Saturday, January 10, 2009
Cancer is SO on my Shit List
We found out today that our beloved 11 1/2 year old dog Jasper has cancer. We don't know how bad it is yet, but it's bad. On Monday they'll run tests to see whether the cancer is also present in his lungs and/or liver. Since it's a melanoma in his mouth, which has a deep root, they have mentioned, so far, removing a part of his jaw. This is an idea I just can't stand. He is such a beautiful creature, I can't imagine cutting into him in this way... But I'm keeping an open mind until we hear more about prognosis and treatment options from the vet.
We took him for a walk this afternoon, mostly for the sheer joy of watching him prance along in the sun. Every little thing he does now, we see through different eyes, wondering if it's the cancer. And I keep reminding myself that a week ago, he already had the cancer and I wasn't sad. The only difference today is that I know it, I know he has cancer. I am remembering what I learned from something I read recently, that it isn't external circumstances that cause suffering - it's your thoughts about external circumstances that cause suffering. So I'm working on not repeating the story to myself that my dog is going to die, and instead I'm trying to enjoy him while I can. And of course, crying my eyes out repeatedly.
Since my sister also has cancer right now, and Alex just finished chemo for cancer, and I work for an organization whose mission it is to prevent breast cancer, I am seriously feeling cancer-ed out right now. Cancer is the cancer.
I am so over it.