In the past five months, three friends of ours - all in their early 50s - have died of cancer.
One of them died just 15 months after diagnosis, leaving behind a husband and two boys. Another - whose funeral I was at last week - died five years after being told she had ovarian cancer.
The third fought her cancer for 15 years. And when I say fought, she fought the disease and she fought the system, which - as we are hearing in the news today - is letting cancer patients here in New Zealand down big time, compared to what is happening in Australia.
If she was with us today, this friend of ours would probably just shake her head and say "told you so". Because, while she was someone who didn't want to be defined by her cancer, she was someone who was prepared to stand up with, and on behalf of, other cancer patients.
She stood up time and time again, pointing out that so many lives were ending earlier than they should just because New Zealand's drug-buying agency Pharmac doesn't have certain cancer medications on its shopping list.
And, as we're finding out today, there are at least 18 of them that Australia is providing for its people, that we aren't providing here.
This friend of ours even marched on Parliament to make the point loud and clear that we could and should be doing more when it comes to the funding and delivery of cancer medications in this country.
Medications that may not get rid of the cancer, but which may prolong someone's life.
And what's so wrong with that?
Despite living with cancer for 15 years, this friend of ours still didn't live long enough to see the report that's out today from the Cancer Control Agency which is saying in black and white that New Zealanders are missing out on potentially life-saving treatments.
It's telling us that there are 18 cancer treatments publicly-funded in Australia that aren't available here. And they're being used to treat nine different types of cancer. If you're in Australia you can get them. If you're here in New Zealand, you can't.
When you think about it, it's appalling isn't that women in headscarves have to travel all the way to Wellington and stand on the steps of Parliament to try and make the powers-that-be sit up and pay attention.
Even then, the powers-that-be just nod their heads, make sympathetic sounds but - when it comes down to it - they do nothing.
And these brave people who go public with what they would probably prefer to be a private battle with cancer, go back home and just try to make the most of the life they have left.
Already today, we've heard the story of a man whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Drugs were available to extend her life, but funding was not available. And so the family had to go into fundraising-mode.
She died last year. She was just 43.
He's an academic and he's looked into it and he's saying there is a "medicine crisis" here in New Zealand. As he puts it: "There are a host of drugs that aren't funded here, that are funded overseas". And he thinks the 18 identified in this report is conservative.
But, you know, the bean counters at Pharmac know what they're doing.
I don't think there will be anyone reading this who doesn't - at the very least - know of someone who has had cancer.
Most likely, it won't just be an acquaintance. Most likely, there will be a friend of yours or someone in your family who has either had cancer, or who has cancer. You might even have had cancer - you might have it right now.
Which brings me back to this report out today, which is highlighting the fact that there are 18 cancer drugs publicly-funded in Australia, that aren't publicly-funded here in New Zealand.
Some of these drugs help people get rid of their cancer, others just help them live a bit longer.
The Government has been making a lot of noise, hasn't it, about wanting to restructure the health system and get rid of what it calls the "postcode lottery" when it comes to healthcare.
What it's getting at there, is it's saying it's not fair that people living in certain parts of the country have better or worse access to healthcare than people living in other parts of the country. Which sounds great, doesn't it?
So why isn't taking the same approach to the funding of cancer drugs which, at the moment, seems to be operating under some sort of "passport lottery".
Because that's what it looks like to me. If you get cancer and you've got an Australian passport, you've got a much better chance of beating this awful disease or at least getting a bit more time, than someone who gets cancer and has a New Zealand passport.
Which is exactly the kind of disparity our friend would point out to anyone and everyone, pretty much right up until November last year when she left us.