When I talk about having cancer, I tend to simply say "I had it". Other people want me to say that I "fought", "beat", or "was battling" cancer. I just don't feel it's wholly accurate. Nothing I actively did was going to get rid of the cancer. It was much more that I was an unwilling hostess upon whose house cancer inconsiderately marched in on one day and refused to leave. It was a reasonable, average house our hostess lived in - nothing too fancy, but something worth saving. Our hostess didn't have the ability to get rid of Herr. Cancer herself, so she called upon her friend who she thought might be able to assist in her plight. Mr. Chemotherapy Jnr. made a valid attempt but had to call upon his father, Mr. Chemotherapy Snr., and between them, they were able to haul Herr. Cancer out without causing much damage to our hostess' property.
Alas, Herr. Cancer had been able to leave himself a secret entry way should he wish to return, and four months later, he did . He had also brought friends to set up camps elsewhere in the home, and this time multiple forces were required to mount a defence. Mr. Chemotherapy Snr., including Colonel Radiotherapy and Major General Transplant were all called in to lead the troops. After many long weeks of conflict, it seemed the assault was over. Our hostess made thorough checks and there didn't seem to be a way for Herr. Cancer and his cronies to return. Her allies all left, and finally she was able to assess the impact. The house no longer stood as it once had - a strong fortress, not much to look at but warm and welcoming. Her exterior was not offensive.
Now our hostess found herself stood in a wreckage. Some areas might require a little patching up here and there, and there was some serious structural damage that would need a more in-depth assessment to rebuild, but she at least had a framework in a field. A battlefield, which she picked through, using what she could salvage to try and build a new life, never forgetting the epic war that left her each piece.
That's how I feel. I didn't beat cancer. I was simply the battlefield on which the chemotherapy fought the cancer, then I was the brigade sent in to tidy up the mess and make the best of it.