2011 Sucks

So good things: I finally got to start on mojoLive, which is great and past time.

OK, now for everything else.

I spent the first three months sick with the flu followed by a chronic sinus infection. Turns out, this was the least bad thing to happen. Antibiotics, once you find a doc who will give you a 30 day supply to beat the little fuckers into submission, work.

Most of the first of the year was also a game of “Any day now” with funding the startup. As anybody who has been through a funding process knows, it’s an extremely stressful process full of promise that you can start followed by a string of disappointments. I ended up having to turn down a promotion and prematurely give notice. Fortunately the funding did finally come through, albeit in drips and drabs, so starting up has been an exercise in contingency plans. Fair enough, that’s how that stuff goes.

Around the time I got well, my cockatiel Squeak got sick. He couldn’t shake it, and I had to medicate him twice a day for several months.

Our CTO has had family issues that have kept him from participating fully, so the startup’s road has been even rockier than normal.

And then Amy found a lump in her breast. A mammogram turned into a biopsy which revealed breast cancer.

Immediately after that, Squeak, my companion since I moved to DC 14 years ago, suddenly got worse and died on the way to the vet. Squeak was my first pet.

Then we found out that Amy has the BRCA-1 mutation, meaning that in addition to a heightened chance for recurrence of breast cancer, she has to watch out for ovarian cancer. Her type is somewhat aggressive, but at least responds to chemo fairly well. She’ll have to have a double mastectomy to decrease the risk of recurrence, and she’ll need to get regular ultrasounds to watch for ovarian tumors.

So the remainder of 2011 will be dominated by chemotherapy for her until December, followed by surgery.

Not directly affecting me, there have been other good things: the Arab Spring and a few friends having children. But then there’s also been a devastating tsunami and the Arab Spring has turned into a bloody struggle. Oh, and Steve Jobs’s long illness from has resulted in him stepping down, which almost certainly means it’s entered a terminal stage. Fuck you, cancer.

The not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been: Amy’s near-term prognosis is excellent–after, of course, the nausea, fatigue, and hair loss followed by major surgery. The startup is functioning, and we’re actually somehow mostly on track. So if you haven’t signed up, do so, and I’ll have happier things to talk about later this year.

But if I’ve been less communicative or social, well, I’ve had stuff going on. So what I’d hoped would be fun blogging about a new company will instead be mostly updates for those who know Amy.

Finally, perspective: We are financially sound, Amy has great insurance and a supportive job and friends, and everybody I’ve talked to has been incredibly supportive. Squeak was in his early senior years, so it wasn’t shocking. While I’m acknowledging the painful realities of what should have been a banner year, I haven’t lost site of the many advantages I have.

Oh, and fuck cancer.

4 thoughts on “2011 Sucks

  1. You might have called this ‘whining’ in your tweet, but it’s nothing of the sort. Your writing shows a strength I can only hope to have if faced with calamity and heartbreak. I wish you and your wife (as well as all around you) all the best I can.


    • It helps that I know a guy going through stuff that makes mine look puny by comparison. So my feeling about whine is as much about my emotion as I was writing it as any objective level of whinging in it (which I did try to edit out).

      That doesn’t mean this stuff doesn’t suck monkey ass, because it does, but I kind of know how much worse stuff can get.


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