One of Bakersfield's most popular radio hosts is now a breast cancer survivor. Niki Reyes returned to the airwaves Monday morning for the first time in nearly two months.
Reyes is back on Kelly 95.3, waking up listeners on the radio with her co-host Danny Hill.
"It feels like riding a bike. If you haven't been on it for a while or doing your job for a while, you kind of think am I going to get the hang of this?" explained Reyes.
"Once you're here it all comes back. It's the same everywhere, except it's just a little different," she continued.
Reyes is not the same woman who left seven weeks ago. "I love and appreciate life in such a different way," she noted.
In October, Reyes encouraged listeners to get mammograms as part of breast cancer awareness month. Reyes decided to get one herself. It's a decision she said likely saved her life.
"It's one of those surreal moments. She called me and I just started crying," said Hill, Reyes' co-host.
At 32 years old, Reyes was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. In December, she underwent a double mastectomy.
"For me, I just turned into a robot, you know, I have to do this. I'm not going to not do this and whatever they need me to do, I'm just going to do it and face my fear," said Reyes.
Reyes documented her recovery with listeners on Facebook.
"It was tough. Always asking for help, just do simple things. It's hard when you're young and healthy and you're very independent and you need them to help you go to the bathroom and put on a sock," she explained.
Every day, Reyes got stronger. "You know, when you're only option is to be strong, you're just strong," she explained.
Hill tried to stay strong too without the woman he calls, his better half.
"At first, it's like when mom and dad are gone. You're like awesome, I'm going to stay up all night and eat junk food. You do that the first night and then you're like man I'm bored," noted Hill.
"About half way through the first day, I realized how hard this was going to be," he continued.
The duo returned to the airwaves together Monday morning. Both are stronger than ever because of this experience.
Reyes said she may undergo chemotherapy in the near future.