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Write every day: I lived

This is where our story begins.
Fade in: exterior NYU Langone Health hospital on the east side of Manhattan. Day.
This is the setting where I physically walked in alone with cancer.

This morning, I watched the sun rise behind the thick cloud cover over the East River. I asked my queen of a nurse, Esther, if she would take me to their picture window she had showed me last night so I could see the coming of the dawn. I have fewer body parts now but my heart has grown exponentially. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for every moment, every breath, every kindness.

I cried watching the coming of the dawn because the only words that kept coming to mind were, “I lived. I lived.”

In a few hours, I’ll walk out of the hospital on my own two feet without cancer. In about a month, Act 2 begins with a set of treatments to kill any microscopic cancers that are trying to hide from me. My stunning medical team at @nyulangone will turn over every cellular rock to crush this cancer. Science and I are in it to win it, and we will.

The operating room was incredibly cool. I felt like I was in NASA mission control! Before I went under, my surgeon held my hand, and said, “Sweetie, we are getting every single bit of this cancer today and you are going to heal.” That was the last thing I remember.

When my surgeon came to see this morning, I started to cry out of gratitude. She said to me, “Friend, I am so glad to be on your team. I know this has been difficult & painful to go through. It’s been hell. You have a whole team of people here rooting for you. Your surgery went exactly as planned. You are young. You are healthy. You are strong. We will get to the other side of this.” I cried thanking her for saving me.

I cried again saying goodbye to my nurse, Esther. My heart is so full. There’s so much compassion in this world & we can gift it to others. We’re all just walking each other home.

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