Okay, so I have - let me count - 16 (!!!) major things going on to tell you about. And, since this is my first real day off in 9 days, I feel like I finally can take a little time to check in with you. In no particular order, the Big Things are:
- My godson's mama.
- The forest fire.
- The jungle-like yard.
- The rain.
- Being served.
- The dates to be out.
- The rummage sale.
- Not major at all, but interesting tidbits at work.
- Microsoft, the bastards.
- Judy's gift.
- New venue for selling photography.
- A new computer client.
- FoxyLady retiring.
- Being so-behind-it's-NOT-funny-in-the-least with my business(es).
The rummage sale. As I'd mentioned, I'd had dear friends hold a 3-family (including myself) rummage sale on the weekend of May 18th & 19th. They asked me to be a part of it as a way to help me out. I didn't need to do anything more than price my items and deliver them. Even though I had minimal time (I felt due to my schedule - NOTHING to do with the PLENTY of advance my friends gave me of the sale) to prepare, I came up with 103 things to sell plus 8 free items! And, all but 36 of my items sold and I was gifted with an envelope on Monday containing $291.00!!!!
Okay, now for a bad. And it's the worst. The thing that's kept me from writing. Maisy, at just 8 1/2 years old, is dying. It's a long story, but a fall followed immediately by obvious illness prompted me to take the morning of Saturday, May 12th, off to drive her to Canada and the vet's. As soon as the vet saw her, she said, "Oh! She's VERY pale!" (You can tell when a dog is pale? Who knew?!) Blood work revealed severe anemia. An x-ray revealed why. She has a large (about the size of a grapefruit then and larger now) bleeding tumor on her spleen. Splenic hemangiosarcoma. Inoperable cancer of the spleen. It's so severe that they didn't dare turn her from her side onto her back for the second x-ray. Her stool suggests that it's already in her liver, too. Surgery at this stage of the cancer would buy her, at best, 3 months. And that's not taking into consideration the recovery of such a major surgery when she's already so sick. Her estimated time left is days to weeks.
I'm a pretty stoic gal, but I couldn't help a few tears when the vet showed me the x-ray and told me that time-frame. I felt like I'd been socked in the gut. When we were finished with the visit and I was back out in the car with the dogs, I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, the breeze from a hot spring day in Canada blowing in the open windows. I couldn't stop crying until I was 10 miles out of town.
I got to work about 1:00 that afternoon. No one at work really knows of my current struggles, but they'd all known why I had to take the morning off for the emergency trip. Three of them (all dog or cat owners) were standing together when I walked in, my face wiped of all emotion and ready for a busy Saturday full of tourists. Immediately, one of them asked, "How's Maisy?!" Uncontrollably, I burst into ugly, hitching sobs. And then I was surrounded by the love of three women I'd not really let into my personal life, and they were hugging me and we were all crying.
When the Kleenex was passed out and our tears somewhat banked, one of them sharply asked, "WHAT are you doing here?! Go home and BE with her!" I sniffed and said that she was fine - laying in the sun at my folks' - and then wailed, "I need the money!"
I tried to compose myself and continue with the day, but I couldn't stop the damn tears. Then, one of them said, "You have a lot to do in your aisles upstairs, don't you?" (That's where our storage is.) "Why don't you go work up there all afternoon?" Through tears, I asked the boss if that was okay, and she said, "Absolutely." And, it was a huge blessing: my two aisles were OVERFLOWING, and so I cried and worked for the next 4 1/2 hours - everyone taking turns coming up to check on me throughout the afternoon.
So, treatment for Maisy? Nothing, really. Just lots and lots of TLC. I've never kissed her nor told her how much I love her so much in any three-week period! She's not in acute pain like she would be with a broken bone. Instead, she just generally feels like sh*t. The vet explained it to me by asking me to imagine what it would feel like if I had a large tumor bleeding inside my gut. Ironically, I know pretty much EXACTLY what that feels like since my hysterectomy following my years of illness revealed a "baseball size rotting cyst" (the doctor's actual description)! I'd joked, after getting that confirmation of how I'd been feeling for so long, that my tombstone (had one been warranted!!) could have read, "See, I told you I didn't feel good!" (And, see, I do still have a little of my sense of humor.)
Since the vet's visit, there've been two times when I was sure she wouldn't make it through the night - the first Thursday following the vet visit - and then again earlier this week. Both times, I had to pick up all 72 pounds of her and carry her into the house. Here she is, the day after the diagnosis, asking why I suddenly refuse - adamantly and absolutely - to throw her any more balls:
|Her face grows more grey hairs each week. So sad to see her turn from a still-hyper-Golden-at-8-years-old into an old girl overnight.|
|I must be out of my mind, sharing such an awful picture of myself! But, it's not about me; it's about Maisy.|
She wouldn't get up, but it was a cool, beautiful night with the moon shining brightly down. Not a cloud in the sky and nary a biting insect. I lay with her for a while and then went inside to bed, leaving the front door open and telling Tucker to stay with her to keep her company. Neither he nor I slept well that night. He came in after a while but barked throughout the night, seeming to be crossly telling her to come inside and behave normally. :(
But then, she takes her recovery time and bounces back to her new Old Girl Normal. She lays in the sun at Mama & Papa Pea's and gets extra love there, too. On days that she won't eat, we coax her with scrambled eggs (which occasionally works) or organic bison (which she hasn't yet, thankfully, refused once).
Last night, she climbed the stairs with me when it was time to go to bed, a first in several days.
Something that we all know is both reassuring and sad, the other critters know that she isn't feeling well. The cats have never given her any love before, but Dosie the Dead Cat (maybe not coincidentally??) will regularly flop down in Maisy's path now, barring her travel until she can let Maisy know that she cares. I even caught Maisy tolerating some up-close-and-personal love from Dosie the other day:
I hate this next picture because Maisy looks so, so awful in it (it was one of her bad days), but it's also so wonderful in showing how Tucker is NEVER far from her side. He's even taken to grooming her on many of our morning car rides to town, licking her all over her head as a cat would.
I'll wind up this post with a "good" picture of Maisy taken just Wednesday night. We were out doing chores, and she was feeling well enough to leave the house and come along. I was working away in the poultry yard when I heard this loud, loud crunching. I saw Tucker right away . . . and that it wasn't him chewing on anything. A peek through the fence into the thick understory surrounding the area showed me Maisy, chewing quite lustily on a rabbit! The cats or some critter must have killed it very recently - the meat was absolutely fresh. In her current state, I was worried about letting her "go at it", but then I figured that her final days & weeks should also be filled with as much "being a dog" as possible. Unfortunately, this new (fresh meat & bone) introduction to her presently delicate system DID result in the 2nd time I thought I was going to lose her . . . but a dog's gotta be a dog, right?
|Fuzzy picture, but you get the idea!|