The New York Times

Myself, by Any Other Name

After cancer surgery I was fiercely determined to survive. That meant reconnecting to my essential self and shedding my ex-husband’s name.

Pari Berk, The New York Times
Credit: Yvetta Fedorova

I had a chunk of myself removed last month.

“Think of it as a marble in your sheet cake,” the oncologist said.

That marble was a tumor in my liver, a serious situation, but at least I was a candidate for surgery. Recovering in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, having just been filleted, solar plexus to navel, I exhaled into the plastic spirometer that measured my airflow. It felt like a miniature version of that strong man carnival game in which you pound a mallet to try to ring a bell…read more here.

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