Robin Roberts signs off — for now

"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, second left, her sister Sally-Ann Roberts, left, and co-hosts Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer, right, on the popular morning show on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 in New York. Roberts has said goodbye to "Good Morning America," but only for a while. She is preparing for treatment for a bone marrow disorder. /Photo: ABC, Fred Lee/ via AP

By// Kelley L. Carter

If you woke up this morning to a #TeamRobin hashtag on Twitter, here’s why: Robin Roberts announced on Good Morning America that she’d start her medical leave earlier than expected.

“I’m having to move up my schedule,” Roberts, 51, said, while explaining that Thursday (as in today) would be her last day and not Friday.

Roberts has been vocal about her diagnosis. She has MDS, which is a side effect from her treatment for breast cancer, which happened five years earlier. She told viewers that she’d be heading home to Mississippi to stay with her sick, 88-year-old mother. Her family also lives in path of tropical storm, Isaac.

There, the host will be treated for her condition and will get ready for a bone-marrow transplant. Her sister Sally will donate her marrow.

Roberts is expected to be absent from TV for several months.

Her co-hosts gave her a tear-worthy tribute, and there were plenty of tissue boxes present. Perhaps to pacify those who were sad that she’d be leaving for some time, Roberts shared a favorite quote with viewers: “’Life provides losses and heartbreak for all of us. But the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.’ I am determined not to miss that meaning.”

While she’s out, there will be some notables filling in for her. Lara Spencer announced that Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, the cast of Modern Family, Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Rob Lowe, Oprah Winfrey, and some surprise guests will take over her role.//