I just found out one of my former students has breast cancer. I'm beside myself. Although it seems ridiculous, those former advisees of mine have superstar status in my heart and I can't stand it when something rotten happens to one of them.
When they were students, there were sometimes problems, even big problems. The thing is, those problems usually were pretty easy to solve. Those two roommates who hated each other? That awful breakup? Flunking a class? Coming out? Changing majors? They got through it. Even some tough trouble at home or something else pretty rough -- seems like time passed and everything was OK.
Sometimes students would visit me when they were seniors and ask "Remember when I used to cry in your office all the time when I was a freshmen? Did that drive you nuts?" No, it didn't at all. I was sad you were sad but I knew it would pass and here you are. And now you are fabulous.
So Cancer? Here's the deal. You are messing with one of those fabulous superstars and you had better get the hell out. Quick.