I said it last Sunday and I have to say it again: I hate writing about myself.

I made an exception last week to briefly explain I'd been battling cancer for a year and the nature of it had moved to a stage I felt I should let others know outside my circle of family and friends.

Cancer touches nearly every family in New Zealand and my situation isn't any different to many other Kiwis.

I am deeply grateful for our public health system and the dedicated professionals whose hands we put our lives in.

My radiologist is in dispute with her hospital managers this week and I hope her and her colleagues win.

More money for the health and education workers rather than bailing out South Canterbury Finance, I say.

I'm a little embarrassed by the support from hundreds of people who contacted me this week. I accept I can be a polarising figure, not only with conservatives, but even within the left of the political spectrum.

I've never held strong grudges but the political world has a lot of good haters. So I was taken aback by the genuine good wishes from my "political enemies" and some hard-ass bosses I've butted heads with over the years. Even some of the former left-wing colleagues I've fallen out with in the past used my announcement to kiss and make up.

Some Herald on Sunday readers - I'm proud to say - wrote, saying they agree with everything I write (though not many I admit) and I'd have to recover so I could continue to give the right-wingers a good kicking every Sunday.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the readers who started with "I don't normally agree with you, but ..." or "I don't agree with anything you say, but ..." and added it was important to have someone with a strong left-wing view in the mainstream press. That maturity impressed me.

The "professional right" has been universally very kind to me, although I suspect they want me to stick around because, as one of them wrote, it'll be no fun trouncing the left without me on the losing team.

While I have deep differences with those on the right, I have always respected them. If I have a political enemy, it's the idiots who take pride in their political apathy and electoral ignorance.

I admire every citizen who offers themselves for elective office, whether they are on the right, the left or the centre. Local body elections aren't very interesting.

But this week's antics between the Auckland mayoral hopefuls are revealing more of the characters of our future city leaders and it is good we got to see it.

Every citizen has a responsibility to participate in the electoral process. I always vote for the most left-wing candidates as I'm too tribal to vote for the other side. But if someone feels they can't support any candidates, I expect them to still send in their ballots unfilled.

And before anyone starts bleating on in a morally superior way, just remember people like Nelson Mandela and countless others who are or have been imprisoned, tortured and even died so people like us can choose their leaders no matter how imperfect electoral democracy can be.

My right-wing opponents on this matter are not my real enemies, it's these people.

I do have to confess someone on the right pointed out I'm not quite as benign as I sometimes make out. They reminded me of my recent attack on Ron Trotter in this column after he died. They have a point. While I don't resile from what I said, I could have said it without the insults. Sometimes it's hard to take the mongrel out of a street dog.

But I'm no hypocrite. I don't blather insincere platitudes about someone who dies if I never agreed with them. Therefore, I give permission to my opponents to dance on my grave. Given they're big on property rights, I expect them to leave the headstone undamaged, however.