How many hundreds of us would never had met without Catster? How different our lives would now be if we had never connected through the world's first cat social network, the brainchild of Ted Rheingold, who has lost his battle with Stage-4 Metastatic Carcinoma. Ted was brilliant, funny, down-to-earth, and a loving and lovely soul. Skeezix and I worked for him, and I got a video of him giving Skeezix his purrformance review.
Skeezix kinda had a boycrush on him, and he even dressed up as DGTR one Halloween. Ted loved it so much that he used it as his twitter avatar for months afterward. Ted kept a blog covering his illness, and one of his last posts really hit home for me, as I'm sure it will for anyone who's had cancer (I'm a two-timer). READ IT. It's about cancer etiquette, focusing on what you should not say to a cancer patient, and how you can best help them out. Two points in particular had me pumping my arm and hissing YES! The first was not to regurgitate a litany of everyone you know who's had the same thing. That's just not something we really want to hear. There was a time at church when a clueless couple we knew came up to me to talk about my recent cancer diagnosis. They asked me about the surgery and radiation treatment, then shared several horror stories of people who'd had the same thing and for whom things didn't turn out so well. Years later I can still play that conversation in my head and I've avoided that couple ever since. (It may have just been what I used as my own excuse to avoid them because they were kinda peculiar people anyway.) The second point was that fight-speak sucks. Avoid it. Fight-speak is when you say things to the patient like, You're a fighter! You're gonna beat it! Kick cancer in the ass! Avoid it because it leaves the patient feeling even worse later on. If their condition deteriorates, they'll wonder. am I not fighting hard enough? We aren't really fighting, anyway. We're just doing what the doctors hope will save our lives. Telling us we're gonna beat it? Not something you tell someone with Stage 4 cancer. Another postaddressed mortality and implores us not to waste a day. Ted left a profound mark on my life. It is a tragedy he's gone so soon, a well-lived life caught short. My only solace is that Skeezix (and a whole lot of other dogs and cats) was probably really happy to be reunited with him at The Bridge. Ted was 46 years old. The post Da Grate Ted Rheingold: Good bye, dear friend appeared first on Mousebreath Magazine.