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creativity

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.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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