I just found out a female friend from my younger days has thyroid cancer. Apparently it is serious enough where she has been receiving RAI treatments and is in fact going into surgery to remove her thyroid this week. I found out just the other day and it has been weighing heavily on my mind since. I am so worried about her, and even though we are both older, we are both far too young to be getting health issues like this. Now, I haven't seen this friend of mine in about 17 years (yes, I am that old), and we have lived our lives separately with a lot of stuff happening in those years, until I reconnected with her online in 2005, and we have sporadically been in contact via email, the occasional phone call, and later facebook, since. She is married. I am not, and I never have married. I have had serious relationships, but currently I think I am broken up with someone. That's a whole other mess best left alone. Anyway, here is the background. We met when we both joined the military, and were in training together for the same job: I joined right out of high school. She being a couple years older than me, joined after having been in college for a couple years. We became friends and we both hung out in a circle of friends. We did things together when off duty, going to the enlisted club together, hiking, riding horses, and whatever else. Back in those days, it was very much like attending college during the day and living a co-ed dorm life when off duty, I suppose. In some ways, back in those days, I was the same as I am now, but in others, I was quite a different. I was very shy and awkward around women then (I still can be, but I have mostly gotten past that now), so I never was able to bring myself to tell this friend of mine that, in my mind, that I was in love with her. I almost had worked up enough courage to tell her once, but I never did. As a result of my inaction, someone else asked her out, and that someone turned out to be a mutual friend, and they hit it off. Figuring nothing good would come of it, and not wanting to disrespect my other friend, I never told this lady friend of mine. Towards the end of our 18 week training course, she had some emotional problems (she had problems that at that point, were undiagnosed), and in combination with that, the stress of the course work, and the fact we were doing this during war time (Gulf War 1 era to be exact, and some people can handle the idea of possibly going to a live action deployment after training is complete, and others not so much, I suppose), by friend attempted to take her own life. As a result, the military treated her, then discharged her, as if you do something like that, they basically can't have you in (you could be a danger to yourself or other personnel). While this was going on, my other friend and I graduated. As fate would have it, we were stationed in the US, and in fact, at the same base we did our training. When she was discharged, my lady friend stayed in the same state, and ultimately married my other friend, and they went on to have 2 kids. During the rest of my enlistment, we all stayed at the same base, though the unit I was in, did travel quite a bit. When we were back in garrison though, we all, along with several other friends, still hung out and went to clubs and did other stuff when off duty. While we were all friends, I still had these unrequited and suppressed feelings for my female friend, but I never once made a move or anything like that, nor did I tell anyone. Ever. But these feelings faded, and they became those of genuine friendship, but I suppose it was in the back of my mind to some extent. As far as everyone was concerned, though, we were all platonic friends. Unfortunately, towards the end of my enlistment, my lady friend and my other friend were having serious marriage problems. When I was out processing to go back to civilian life, the rest of my unit including my one friend deployed to an exercise for a the last month I was in the military. My female friend was living on base and we still would hang out that last month I was in the military. In fact, she was taking the marital problems pretty hard, and I ended up being the one to lend her an ear. She even made an advance or two towards me (which surprised me), but I did the right thing, and didn't take advantage of that situation. I figured she wasn't in her right state of mind and, well, she was married to my friend. But I would be lying if I said I didn't want to. I was so damned tempted, actually, and even to this day, I wonder "what if?" But that all became water under the bridge, because I got out of the military and moved back home, and she ended up divorcing my friend, and marrying someone else, whom she is married to, to this day. This leads to my question, though. After hearing about my friend having cancer, I have been thinking about the past quite a bit. The last thing in the world I want to do is cause any trouble for my friend. I know she has enough on her mind right now, and enough stress in her life. I have been wondering if I should tell her how I felt about her all those years ago. I mean she has her life, and I have mine, and that is the way it is. But considering there is a possibility she could succumb to cancer, never knowing how I felt...I mean, isn't this something that she would want to know? Or am I being selfish? I don't expect anything nor do I want anything from her (I mean we live in other states, and she is happily married), I just want to say "hey, all these years, I have this thing I never told you, and if I don't tell you, you might never know." So, what should I do? Keep my fat mouth shut, or should I say something? I just need some perspective on this.