Well, the title says it all. The good — Dieter received his bandana in the mail today! Thanks Rene; the yellow color looks awesome against his black fur. Here is the best shot I could get of him. It shows the best part, I *heart* tripawds.com. The nice thing is that he doesn’t mind wearing it! So, on it stays until it needs washing. 🙂
He’s been a little listless today; the neighbor’s comings and goings got him up and barking, though, which is a good sign. He is healing really well; I’m continuously amazed. Although he did open up a couple of stitches night before last. I’m not sure if it was from sitting on them, or licking, but he had to go in for replacements yesterday. He’s doing well, though. It’s his one-week ampuversary and he has no more bruising. He can move all around the house without a problem and even goes through the dog door without a hitch. I think he’s experiencing some itchiness and some phantom pain, but I’ve talked to the vet about both of those. They are so nice, they don’t care how many times a day I call with questions.
The bad — In the course of balancing some bank accounts, I discovered just how much all this has cost so far. That’s the bad part. Ouch! I never did, nor will I ever, ask how much it costs for whatever treatment he needs. As a grad student, it’s tough to see my savings account drain, but so be it. By this time next year, I’ll be making plenty and can carry debt until then.
The ugly — along with his one-week ampuversary came a call from the oncologist. Osteosarcoma, and how quickly can I get him in for chemo. Although I knew that’s what it likely was, it still hit hard to hear it. So, I immediately made myself some hot chocolate and turned on some soothing music. And got to thinking.
There are many phrases that you hear in life for which you really only have a cursory understanding of their meanings, until some life experience teaches you the meaning. I remember absolutely *hating* the phrase, “you choose to be happy” until I got it. Then many years later, I learned what it meant to say “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself”. Really, that one is kind of like when the airline steward(ess) tells you to put your oxygen mask on before your child’s. You’re no good to someone else if you can’t breathe yourself.
Now, I feel a dawning understanding of the phrase “make every day count”. I used to think that meant accomplishing all that you had to do for that day, or at least doing some good for the day. Or, make sure you were moving in the right direction for yourself. Or something else…I’m pretty sure I had no clue. Ha.
There are a lot of ways that one can “make every day count”. I posted somewhere else that I was going to start a gratitude jar. I never was good at gratitude. It’s not that I’m bitter, I just have tried to practice gratitude and it never stuck. I fell off the gratitude wagon several times after just a few weeks at it each time. It doesn’t feel like enough to just be grateful that Dieter is around and reasonably healthy. So I’m taking back what I said about a gratitude jar. Screw it.
I’m more of a hands-on person. That’s a big part of who I am, and I know that about myself. I do much better if I can roll my sleeves up and get in the muck. Dieter’s got about a week until he can really start to move around, so until then, I’m gonna do what I do best, and some other things. Research, research, research. I was told the median life span, with chemo, was about a year. What’s the mean? Mode? The closer these three numbers, the less can be done to change them. If they’re farther apart, then there are factors that make some dogs last longer than others. What are the differences between dogs that last the median vs. the mode or mean? I sure hope the oncologist knows the difference between median, mean and mode, or it’s gonna get embarrassing (for her).
And tonight, I’m gonna read to Dieter. Tomorrow I’ll be sitting on the floor next to wherever he is when I have a couple of Skype meetings. We’re spending Thanksgiving by ourselves, so he gets to share the meal with me. Chicken (too lazy to run to the store and get turkey at this point, plus I’ve been sick myself), and a couple of family specialties. Then, I’m not sure. We’ll see. But, I’ll make it count for him.
Aloha, friends, aloha.