Tags: box of rain, cancer, coworker, dog cancer, dog dying, farewell, goodbye notes, Grateful Dead, humor, last day at job, Life, Love, resign from job, resignation, sharing love, the meaning of life, work
Be still my broken heart July 24, 2008
Tags: broken heart, cancer, death, dog, dog dying, heart attack, heart break, heartache, Life, life is unfair, loss, loss of dog, loss of pet, lou reed, magic, magic and loss, neil young, pet, pet dying, sadness
It’s 4:12 a.m. where I live, and I should be giving my dog her heart medication. However, I got up and couldn’t find her…anywhere. I scoured the whole house and then went back inside to get a flashlight and after ten minues of searching, my flashlight caught the reflection of her open eyes on the hill in the back yard. From the looks of things, she went out to do #2 and had a heart attack and died. It strikes me that she’s kind of like Elvis, dying on the toilet, only without the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. She actually ate on her own tonight, and I finally allowed myself some real genuine hope that the nightmare of the last 96 hours could end happily. My beef with god has just gotten that much bigger.
Why does it seem all my pets die with their mouths open? And I can’t get them to close after they’re gone? Pixie didn’t look as tortured as Jerry – my cat who died a year and a half ago of skin cancer – but finding her that way will haunt me. My brain simply doesn’t know what to do with all this pain.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking a lot about Neil Young today, probably because I have never felt more helpless in my whole life than I have the last few days. I keep hearing his sad singing:
Helpless, helpless, helpless
The chains are locked
and tied across the door,
Baby, sing with me somehow.Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.
Helpless, helpless, helpless.”
Have you ever listened to Lou Reed’s Magic and Loss? It’s an album about death and how to cope with it. I have the CD out in the other room. Tomorrow (or today I suppose it really is) is probably a good day to play it. I first heard the album with Lukas, someone else who’s gone now too.
Life’s like a mayonnaise soda
And life’s like space without room
And life’s like bacon and ice cream
That’s what life’s like without you
Life’s like forever becoming
But life’s forever dealing in hurt
Now life’s like death without living
That’s what life’s like without you
Life’s like Sanskrit read to a pony
I see you in my mind’s eye strangling on your tongue
What good is knowing such devotion
I’ve been around – I know what makes things run
What good is seeing eye chocolate
What good’s a computerized nose
And what good was cancer in April
Why no good – no good at all
What good’s a war without killing
What good is rain that falls up
What good’s a disease that won’t hurt you
Why no good, I guess, no good at all
What good are these thoughts that I’m thinking
It must be better not to be thinking at all
A styrofoam lover with emotions of concrete
No not much, not much at all
What’s good is life without living
What good’s this lion that barks
You loved a life others throw away nightly
It’s not fair, not fair at all
What’s good ?
Not much at all
What’s good ?
Life’s good –
But not fair at all
What a terrible few days this has been. I’m simply stunned – and so terribly heartbroken – by it all. Life is good, but not fair at all.
Drama galore redux July 21, 2008
Tags: backpacking alone, backpacking Europe, backpacking europe alone, cancer, dog, dog cancer, dog dying, dog tumor, female backpacking alone, female traveling alone, humor, Life, myocardial, reiki, sick pet, spleen, Travel, tumor
I feel rather like I’ve been I’ve hit by a truck, rolled up like a pancake, smoked about halfway down, stubbed out on a gas station toilet seat, flushed down said toilet, backed up onto a city street, and rolled over by a truck one more time. In other words, it’s been a really long and pretty awful 36 hours. However, in the net, things could always be worse. In light of my emotional and physical exhaustion, I’ll do my best to succinctly catch you up:
I need to call the vet and get a report, but to the best of my knowledge, Pixie is still alive. I’m a total coward, and when it turned out she had cancer, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. She was so happy to see me and looked so lively and so NORMAL it seemed unfathomable to have them kill her. Moreover, my own vet told me she’d had dogs who lived through this same ordeal (small tumor on the spleen – in this case 1″ x 2″ – rupture and then be removed) go on to live another year or two.
The big problem here is that (to quote the emergency room vet at midnight last night) when the spleen tumor burst it “showered her abdominal cavity in cancer cells.” This is pretty much hands down the worst image ever conjured. I friggin hate EVERYTHING about the idea of that. In reaction, I am conjuring up every new age defense in my arsenal: showering her in white light, filling her with golden light, laying on of hands (not that I have any special talent or anything, beyond maybe sheer will), pseudo-Reiki (see again, no real talent or training. I just focused and tried to make my hands get hot. No idea if that’s even a technique). I’m also researching every alternative, far out, and plain old wackadoo theory on cancer. If there’s a supplement or vitamin or diet that can spare her more suffering, I’m bound and determined to find it.
