Cancer's curse (On living with a canine time bomb)
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my dog’s brain tumor. Strange, this ability of a questionably animate thing to lay me low so effectively.
Of course, it doesn’t compare to the stress people and their family endure with human cancer––at least I don’t think so, never having been in that unenviable position. But it’s harrowing in it’s own unique way, I promise you.
The most challenging part? Living with the time bomb factor.
In case you don’t understand this concept, let me explain: Each day, every hour, is another opportunity for Sophie’s symptoms to revisit her––and us.
I know it’s bound to happen. That’s why I feel like every time she stumbles (which older dogs are wont to do), every time she wakes with a lower energy level than what I’d like to see (again, to be expected), and every time she turns up her nose at food (common for her), that same old, broken record starts playing again in my head.
It happens at least a couple of times a day. Yet contrary to what you’d expect, it’s not really so sad. It’s more bittersweet, really, knowing that I only have so much time left to enjoy her and coddle her and snuggle to our hearts’ content. After all, most people never get a chance to experience that heightened sense of awareness that comes with enjoying the simple minutes before we both have to get out of bed, the car rides we share and the special meals she relishes.
Though I’m well informed of rare circumstances under which radiation completely cures brain cancer, I live under no delusion that Sophie’s case will prove so miraculous. Everything comes to an end, eventually. Sophie, me, the Universe, everything. Though I know it’ll all end in tears, for the moment it’s all better than OK––in fact, it’s perfect.