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…..