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“I will never forget that day.”

She smiled broadly.

“It was about a week after my cancer surgery and I had finally worked up the courage to look in the mirror. I knew you had rearranged things a bit, okay. Moved stuff around. Taken things apart and jammed them all back together, right?”

I probably would not have said it quite like that, but she was correct that her surgery had involved removing part of her tongue, a ridge of bone from the jaw, and some of the lymph nodes in her neck. She had been a bit swollen after the procedure but no more than expected, as I recalled. Things had gone well.

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