Right now, most of us are getting over, coming down with, or fighting a cold.
Our system administrator had a small nervous breakdown - which put her out for a week. Don't blame her since she lost about 1 month's worth of work with the last build.
One of our other team members has been fighting high blood pressure related issues and returns from his appointments with horror stories about being poked and prodded with various needles. He HATES needles.
Another team member is fighting through tremendous pain from last month's car accident. She's been working through a fog of pain-killers.
But the event that made us take pause was the news that one of our trainers has breast cancer.
She found out during the course of her annual exam 2 weeks ago.
As part of that exam - she had a mammogram. The mammogram found a lump about 1 cm deep in the breast tissue. Nothing that could be felt by a standard breast exam. The radiologist, in his report, stated that there was a very high probability that it was malignant.
A day or so later, she went for a biopsy - which confirmed the cancer.
So...surgery is scheduled for next week. She knows that she has to have radiation treatments. She won't know about the need for chemotherapy until after the surgery - when they can get at her lymph nodes.
This is one of those times where I am very grateful that I work in health care. We KNOW who the best doctors are, know what resources we have at our disposal, and can pull favors in situations like this. We also can find out exactly what is happening without having to wait for the doctor to contact us. And since we work with these people every day - we're not afraid to ask questions or say "no" to treatments that don't make sense.
All that knowledge still can't temper the fear. Despite the resources at her disposal, her medical education, and the support of her co-workers, she was very shell-shocked for most of last week as she ventured through this very scary process.
For the rest of us - it made us seriously re-evaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it.
Losing one of our best trainers for the course of this project - though painful - is not the important part. Supporting one of my best work friends and # 1 confidant is.
The other stuff can wait......