Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Embracing the mystery of life, especially in tough times.

Handsome Mister :)

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions again. I took my pup Mister to Lake Harriet vet on Monday because it looked like he had been losing weight, and something just didn’t seem right. On Monday his weight loss was confirmed. He has lost 12 lbs since last August. They ran a bunch of tests and told me that they would call me the next day when the lab results came back in. Late yesterday morning I got a call from Dr. Jim. It was a déjà vu of when he called in April, 2012 to tell me that the pathology report that came back from Ahnung’s lump on her back indicated it was once again, Cancer. Yesterday, there was no confirmation that it was cancer. Not yet. What the lab results did show were abnormalities, in his urine concentration and his liver.  A lot of information was shared and in the course of the conversation I heard the possibility of liver inflammation, liver scarring/cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. So we discussed options and next steps. There was a test we could do that might answer some questions, but the best next step was an ultrasound. So we are working with the vet to get Mister scheduled for an ultrasound.
With my Papa shortly before he died

When I heard the word ‘cirrhosis of the liver’ yesterday a rush of emotions came flooding into my heart. It's interesting how traumatic losses never leave us. The pain eases but it’s never really gone. I lost my Papa when I was 4 years old to cirrhosis of the liver. And no, he wasn’t a drinker. In fact, he didn’t drink at all. When I was having pancreatic problems a couple years ago, my GI doctor asked me lots of questions about my family history. I told him about my father. He said it was probably cancer of the liver. He said it eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver.

I’ve spent the past 20 or so hours trying to just absorb this latest news. I know everything in life happens for a reason. I know Ahnung and I are on our final walk together. I know that Mister and I are venturing down a new path together. Exactly what that path is, I don’t know. What I do know is my sweet boy Mister is a boy who is full of life and joy. He has made me laugh and smile. He has made me scream in frustration at times. I smile when I think of all we have been through since I was blessed to have him as a puppy in July, 2007. He arrived, as many puppies do, full of innocence and cuteness. Mister is the social boy in my household of 4 pups. He gets along with everyone. I smile when I remember the day I came home to find he had chewed to shreds my work blackberry; or the time he grabbed the razor from the shower and chewed it up (fortunately, he was smart enough to spit out the razor blade); or the time we went on a run, he spotted a squirrel, and dragged me to the concrete ground head first; or the times I’ll find him sleeping on coffee tables or on top of kennels; or smacking water in lakes in a desperate attempt to show off to the other dogs at the dog park that he can swim. Mister is pure joy. And even though it’s clear there is something going on with his liver, it hasn’t stopped him from living life fully. Like his sister Ahnung, you would not even know he was sick.
Mister on his coffee table perch!

So, today, I am doing all I can to infuse my heart, my thoughts and my being, with positive and healing thoughts. Next week I go in to see my doctor. Just as I knew there was something go on with Ahnung, and I know there is something going on with Mister, I also know there is something going on with my own health. My recent shingles episode probably wasn’t a coincidence. I know there is something going on at a cellular level with my own body … too many coincidences to have issues with my heart, kidneys, pancreas, and consistent atypical ductal hyperplasia cells in my breast. So next week will be a new week with lots more unfolding … I don’t know where my path with Ahnung, with Mister, and with my own health will lead. I hold all 4 of my precious furkids close to my heart.

Deep down in my heart, I do know that everything in life happens for a reason. I believe Ahnung, Mister, Missy and Legacy have come into my life for a reason. I believe that it’s not up to me to decide when it’s time for me, or any of my precious furkids to move on. And as hard as it is for me to not ask for a specific outcome, or to pray for what I want … I pray this morning, simply for the strength, the courage, and for peace to know in my heart what I need to do and to be okay with whatever life doles my way. I pray for Ahnung and Mister to be free from pain or discomfort, and for continued life and vibrancy. I pray for Missy and Legacy to be filled with life and vibrancy. And I pray for the safety and warmth of all beings, 2-legged and 4-legged.

What makes living so beautiful and so precious, is that life is a mystery. I am grateful for my life today.  I am grateful for the mystery of life. I am grateful for every moment I have on this precious planet and for every moment I have with Ahnung, with Mister, with Missy and with Legacy. In tough times, I am learning that it is even more important for me to embrace the mystery of life, and to find peace in the uncertainty of so many unanswered questions. 

Ahnung with her friend Jaycee at a recent Leech Lake Legacy Celebration event!
Mister as a puppy :)

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