The desire to protect our loved ones from the things that could hurt them is one most of us have. We shield our precious people from as many knocks as we can, acting as a buffer between them and harsh reality. When you love someone it is often the case that you are able to manage your own pain for better than you could manage theirs. That's why I understood entirely when my mother said she hadn't mentioned anything earlier. They didn't want to worry me. No point in getting everyone upset before all the facts were established.
And I was not to worry now, she said. Many men of my father's age develop prostate cancer and, with treatment, go on to die of something entirely unrelated years further down the line. The consultant was lovely and very positive. So not to worry.
I am worried. Of course. I won't let on. My desire to protect my loved ones is as strong as theirs.