“What did we do last year for our anniversary, Cheryl?”
“We didn’t do anything. You were about to start chemo and we were staying away from public places.”
Let me clear a few things up. My experience with cancer was much easier than most (as far as I’m concerned). Although I still think about it every day, it’s not something that causes me any fear or anxiety. My doctor assures me it could stay in remission for twenty years. Even when/if it comes back, it’ll be just as easy to treat as the first time.
Still… it was a year ago? How is that possible? (No, I’m not asking for any cracks about the Earth’s orbit around the sun.) It’s weird to think about the small ways my life has changed since then. It still scares me a little to be around sick people. It seems like I catch everything within a two mile radius, so it’s obvious my immune system is still a little outta whack. When people greet me with a “hey John, how are you doing?” they say it in their lower, “I really mean it, I’m not just being polite” voice – which is usually touching, but occasionally unnerving.
It’s one more thing that I think about every day, but I don’t know why. Or maybe I do know why (on some level), and it bothers me more than I’m willing to admit. It’s not like I have any symptoms. It’s not like life isn’t mostly back to normal – if you ignore the whiff of concern I pick up from passers by. You know what? I might be on to something there.