On November 1, 2013, I sat in the waiting room of UCLA Ronald Reagan medical center waiting for my husband to get out of surgery. Two weeks earlier, we’d celebrated our second wedding anniversary with the specter of a big, unknown THING hanging over us. Something was wrong with my husband. We didn’t know what was wrong, all we knew is the doctors were sending him for blood tests and scans and biopsies. A few weeks after that biopsy, we would be called into an oncologist’s office to be told that my then 33-year-old husband had cancer. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, if you want to get specific.
He had his first chemo treatment right before Thanksgiving of last year. He only threw up once.
After 6 months of treatment, another surgery, several additional scans, and more fucking blood work than I could possibly fathom, we’ve been told that he’s effectively in remission. This is great news. It’s also news we accept cautiously. Cancer becomes a presence in your life. It lives in your home, it takes up space. Even when it’s supposed to be gone, you still wait to feel it – the sense of dread, the dark fear that takes hold in your gut and seeps into your dreams. It finds you when you least expect.
I don’t know why I wrote this. Because we’re still here? Because it’s been a year and we’re still here?