As a side note, here’s an interesting little assertion I found. I have no idea if this is true or anything, just thought it was kind of wild, ”
Some doctors implicate fungi as a cause of leukemia. In 1999 Meinolf Karthaus, MD, watched three different children with leukemia suddenly go into remission upon receiving a triple antifungal drug cocktail for their “secondary” fungal infections.
In 1997 Mark Bielski stated that leukemia, whether acute or chronic, is intimately associated with the yeast, Candida albicans, which mutates into a fungal form when it overgrows.
Milton White, MD. believed that cancer is a chronic, infectious, fungus disease. He was able to find fungal spores in every sample of cancer tissue he studied. Some other doctors agree with him. Such as the Italian doctor who has his patients take a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, in a glass of water half an hour before breakfast. This alkalinized the digestive tract so that it would help eliminate candida.”
Anyway, I had the vet remove her tumor, and she told me that if she got in there and found any signs that the cancer had spread, she’d put her down. She didn’t. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the removal of her spleen and the general stress of it all has caused a myocardial something or other. Her heartbeat is 240 beats per minute. I felt it with my own hand as I transported her back to the emergency vet for observation tonight. On that note, it’s just wait and see and continue praying that she not only makes it through this, but that I’ve done the right thing and she truly does live another two years or even more.
In other news, I *think* I’ve managed to keep my job for the trip. On Wednesday after resigning and hearing nothing, I called my boss and left an angry (for me) voicemail. I told him I deserved better than this, I’d never felt so disrespected, I was ‘deeply, deeply disappointed’ and closed with ‘is this really what you want?” He called back shortly thereafter and said, “Do you really want to quit!?” I told him no, of course not, but then relayed the conversation I’d had (presumably at his bidding) with E. His reaction? “That’s ridiculous. That’s a ridiculous conversation.” Yeah. No sh!t. Thanks for having her call me.
Lastly, I’ve spent entirely too long booking rooms for the first few weeks of my trip. I figure I need to nail things down through the end of tourist season (August), and I’ll wing it from there. Thus far, for anyone interested, the booked itinerary is:
- Edinburgh (flying there)
- Cliffs of Moher
- Cape Clear Island
- Lisbon (by plane, obviously)
Atheist prayer July 20, 2008
Tags: autoimmune disease, cancer, dog, dog dying, fear, german shepherd, german shepherd mix, Life, loss, malamute, pet, pet dying, sadness, vet
Anyway, with what she knows, the vet feels there are two possibilities:
1. Pixie has a heretofore undetected cancerous tumor on her spleen that has ruptured, and the blood is coming from there. In that case, they could do surgery to remove the spleen, but that would only buy her another month of life. That’s clearly selfish and cruel, so I won’t do it to her. In other words, if I learn tomorrow that this is the fate of my beloved girl, I have to put her down.
2. The long shot and the great white hope: Pixie has an autoimmune disease that is causing this bleeding. In this case, they would likely do several blood transfusions and then put her on a lifelong course of steroids, wherein she would live a normal life. I never thought I’d wish an autoimmune disease on my dog, but considering my options, all the Hail Marys are for this to come true.
The really weird thing is that i had a nightmare on Friday night about my dogs (the other one is an Alaskan Malamute who’s two and a half): I came home to my house and it had a chain link fence. The fence gate was open and the yard was empty, and I knew something bad had happened to my dogs. Someone said, “She’s dead, isn’t she?” and I started panicking and calling “come here, Sweet Girl. C’mon Pixie.” But I didn’t know where to start looking or where she might be. I worked myself into such a panic that I woke up.
I guess that doesn’t actually matter in the big picture, however. For now, I can do nothing except try not to think about it, and try not to fret and bawl and get terrified and start dwelling on how much that dog means to me and how much we’ve been through together and how I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and thrown into a volcano. Thus, in the spirit of honoring the most wonderful dog – and maybe even “person” – I’ve ever known, I’ve decided to post a few pictures and maybe even a little video of her.
If you’re feeling particularly generous and regardless of your religious persuasion or lack thereof, perhaps you might say a little prayer on our behalf…