NY1’s Ruschell Boone returned to “News All Day” on Monday after battling pancreatic cancer for nine months.
Boone, who received her last treatment two weeks ago, said she was “feeling great” as she resumed her spot at the anchor desk at noon.
“As many of you know, I’ve been battling pancreatic cancer over the last nine months, and right now, I’m cancer-free,” she said. “And after months of chemo and surgery, I am back.”
“It is so good to be with all of you,” she added.
Boone announced that she was undergoing treatment for cancer in July — and documented some of her journey via social media in the months that followed.
Her first interview on Monday was with Mayor Eric Adams, who called her soon after her announcement and tweeted that New Yorkers were “all pulling for her as she takes on this battle.”
Speaking with Boone on Monday, Adams called her an “inspiration.”
“I’m just so happy for you and your family,” the mayor said. “My heart was just heavy when I heard, but you know, God is good all the time.”
“You may not realize it, you sit here on TV, but you don’t know how much you inspire people,” he added. “I have been on this station from the first day, when you guys opened, and I’m excited about you being back.”
In a separate interview Monday with Dr. Selwyn Vickers — the president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Boone received treatment — Boone spoke about the experience.
“If you have ever heard the words, ‘You have cancer,’ one of the hospitals that comes to mind is Memorial Sloan Kettering, right here in the city,” she said. “And I am forever grateful for my treatment there, and the care that I received from my doctors.”
The pancreas, Vickers explained, “is an organ that sits in our central abdomen,” helping with digestion and the management of sugars. The onset of pancreatic cancer can be “insidious” due to the organ’s location, he noted, adding that “you don’t really know until often late that you have an abnormality or a tumor.”
“When it malfunctions, it actually creates some problems,” he said, including indigestion and an “inability to digest certain foods.”
To catch warning signs, Vickers said it is “important to be attuned to your body.” Changes in bowel habits and appetite, “unusual weight loss” and an onset of diabetes in patients over the age of 60 can all be symptoms of the illness, the physician said.
Boone, for her part, said she was “experiencing a lot of the symptoms that a lot of people in stage 4 would experience.”
“I had a stomach pain, I had back pain,” she recalled. “I was gaining weight and losing weight eating the same amount of food.”
“I got lucky. I was only stage 1, but boy, was that tough to beat,” she added. “Chemotherapy is not easy, folks. It is so brutal. It takes over your entire system.”
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which sees nearly 750,000 patients a year, treats more than 400 cancers, Vickers said. Its medical staff performs nearly 30,000 surgeries and provides nearly 300,000 chemotherapy treatments, he added.
Speaking directly to NY1 viewers on Monday after her interviews, Boone said she wanted to “take a second to just thank all of you out there who have been supporting me over the last nine months.”
“All you folks who prayed for me, sent me flowers and gifts and blankets and socks, I can’t thank you enough. I’m trying not to get emotional,” she said. “All the folks around here, the people I work with who rallied with me over the last nine months.”
“I miss my mom — as you all know, she died a little bit before my cancer diagnosis — but with her gone, so many of you stepped in to comfort me like a mom. And I want to thank my children, who were soldiers through all of this, Jackson and Carter, and I want to thank my husband, who never missed a chemo appointment, who held my hand and made me laugh, and watched me dance through it all,” she said.
“I thank you all. For sticking with me, and I thank you for watching today,” she added. “May you all have a good day, and take your health very seriously.”