My wife had surgery last night for colon cancer, and it went very well. We are in the hospital room in San Francisco, where she will be for at least a week of recovery.
This experience -- the last two weeks since the diagnosis, and the long night last night -- have changed me in many ways of which I am only beginning to contemplate. But one thing is clear: I am learning how to be more thankful. Just take the last 20 hours: our wonderful surgeon, Dr. Yanek Chiu, and the seriousness of his care, the nurses and their individual personalities and accents, the patient recovering from back surgery who briefly shared a room with us last night (we never saw her face, but we spoke through the curtain), the many parking lot attendants, receptionists, hospital doormen -- I have been struck by the fullness of each life. And I am so thankful for the consideration and concern which they have shown us.
Most of all I have been amazed by our friends and our dear families who have been completely there for us, full of love and support and concern. A trial such as this makes clear that our lives not lived alone, not for an instant.
I believe that there will be some part of me, for the rest of my life, which will remember when I talk to anyone, anywhere, that they may be going through hardships of which I have no idea, and I hope I can show them the kindness and patience which they need and deserve.