The Here and Now
My dog has cancer. Stage 4 Lymphoma. A month ago, he started having diarrhea and vomiting. We went through all kinds of tests until this past week when we had some really invasive tests.
The thought that he could have cancer had crossed my mind in passing once or twice, but I brushed it aside. I keep telling myself we have made the right decisions based on the information we have had. It still doesn’t feel good. How could I not see that my beautiful little dog was slowing down?
I’m watching him now – so lethargic, not eating. It hurts so much to see him like this.
When we’ve been away and come home, he comes running down the stairs – you can hear his nails clicking on the stairs, *click, click, click*, as he comes rocketing down to greet us at the door – and when he arrives, he’s so happy to see us his rear end flops around the way a bigger dog’s tail might.
I’m looking at him – that beautiful dog, that guy that makes me smile to just say his name – and I just want to burst into tears.
I know I expected far more time with him. He’s only halfway through his life expectancy and we thought he would see our family grow up just a little more. A week ago, we had no reason to believe he wouldn’t. Today, we’re wondering if he’ll be with us for Thanksgiving. He’s never done anything but bring us sunshine, and love, but I look at him and my heart breaks just a little more.
I’m so sad, so heartbroken.
I remember the day we brought him home – he was maybe 2 months old, maybe 3-and-a-half pounds; smaller than my slipper. He picked us out, and he had a (comparatively) big lump of poop on his head. He wanted to be with us and he’s never known another family, never lived anywhere but in our home. The day we brought him home, we promised him we would take care of him his whole life – this would be his forever home and that he would never live anywhere else. I guess we just thought we were making a longer commitment.
On Thursday night we got the news – we could have left him at the hospital to start treatment on Friday or take him home. We decided to take him home to consider our options – we were assured that if we started treatment on Monday vs. Friday it would be fine. We decided upon a course of treatment, but couldn’t begin on Friday – we had to wait until Monday. We’re now questioning why we didn’t start on Friday as he seems so much more lethargic today. We just have to remember we’re making the best decisions with the information we have at the time we make them.
In the meantime, we’re just trying to make him as comfortable as possible and spend as much time as possible with him – taking the time to love him. We’re happy when he gives us the smallest sign – he’s failed to eat his all time favorites like peanut butter and cheese. We’re feeding him bites of leftover chicken every 10-15 minutes – anything to get low-carb calories into him.
I want so much to see him happy and healthy again. When we take him in the car, we let him out of the house – from which he bolts, and runs around the block of houses, a smile you can almost see on his face. I know he’s never going to be “healthy” again, but I’m hoping we will see him happy. I love this dog so much – he’s the sweetest, most gentle animal – and I’m incredibly sad, but the worst part is that I know I’m being incredibly selfish. He has no expectation, he just has the here and now. Here’s to the here and now, Pokey.