It's really weird to look back on this. Nobody expects to get cancer; ergo, nobody expects to look back on it. But 10 years is a not-insignificant milestone.
Cancer is a very lonely experience. While I had an amazing support network (with my supervisor helping me to get settled in the hospital, & my mother driving down from CT to be with me during my treatment), there's no real way to communicate to others in a relatable way the existential dread of something within your own body may kill you. Even within the cancer centers, amongst people going through similar diseases, I was so much younger than the other patients that we were coming at the experience with vastly different world views.
(Sure, I started out with friends coming with me for my treatment, but several days of several hours with people will quickly drain your well of discussion topics; though having someone else there with me was a big help).
Thus, the majority of my treatment was spent within books. For the hours spent in the treatment chair, my friends were Strahd von Zarovich, Drizzt & his companions, and the Obarskyr family. I went through so many books that I gained a reputation among the nurses & other patients as being "that well-read kid."
Outside of treatment was a different story. Once I was out of the hospital and could go out in public without a mask, I rejoined my D&D group (using a character I rolled up during one of my hospital stays, funnily enough). Being able to not think about treatment and enjoy myself was a huge help.
All in all, I am one of the lucky ones. It was caught quickly. I had a built-in support network. There was a top-rated cancer center within a few miles. The military was paying for the treatment. In the past 10 years, I bore witness to some who were not so lucky.
I often find myself feeling almost burdened with surviving cancer. "You pulled through this," I say to myself. "Those family and friends, those people you knew and loved. They didn't make it. You should do something with that. God dam it, you NEED to do something with that." I've been doing everything I can, up to and including forming a charity of my own. But that part of me, that niggling self critic, keeps telling me there's always something more I can do. Every event I run, all the money I raise, I keep going back into my head and think, "If I had done [thing] differently, could it have been better?"
Everyone who hears about Castles & Chemo, though, tells me that they've heard nothing like it. My friends & family want to support it any way they can, even if they don't understand it. People in the gaming industry, people I consider celebrities, want to do what they can to promote it.
At the end of the day, however, if I can help to make one person's cancer treatment more bearable in some way, I can settle for that.