I've realised from the reactions of several people that I haven't seen for months, or a year in some cases, that they are really shocked by my appearance. It's not that they aren't delighted to see me looking so well; it's just that with the diagnosis I had, they anticipate that I will now be well on my way to meet my maker - to use one of the many euphemisms for death, all of which I rather dislike. Have you noticed these are getting far more common; even the BBC has difficulty with the word "died" sometimes.
My father in particular hated the dumbing down of death. He never said "passed away" instead of "died". In fact, because of that the day that he died I committed a faux pas. I'd gone over to my parents' house and a friend of his knocked at the door to enquire how he was. My father had been fine up until he'd tried to shovel snow earlier in the day. I responded, without a thought for the friend's wellbeing, with: "he's dead". As you can imagine, the friend was so shocked that I thought he was going to collapse too. I learnt then that a precusor to bad news is always a good idea.
Anyway, back to death and seeing people I haven't seen for a long time. I can tell that the question on their minds when they see me is along the lines of: "goodness, aren't you nearly dead yet?" It's quite clear that I'm nowhere near dying, hence the slight confusion until they get used to the idea that I've been spared (this time round anyway).
News of cancer spreads like a cancer itself. My bad news went spinning round in no time at all. What hasn't happened is the dissemination of the good news that I've beaten the lung cancer. So if you do know anyone who knows me and you told about my original diagnosis, I'd be really grateful if you could let them know that I'm hale and hearty. I've been spared; I'm not dead yet, I'm not even dying (well, not any more than we all are every day) at the moment. Thanks.