Ten hours of sleep finally overcame my "O'Hare Hangover" from Monday's travels. After my online rant, imagine my delight when United gave me 9,000 frequent flyer miles for my inconvenience.
Yup, I can be bought.
So this morning I arrived at the office with a busy agenda; I had things to do and people to see.
Then the email arrived. A friend and colleague had taken a turn for the worse, after what had seemed to be at least a stalemate with metastatic cancer over the past year. She enters hospice care tomorrow. Her time with us will be measured in days from now until the end.
Suddenly time stopped. All those cool blog posts, simmering in my brain since returning from Science Online, sounded unimportant. Writing out a training plan for my doctoral student looked trivial.
The company for which she worked has kept her email account going, even though she has not clocked in for a while. She wanted emails from anyone who felt like sending one.
What do you say to someone who, almost literally, has one foot in the grave?
Finally, I settled on the truth. Her life mattered to so many of our patients, and I was a better person for knowing her.
When the end comes, I hope someone can say the same of me.