opera. But I also want to have kids. I was diagnosed with cancer, my chances to have kids are not that much, but I want to see if God will give me that little miracle. Right now I’m going to keep working on the show and then we will see what’s happen in my personal life.