Of course, everyone had the same question for me: when are you coming back for good?
"Oh, about six months," I'd say casually. "Just gotta go back and get this stem-cell thing done with, snip-snap, and as soon as I've recovered I'll be back! Probably right around the end of winter, don't see a need to rush back for February, ha-ha."
However, there was a hidden subtext in my response that I didn't understand at the time. That subtext was: This cancer is in the bag. I've got this under control. It's all going to go exactly as planned, I'm sure of it.
The thing is, five days after we returned to California, I learned that cancer is never in the bag, except maybe several years into remission. Or perhaps longer than that, I'm not sure. I have no control. Plans are made to be changed. And nothing is guaranteed.