You certainly do find out the meaning of friendship when you get cancer, don't you! I had a couple of people just disappear into the ether. There are other people to whom I am significantly closer than I was before I was diagnosed, simply because they really stepped up when it mattered the most. And then there are those people whom I have known for years and years who were there because that's just what we do for each other and it has become just another thing that we've gone through and is woven into the fabric of a lifelong friendship. It can be very heartening to really realise the meaning of friendship and love, but as you say, can also be very disappointing when people really don't react well, especially if they are close. I am a very solid, reliable person and have helped out my in-laws and my brother-in-law on so many things over the years, including complicated legal stuff at times that has cost me large amounts of time and money, and yet all I got from my brother-in-law was a card that said 'Keep your chin up'. That was it. Not a phone call, not an email, no offers of help, no visits. Nothing. And when my in-laws came down the night before I went into hospital, they spent the entire evening talking about people they knew who'd died of cancer, people who thought they were cured but as it turned out, they weren't, and they then proceeded to say what a pain it was that they'd had to come down, because the journey was such a faff in the Winter. My husband had already politely warned them part of the way through the evening, but by that point I'd absolutely had enough and said something like, "Yeah, you're right, it's really inconvenient, me getting cancer in the Winter - cancer's much better in the Summer when you've got the light evenings." My father-in-law said, "Well, there's no need to be like that. All I'm saying is that it's difficult FOR US, to be upsetting our plans like this." I threw them out (which I don't think I would have had the confidence to do, previously) and my husband later demanded an apology from them. They were bound to be upset that I had cancer, I accept that, but their response was so self-absorbed that I was just staggered. There is now no rift or anything as dramatic as that between us, but I have to confess, I find it difficult to care very much about them. That might sound harsh, but I can't help it, that's how I feel about it. I think like you say, Jo, you never really forget that kind of thing!