This morning, my husband got a call from his mother. I could tell from the look on his face that it was bad. She had a colonoscopy a few days ago. The doctor called and said they wanted to see her right away. Just with that information alone, I knew it couldn’t be good. It turns out that she has cancer. I’m not sure what kind, I just know the doctor said it’s all over her abdomen. They gave her a year to live.
When my husband told me, I started to cry. I’m not sure how to help my husband through this, although I feel like I should be able to do so. When I was 12, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. They gave him 3 years to live and he lived for 6 years. I’ve lost a parent. I know how hard it is. I just don’t know how to help someone else go through it.
I suppose the only things I can do to help is to be there for both my husband and mother-in-law. I can offer my assistance to both of them. I can be there to talk, if either of them want that. Basically, I can just be there.
I love my mother-in-law and I enjoy the time I spend with her. We get together (without my husband) and play Pinochle about once a week. I’m going to spend as much time with her as I can. She’s a wonderful loving person.
This is bringing up a lot of feelings from when my dad was diagnosed and when he died. I’m sure that this will continue to bring up a lot of emotions. I’ve dealt with them before; I can do it again.
I’m a bit sad today. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m not with my mom. I will be next year. Also, it’s just a reminder that I can’t have kids. I know that not having children was a choice, and I believe it was the right one, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. When I see little children, my heart aches. I can feel my body’s desire to have kids. It’s even harder without having a dog, but I’m not ready for a new dog yet.
I’m going to stay busy today and be extremely productive. That will keep my mind and my body busy. Staying active helps the days go by faster. Plus, it helps me feel better about myself. I make a to-do list every day, and I feel better when I can actually check off every task; however, that doesn’t always work out that way.
The past two or three weeks have been extremely busy, emotional, difficult, and anxiety provoking. Due to my new busy schedule, writing my blog every day got pushed out of my daily duties. Once I stopped writing a couple of days in a row, it because a pattern. I stopped writing it on my to do list, and I even stopped thinking about it. Luckily, a follower of mine commented on one of my last posts, reminding me how important it is to keep writing. Blogging is not only beneficial for myself, but it apparently also helps others.
I went for a hike this afternoon with my husband and mother-in-law. We hiked a place called Thunderbird Mountain, which is where we used to take Cash for walks. Cash would always wear his backpack (he was a big dog, 88 pounds). He would carry his water and ours. Every time he saw another person or another dog, it seemed as if he was showing off his backpack, like he was proud to be wearing it. My husband and I spread his ashes over a lot of different places all the way up the hiking trail. This way, he can continue to enjoy hiking. It was extremely emotional; saying goodbye to Cash again, for the final time, was hard. I held onto his ashes all day. Letting go of him was difficult, but it was actually a little easier than I expected because of the way we decided to say goodbye.
Over the past week, I have been getting a rash that seems to keep growing every day. It’s extremely itchy and annoying. My doctor doesn’t know what it is, but it’s not contagious. They do know that it’s not chicken pox, mumps, measles, or shingles. We’re trying to figure out what the cause could be. The rash didn’t start until a week after we moved into our new house. Oh well, I just have to put up with it and try not to scratch until it goes away.
Today was another day of missing Cash. Every time I walked into my house, I expected to see him at the door, eagerly greeting me. When I’m cooking in the kitchen, I expect to see him anxiously waiting to clean up the mess that I left on the floor. Basically, I keep thinking that he will be there when I look over my shoulder. I know that this won’t really happen. I can’t wait for this instinct to stop.
I have received many nice phone calls, emails, and text messages from friends and family, all of which are giving me their condolences. It’s so nice that all of these people care enough to send me their kind thoughts and words. I’m doing my best to say busy. It will help me process and deal with everything that has happened.
Today was a very tough day. When I woke up this morning, I came out to the living room to see my dog struggling to breathe. Last night, we invited him to come sleep in the bedroom with us; however, at some point during the night, he decided to come out to the living room and lay down on the tile. My husband and I noticed around 7:30am, that he wasn’t eating or drinking, he couldn’t stand or walk, and his breathing was extremely labored. We could tell that he was in pain. I think he was trying to tell us that it was time for him to go, he was ready.
We had to carry him to the car, which was very difficult (he’s 88 pounds). They had a couple guys come out to help bring him inside. They told us to let them know when we were ready. We decided that we were ready right then. Cash was in so much pain, we didn’t want him to stay in that much pain. We didn’t want to be selfish, it wasn’t about us, this was about him.
Watching him go was extremely difficult. Cash’s eyes didn’t close, it was hard to watch. I cried, which I did many times today. We will pick up his ashes when they are ready. We decided to take Cash on one last hike (it was my husband’s idea). Cash loved to go hiking. He would wear his backpack and carry everything he/we needed.
We stayed busy today. We didn’t want to go home after he died. It’s going to be weird without him here. We eventually came home, and it’s so quiet here. It doesn’t seem right, but we will have to get used to it, at least for now.
It doesn’t rain much in Phoenix. When it does rain, it’s weird. For example, it can rain on one side of the street but not on the other side. I tend to feel a little more depressed than normal when it rains. I think that may be part of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Since it doesn’t snow in Phoenix, rain is the closest we get to winter storms.
From mid-June until the end of September, Phoenix has what it calls monsoon season. That’s when we get about half of our yearly rainfall. It still rains outside of those dates, just not as much. It has been raining/sprinkling a lot this past week. I don’t like to go out in the rain, neither does my dog. So I stay in, even more than normal, which just adds to the depression. To get Cash to go outside, I have to put a jacket and boots on him. He hates getting wet. I have to force myself to get up and get out of the house. It’s not easy, but I know it’s not healthy to stay in all day every day.
My dog, Cash, has an appointment at the vet today for grooming and shots. He’s 11 years old now, so we’re seeing some changes in his capabilities. He was so excited to go on a car ride. I opened the door for him and he jumped in like he always does; however, this time he didn’t make it all the way in. I was able to pick up his hips and help him in the car. Luckily, he didn’t get hurt. This is the first time he wasn’t able to jump into the car. It’s sad and worrisome. I won’t be able to pick him up every time. He’s 88 pounds, which is a lot to carry. This is probably the beginning of some of the problems that senior dogs encounter. It was so hard to watch that happen, but I knew it would be coming soon.