As some of you know, I was diagnosed last year with Multiple Myeloma. I was hospitalized and in severe pain off & on for months. Then a slow fragile state of healing and am now well on to a recovery or, at least a stalemete. At the time, I had to cancel everything in life. My wife & kids were always there, and some friends...even the guys from the band. I told them I would return and they kept encouraging me to get better. Within a year, I am physically ready to play again. Remarkable if I do say so myself. The band had to hire a mercenary to play shows for me but, all the while, I made clear that I was coming back and the band made no noise to the contrary. As late as August of this year, I called and said: "when am I starting back with you guys?". They said they'd look into it and get back with me. Problem: the mercenary is a friend of the key-player who's buddied up to the guitarist. Well, I am out, they voted & said via-VM that they didn't want to "go backwards" and are not asking me back. I was insulted by the 'going backwards' comment. The mercenary they have is a pretty limp player. I know this 'cause I have worked with 'em in another gig. But it seems a coalition has been built and I guess that's just the way it is. But get this: One band-mate, I have known for 13 years, another 12 years. I was informed via voice mail by one of the 2. The other, no call, nothing. I can't decide if I am more mad or hurt. After over a decade of 'friendship' and nearly 7 years in this band to have the door slammed that hard. Cold...just cold. Yeah, I plan on moving on but...just...wow! Some people.