As you know, this has been a taxing time for me over the past eighteen months. Stranded, for good reason, in Cambridge. I know nobody here apart from  hospital staff. But as massively supportive as they have been, they’re not really friends. Though I do regard some of them in the mates category, I suppose.

Disappointingly, distressingly, many people I regarded as friends simply disappeared. I was diagnosed with cancer, treated with major surgery and radiotherapy, lengthy (and ongoing) follow up, and for many people I liked, whom I regarded as friends, I ceased to exist. Or in one case, the sexual harassment thing when I was right in the thick of things. That was helpful, obviously, since I was at a pretty low ebb mentally and emotionally. Nice timing, that.

The disappearance thing I understand. I do. I was forcing them to stare into the abyss. Hey guys, staring in is frightening. I get that, I genuinely do. Try being in it. That’s not good when you’re puking up at random. If you ever fall into the abyss, I’ll still be there trying to haul you out. Even over the past period of bad times, I’ve been hauling people out of various abysses. I somehow found the energy to help. I amazed them. And myself. But my counselling skills took precedence. It’s not that people have it worse than you have. It’s they have it differently from you. It’s still a shitstorm for them.

There’s an upside here. A lot of the people I thought I could rely on, I couldn’t. Some I could, the ones who actually bother to maintain contact. Thank you Kev, thank you Jamie, to name but two. The list isn’t long though. The upside is finding out the people who actually give a shit. And they’re not always ones I expected. Thanks, Debbie. I hardly knew you, but you’ve been on the case from the outset.

Thing is, people I have never ever actually met popped out of the woodwork. I have an internet friend who is on my case nearly every day, the phone rings, there’s a message on Messenger. Hardly a day goes by when she doesn’t check up on me. Thanks Lani. That really is her name by the way. It’s Hawaiian apparently. Chie keeps an eye on me, and she’s in Japan, for goodness sake.

Then there are people I’ve known for years, but haven’t seen for maybe twenty of those. Thank you Marian and Brian.

Conclusion? All those who have helped me, supported me, thank you so much. The ones who turned their backs? Well fuck you.