Wow! Since launching this blog last week, I have had an amazing flood of e-mails of support and encouragement from friends, family and generous unknown faces. I’ve heard stories from as far and wide as the USA and Australia. I’ve even had a few words of encouragement from other writers. It seems more than ever that all our lives are touched by cancer and some in ways more frightening than my own.

I apologise for some total blog muppetry resulting in the various states of readiness and formatting you may have seen if you visited more than once this week and you may well have had a naff link for ‘Test’ a few hours ago, as I sat with my very hands-on publisher, trying to get to grips with the difference between comments and replies.

Some of you tried, more than once, to say things you hoped to share with other readers.     I hope I’ve got that sorted now, but no-one hold their breath.

In between hunting for ‘blogging for dummies’ tips, I’ve squeezed out another 5,000 words  towards my deadline target of 80,000. Not good enough says Rick – get back to it.

I’ve been absorbed in considering what you sharing your stories means to me. Having a serious cancer diagnosis, has an immediate impact on the way everyone around you behaves. They are very concerned to get it right and you do indeed, suddenly have a very different focus. As a consequence however, there can be an unintended loss of things that make life worth living in the moment.

For me, there was a sudden loss of being another’s counsel and confidant. I guess I’m not a bad listener and a lot of my interactions with other people involve that give-and-take of life’s little moans and groans.

I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time because there were indeed moments when suddenly everything else seemed so mundane and trivial, I didn’t want to be bothered with it. Other people must’ve thought so too because overnight, they stopped sharing their gripes and tales of everyday stuff.

I knew I craved a bit of normal but didn’t realise what that might be. Now I know part of feeling human, part of living your life is to feel useful to another by sharing their thoughts and lives. So, next time you’re with a friend going through difficult times (and so long as the moment is right,) don’t feel bad doing just that, even if it’s how WordPress can drive you crazy.