Help! I need to find some way to get my Sophie to and from her radiation appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next six weeks!

The one-time gamma knife procedure is out of the question due to the shape of her brainstem tumor (funky dimensions confirmed on last Friday’s CT scan). This [relatively] fast slice-n-dice procedure was my preferred approach due to the alternative’s requirement for eighteen repeat visits.

But eighteen fractions of radiation!? Apart from the stress on Sophie (eighteen anesthetic procedures, eighteen chances for bad things to happen), that means eighteen car trips to the Animal Medical Center in Cooper City, a sleepy-ish suburban enclave in western Broward County.

It means thirty-six, two-hour commutes (an hour there and back, at least) over the next six weeks. How I’ll do this I’m not yet sure but I do know one thing…it scares me…all of it.

One gamma knife? I can handle it, though I’ll fidget and stress as I wait in the lobby with my laptop. Eighteen fractions? Ughhhhh!

How do other people do this? Maybe they don’t have kids to drive around. Maybe they don’t work seventy hours a week. Maybe they hire pet taxis. Who knows?

I was able to find a pet concierge service—50 bucks a trip. That’s $300 a week. God knows I can’t handle that. Car pooling? Maybe. I asked. No one else getting radiation (currently) is driving from the South Miami or hereabouts. Great.

I didn’t want to whine about it. I didn’t want to let them know just how impossible this seems to me. As it is I can’t afford the procedure even with my deep discount. But I have no choice.

No three-day weekends for the foreseeable future. No evenings out on my dime. No dinner parties or new clothes or haircuts or face cream. No pedicures, no meat, no AC if I can get away with it.

Can’t get another credit card—I didn’t qualify this time… (how come when you really need it it’s not available, after decades of “You have been pre-approved!)

But I’m not so badly off, not when I consider my client’s distress:

"Help! My cat has kidney failure and I need to be in Japan for a year with my husband’s job. How will she ever get her fluids and her meds and her vet visits! Will I ever see her again?"

Luckily, this client found a long-term facility she trusts at a fee she can afford. A Godsend.

Me next, me next!