"I don't want to remember because I couldn't imagine what it was like. ... I don't want to wake up with nightmares," Charla Nash said of the Feb. 16 attack by Travis, the 200-pound chimp owned by her friend and employer, Sandra Herold.
Herold had called Nash to her Stamford, Conn., home that morning to help get Travis back in his cage.
Nash, who turned 56 Tuesday, also told Winfrey on the show that aired Wednesday that she hoped her story would serve as a warning to others.
"These exotic animals are very dangerous and they shouldn't be around," she said in the interview during which she removed a dark veil and revealed that her face was missing eyes, her nose and lips. "There's a place for them that is not in residential areas."
Nash, who wakes up every day in a hospital room at the Cleveland clinic where doctors change her bandages daily, told Winfrey she rarely touches her face to avoid knowing the full extent of her injuries.
"I don't ask a whole lot about my injuries. I know that I have my forehead," she said.
Nash underwent several surgeries. Doctors used part of her leg to construct a new nose. They also rebuilt her tongue and cut a small hole in her face so she can eat.
They also removed her eyes.
Now, Nash must drink her meals with a straw though a small hole where her mouth used to be. She said she longs for the day when she might be able to eat "a hot dog or piece of pizza."
Despite her injuries, Nash seemed remarkably upbeat. She said she has no pain, was not angry and was ready to move on with her life rather than dwell on that day.
"I'm the same person I've always been," she said. "I just look different. There are things that happen in life you can't change.
"I don't think about it [the attack]. There's no time for that because I need to heal, you know, not look backwards."
Paramedics responding to a 911 call after the attack said they found pieces of Nash's fingers strewn on the floor and her hands looked as though they had been through a meat grinder.
"The monkey had ripped off her entire upper jaw, had ripped off her nose, which was hanging by a thread," said Dr.Kevin Miller, who treated Nash at the emergency room. "We found extensive dirt, chimp fur, and chimp teeth implanted in her bone."
Nash is missing both hands but had a thumb surgically replaced on her left hand.
"I'm not a candidate for a hands transplant because I have no eyesight," she said. "I hope somewhere along the way to get a face transplant and get a hand transplant at the same time."
On the 911 recordings, Herold can be heard screaming that the ape had killed her friend and was "eating her."
"The chimp killed my friend," a sobbing Herold said on the tapes. "Send the police with a gun; with a gun."
The dispatcher later asked, "Who's killing your friend?"
"My chimpanzee," she said, crying. "He ripped her apart. Shoot him, shoot him."
Nash goes for daily walks around the hospital and relishes the occasional visits she shares with her 17-year-old daughter, Brianna.
"I'm sorry I can't spend more time with my daughter," Nash said. "I know she misses me. I miss her too."