“You need to start preparing yourself for the probability of cancer.”
One week ago I heard those words in a small, stuffy, spinning veterinarian exam room.
One week ago my stomach lurched into my throat–and hasn’t budged since.
One week ago I started crying at the drop of a hat.
One week ago I started giving my dog Cipro twice a day–just in case she has a rare liver infection that is causing the swollen lymph nodes I felt under her chin while I was routinely petting her one evening.
One week ago I started googling lymphoma in dogs.
One week ago I learned that there is no cure for canine lymphoma. Untreated, a dog may live sixty days. Treated with chemotherapy, she has good odds to live twelve to fourteen months, but has only a twenty percent chance of living two years.
One week ago I wondered why the hell I made a vet appointment on a Tuesday? I hate Tuesdays. Bad news happens on Tuesdays. Cancer diagnoses happen on Tuesdays.
One week ago I sat alone in my bedroom eating leftover Christmas candy, piece after chocolatey piece, consciously throwing my “No-Sugar January” out the window. I wanted to numb the pain. I wanted to forget the world. I wanted to feel anything other than what I was feeling.
One week ago I felt the same feelings I’d had when I learned my aunt and my mom were both diagnosed with cancer.
One week ago I started preparing myself for the probability that my sweet little furry baby has cancer.
It’s been a hell of a week.
I haven’t drank. Though I’ve wanted to. If I’d had booze in the house instead of chocolate, who knows what would’ve happened. They were the same feelings when I saw the chocolate in the pantry, as I’d had when I gave into past drinking temptations. Same-exact-”fuck-it, kill the pain” feelings.
Next steps are a biopsy on Friday to confirm diagnosis. Antibiotics haven’t reduced any nodes’ swelling. I’m hopeful for a miracle, but not expectant. Decisions will need to be made; my gut says, “fight it, fight it!”, but I know there are many factors to weigh. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Today, I am still preparing myself.
I’ve been wondering where to take this blog–do I focus on sobriety? On quotes? On running? On new recipes I’m trying? Do I even continue blogging this year? I really wanted to be done writing about cancer and grief and fear and learning to live again. But we don’t always get what we want, do we?
I guess I’ll answer those questions too when it’s time.
Today though I am still preparing. God, how do you ever fucking get used to cancer??? Sometimes life isn’t very fair.
But I won’t live in denial. Not anymore. I’ll make it through today without drinking, and hopefully I’ll make it through tomorrow too.
I doubt I’ll be writing much, at least not on a regular schedule. I’m going to try to maximize as much time as I can with my little girl. To my fellow blogging friends, thank you for your posts–I read them via email and enjoy your words with my morning coffee.
I have a cute little dog looking at me with expectant eyes waiting for her afternoon walk. So I guess I’ll go for a walk and love on my girl and soak up every smile and tail wag and funny expression and happy moment that I can.
Cancer has taken so much from me. I’ll be damned if I let it take away today.