My wife Reesa (eposia) was recently diagnosed with an aggressive malignancy in her left breast. The last four days have been a blur of doctors, social workers, friends, family, grief, and baked goods. The third most common reaction to tragic news, after "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help" and "Keep your chin up", appears to be "Here, I cooked you this". Which has certainly helped keep us going, if only because we'd feel bad about the good food going to waste if we didn't eat it.
For those inclined to the most common reaction, Reesa has posted a chore and errand list. One thing not listed on there, because of its different scope, is my ongoing job hunt. I am looking for full-time work as a Linux administrator or PHP developer, which is a time-consuming process of applications and rounds of interviews. I've had no trouble finding job listings, but that leaves me at the beginning of the long process on each one. If you know a job opening (or even just an HR director) somewhere your recommendation will carry weight, getting my foot in the door and on to the interview would help a lot. I'll probably want help with other things as time goes on, which will get added to Reesa's list or posted here, as appropriate. I'll also be posting periodic job hunt progress here, until something pans out.
Reminders of the importance of positive thinking are, while nice, somewhere between moot and frustrating: we know, and anyone who has seen Reesa recently can already tell we're on top of that. Coming over and spending some happy time with us, on the other hand, certainly helps us with the minute-to-minute up-chin-keeping. Grief tends to stifle happy conversation from others, in a misguided attempt to not trivialize the pain; that's understandable, but our friends and family continuing to have good lives, and to share them with us, is more important.
I'm acting as Reesa's patient advocate, which means (among other things) filtering the stream of information so she can focus on healing. If you have medical advice or contacts to share, please send it my way. Unfortunately, medical advice (amateur and professional) is often well intended but poorly delivered; I would much rather bear the brunt of that myself, wherever possible. If my enforcement of this is brusque, I apologize, but adding to Reesa's stress is something I won't sit quietly for right now.
This has been difficult to write. In part that's due to the subject, in part it's because I have kept quiet about my life recently, for a variety of personal reasons. The reasons for that reticence are past and insignificant now; you didn't miss much except stale drama, and I'll be posting much more publicly in future. Anyone needing more info is welcome to ask for a private explanation, which I will be forthright as possible with. I'll also be making a grief filter, to give myself more space and permission to process. If you would like to be on the filter, let me know in comments; not wanting to be on it (for whatever reason) is not something I will take amiss, as I don't want people to stop interacting with me online just to escape my pain.
Thank you to everyone who has already been out to support us, as well as those who have been keeping us in their thoughts. Thank you, my wonderful wife, for balancing me so well; even in the midst of this grief, you have been my rock, and your strength has kept mine present. I'd say I don't know what I'd do without you, but we've even covered that together. May we never need those plans.