A year ago

“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.


  1. Did I ever say thanks for that Italian Ice? Talking about baseball, Italian Ice, and visits from friends gave me some good memories from a year ago.

  2. A year?

    It seems that it could have just been days ago that we were sitting there watching the Rays (Devil Rays back then) in your hospital room. On the other hand, it seems that it could have been years ago. I’m sure that it always seems closer in your own rear view mirror. Either way, it just seems odd to me that it has been a year. “Just wait till next year!” The famous baseball cry. Now it is next year and look, our team is in first, you are in remission, and you and Cheryl got to share another anniversary. Just hope that the remission isn’t tied to the fate of our Boys of Summer. (unless they make a late October appearance)

  3. Oh wow, you are a strong man and I am so happy you have had successful treatment. My sister-in-law has been in heavy chemo for leukemia and we are so grateful that she has found a bone marrow donor and that she is now in the process of rebuilding her immune system again. But she has a long road ahead of her. We can only keep hoping for the best.

  4. Hi John,

    I just read through your archived cancer posts. You are a remarkable man and a terrific writer. So glad I found you.

    Happy One Year Anniversary.


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