More random thoughts

My youngest asked me tonight if I thought he could be a freelance writer as a part-time job, especially while he’s in college. He definitely doesn’t want to make it his primary career (which I’m very glad about because it’s not the most stable) but he has writing talent, some things to say, and wants a way to earn some small money part-time.

I freelanced all during my own college education and I recommend it (although it can get pretty hairy when you have deadlines and school papers due at the same time.)

I have been exploding in popularity at Medium in the past couple of days. The numbers are still relatively small, of course; I’m not going viral. But I got about 150 page views a day when I first started writing there 2 months ago, and today I had almost 1600. That’s some impressive exponential growth, especially in that time frame.

Or to put it more visually, these are the trends of my stats:

I think my writing is getting progressively better as I write there more and my voice is getting stronger. It’s really exciting and it doesn’t seem like my initial success was just a fluke. The majority of articles I write there get curated and make it to the front page of whatever topic I’m writing about or picked up by a Medium-specific publication.

While that’s all very exciting, though, the rest of me is a ball of anxiety again. I know why, too. One of my online friends whom I’ve known for 20 years has a husband who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer around the same time J was diagnosed.

Like J, her husband had over a year with no evidence of disease, and also like J, her husband recently had a recurrence. His prognosis is far worse than J’s; his oncologist gives him less than a year even if he takes chemo. I encouraged her to get a second opinion, just because things like estimates of remaining lifespan tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies. To make it worse, her husband tolerated chemo very poorly last time.

This has shaken me a lot because she and I have been our own little 2-person cancer wives’ club, and her husband’s sudden turn for the worse makes me feel so many things. Part of that is because I’m very empathetic and can put myself in her shoes far too easily.

Another part of it is that one of the things I’ve been reassured by is knowing that J has both short- and long-term disability to rely on whenever he reaches the end himself. But my friend’s husband also had the same type of disability coverage and she never got them to actually pay out.

That makes me think all kinds of things. Like that maybe we should cancel the living room furniture we ordered and keep that money in savings instead. And that I should both stop buying anything not strictly necessary and sell off some of my previous impulse buys ASAP (which I was already planning to do but keep getting sidetracked by work.)

There’s nothing suggesting it will be as imminent for J as it is for my friend’s husband. But at the same time, the nature of cancer is such that you’re doing fine until you’re not, and you can’t see it coming.

On an aside note, I was going to try taking a slightly larger micro-dose next time but now I’m definitely not, because I know I would have another sobbing breakdown. I know I feel better when I release those emotions but for now, it feels much safer to keep them locked away inside.

Maybe part of it is complicated by the fact that this is another chemo weekend for J and that just never becomes normal or routine to me. Every time, I feel such an acute awareness of the fact that he’s really going to die and I just so desperately don’t want it to happen.

But hey, I’ve also been looking up where to move in the future (my usual distraction technique.) Ecuador looks nice.

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