6 weeks in….

I am trying so hard to stay positive, but this many times “in the ring” leaves you vulnerable to those moments when you question everything.  Rio had her first round of chemo two weeks ago, and has already had one really bad day.  (Last time, we were nearly done with the chemo before it got too bad.)  I keep finding little lumpy-bumpies on her body as I pet her and every time I do, I think “oh dog, is this cancer, too?”  She’s got an intermittent cough, plus, her back knee keeps giving out on her, sending her crashing to the floor, and now the front leg shakes sometimes after being on it a bit.  All of these factors together are making me question yet again how much of this I’m doing for her and how much I’m doing for me.  She’s got a fighter’s spirit — always up to the challenge — and me, not so much.  I will assist her fight every step of the way, but at what point does this cease to be about supporting her battle against cancer, and become simply about delaying the loss of my Rio?

We are two months in from the diagnosis, and a month and a half from the surgery, and you’d think I’d, at some point, accede to the inevitable, make my peace with it, and then go back to living day-to-day.  But the missing leg, the exposed skin, the uneven gait are all constant reminders that she’s sick, and that one of these days, the rest of her body will be gone, too.  How am I supposed to focus on getting the most of out the time I have left with her, when I feel so scared all the time?

She, on the other hand, is doing pretty well.  Minus Thursday’s Texas Two-step, she’s been mostly her Woo-self. Sleeping a ton, but seemingly happy in between naps.

The hair on her behind still is not growing back.  Even where they shaved her for the abdominal ultrasound is only about a quarter of an inch long and that was January 19th!  Her hiney still looks practically the same as the day we brought her home after surgery.

I’m taking her to a place called SwimSpaw on Sunday to see if we can incorporate some swim therapy into her routine.  It’s indoor and heated, so no hypothermia from swimming in Puget Sound!  Hopefully that will help her get a little more strength back in the remaining legs so that she falls less.  And hopefully she will enjoy it, too.  She loves a good swim at the beach, but hates baths, so it could go either way.

We go back for chemo #2 tomorrow morning.  It’s the Vinblastine this time.  Hopefully, she’ll feel okay after…..

6 thoughts on “6 weeks in….

  1. hairless hineys are the new rage!!! embrace the ‘bald bumm’ and celebrate the ‘total cheek’ look!! we hope you continue your medicinal naps – the key to recovery for us. paws crossed your next chemo goes well tomorrow.

    charon & gayle

  2. Please try to re-frame things… Rio is living with cancer, not dying from it! Or, as hugapitbull has said at least a few times in the forums, there’s “no expiration date” stamped on that beautiful bald bum. And just remember, there is no law saying you must continue chemo treatments if they’re affecting quality of life. Thanks for sharing, please keep us posted.

    • You’re right. Rio is living with cancer, and she has been for three and a half years. Some days it just gets to me, though, and it’s nice to have a place to let off a little of the pressure where there are others who can understand what we’re going through.

  3. I agree. I thought about this myself when I was watching my boy struggle. Then I thought that none of us is guarenteed a tomorrow. Each and everyone of us could have something tragic happen and never make it home. So then I thought about what my boy wants, and I know he wants to be with me. I think it will become obvious if Rio doesn’t want to be here anymore. They say you will know, I have to accept that on faith. Kind of like you will know when you meet the person you want to spend your life with..
    It is just a “knowing”.
    So based on that, I just take today for today, if he is happy today I am thrilled. When he was doing chemo and having a bad day I just held him and told him that he WILL want to play again. Not right now, but soon..
    Maybe they can’t do all the things they used to, I bet they still will have joy in the things they can do!
    Hang in there– if you feel like you can,
    Elizabeth and Sammy

  4. Hang in there Rio and Rio’s mom. Remember it is all about quality for Rio now. That is what I focused on with Maggie during our long mast cell cancer journey. The good news it that you have made it this long- the down side is we get to worry that much longer! But for me, finally, I was able to just focus on Maggie’s quality and not worry about prognosis. But it took me awhile to get there. From reading your blog I know you have the strength to handle this- but I know you need to vent once in awhile too- and no better place than here.

    Karen and the pugapalooza

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