People Are Good

The following is a composite exaggeration of a few dozen conversations held over the past couple of months. Everyone bar none has been amazing. Even those who don’t know me well – or even who I didn’t think were on my side – have come through as warm, kind people…

…so this is how that conversation goes…

Breaking The News

“Hi, I’ve got some news – have you got a minute?”

“Sure – what’s up?”

“It’s not great news. Fair warning – it might dampen your day”

“That’s ok – I’d like to know.  I’ll take my notepad!”

“….erm… better not…Ok – let’s find a quiet space”


“Ok here goes – I’ve got bowel cancer.  It’s spread to my liver and we’re looking at chemo, then surgery, then more chemo”


“I’m really sorry to have to tell you.  You look so upset.  It’s ok – you don’t have to say anything or respond in a certain way”

“Well…thanks for telling me…you’re so young…and fit”

“I know right.  Unfortunately that hasn’t stopped me getting cancer.  But hey – it can’t be that bad. I ran 100 miles recently!”

“Can you still run?”

“I ran eight miles to get here”

“Ok – well there’s no need to worry about work – or money – or climate change, famine, plague, Christmas concerts – anything like that”

“Oh…well I still want to worry about those things – especially the concerts.  I hate the thought of letting everyone down”

“But you mustn’t – we’ll all pull together to make them even better without you”

“Well that makes me feel a bit redundant…”

“No…I mean they’d be better with you there, but you’ve got to focus on your health now. You must stay positive!”

“Hmmmm health – not sure if I’ve really got much of that left now but…”

“…If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.  No – really – do.  I only live 600 miles away and have 14 children/elderly relatives.  It’s no trouble. Stay positive.”

“Thanks – that’s really nice of you.  I don’t know how sick chemo is going to make me…”

“I’ve made you some food. Here – eat it. Stay Positive”

“Are you sure it’s for me?  I’ve only just told you I’m not well…”

“Of course – it’s yours!”

“Hang on – isn’t that your lunchbox with your usual lunch in it?”

“Eat the food now. Positive!”