As of today, it has officially been 6 months since my doctor told me I was in remission. There have been no life altering epiphanies or secret wisdoms revealed to me, only a hard-won smile from having kicked cancer square in the beanbag.
There is so much about this disease that you never see on TV or in movies: the weight gain from steroids, the palpable fear in the air of an infusion center, the utter numbness that consumes your being. Writers wax poetic about the nobility of facing down such an evil opponent or the transcendent quality you gain in your perspective, but oftentimes it’s an incomprehensibly frightening experience that happens so fast you can’t understand what’s going on even as it happens to you.
No one tells you how difficult it is to pick up the pieces of your shattered life. They don’t let you know that the reason some of your friends disappeared was because they didn’t know what to say (hello would have been nice). How weird it is to slip back into a normal routine when your core has been stripped raw or all the little ways your body has been irrevocably changed. Beating cancer was fucking difficult. Living afterwards may be even harder.
This is a minor milestone—though a welcome one—and the best I can do is keep moving forward.