It’s National “Work Like a Dog” Day

I’ve not owned any dogs that would do this particular holiday any justice. Perhaps on a destructive level they’ve earned their keep, but serious work? Not on your life. The dogs I’ve owned are prone to digging holes in my back yard, chewing the wood blinds on my front window, destroying any number of toys left on the floor by the children, peeing wherever they feel like it – stuff like that.

The only thing I ever saw Stella and Kya (our most recent dogs) work hard at was knocking the crap out of each other. They did such an incredible job at beating each other up – over a stupid rawhide bone – that there was copious amounts of blood, a trip to the Vet ER, and ultimate surrender of our two beloved pups because we couldn’t afford the vet bill. Oh, we might have worked it out somehow if we hadn’t had Ben’s emergency biopsy the day before this knock-down bout, but seeing how we were teetering on the edge of finding out if Ben’s cancer had returned or not, we didn’t have the strength (or the financial resources) to do anything about it. So we left them with the vet. It was a very difficult thing to do, but our options were limited. Plus, finding out what we know about Ben’s health at this point, two fairly young and energetic dogs wouldn’t have been a good idea. I sure miss them, though.

Cancer has made a mess of things over the past month. Not only is it trying to destroy my beautiful son, but we’ve had to make a lot of changes. Pet surrender. Hospital runs. Financial strain. Yes, insurance is nice, but there are still copays. Just since all of this started about a month ago,  we’ve put out $700 and then today’s little trip to the ER was $150. I’m sure there will be an additional co-pay for actually being admitted, since that is exactly what will be happening within the next couple of hours. Ben’s ANC (ability to fight infection) is at 46. It needs to be over 500 in order for him to have a somewhat normal ANC. And Ben is really trying to go to third grade. He’s gone just one-and-a-half days out of seven. This is going to be a tough year. Madeline was supposed to start school yesterday. Her first day of Kindergarten. Damn cancer. Hopefully, she’ll start Monday.

This is another thing that is tearing me apart. Since Madeline was born six weeks after Ben’s initial diagnosis in 2004 her first year of milestones were all experienced in the shadows of Ben’s treatment. I remember Madeline getting up the strength to walk across the kitchen while scooting a chair across the floor. I wanted to jump up and down but we were in the process of taking Ben to the hospital because he’d spiked a fever. Just like today.

Cancer doesn’t care what your plans are. It affords no normalcy. It makes you work like a dog yet never gives any sort of cookie for good behavior. I am dog tired.

Ben is sitting in his little hospital bed with a bag of sour cream and cheddar ruffles, a bottle of Hawaiian Punch, and watching Animal Planet while his antibiotics run their course. I”m not sure this is the best viewing option for us, as it’s the show where the animal control officers are chasing feral animals with those little head loop things. I sorta feel like one of those feral dogs right now. Any minute now one of the uniformed staff will come in with one of those gizmos and try to trap me in the corner. “Oh, there you are, Mrs. Brewer. Don’t you look pretty today? Just stay still while we put this around your neck… it’ll be okay… we’re going to take you someplace really nice… just be still… this will just take a second… shhh, be a good girl now… almost there… GOTCHA!” As I flail and attempt escape, twisting wildly around while they drag me off to the animal control vehicle. I hope they give me a sedative.

More tomorrow. 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Sorry to hear things are so tough right now. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with your whole family.


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