I've often heard model-building described as a lifesaver, but I think in my case these days it's more true than ever.
Last April I was feeling a bit rough, and had to go into hospital for a few days for 'tests' - never a good word, is it? It took a while, but eventually I was diagnosed with cancer, in my upper gastric area and pancreas.
It sounds terrible, but I've been reassured that I'm in no imminent danger. It's a very rare form, called neuroendocrine cancer, and it's referred to as 'indolent' - which means it's very slow-growing, and I've probably had it for many years. It was still a shock though, to both of us, and naturally you turn to something for comfort and escape, and for me, that meant modeling. I'm having treatment, and don't always feel 100 percent, but nothing has kept me from the bench, and kit-bashing has been one of the two things that has saved my sanity and I do believe, has relieved some of the stress and actually improved my health.
The other thing is the friendship and support of my friends and clients on the internet. I haven't wanted to mention anything about my health, but I felt it was time to share this information. I have always felt a bond with my fellow modellers, and without exception I have met only enthusiastic, loyal and generous people in this internet incarnation of my career. I hope I haven't let anyone down over the last few months - I have slowed down a little, and treatment takes up a a chunk of my time now and then, but the escape into a gripping magazine article, a really engrossing kit and a chance to share the result on here has contributed no end to keeping my spirits high and giving me a goal to aim for when times are hard. I've got a full diary, and it would take a lot more than a few rogue cells to keep me from my job. Everybody has problems, health issues and in this climate, work stress. I hope you too have a way to escape your worries and lose yourself in something you love.
And, as always, more on this later.