It’s The Little Things…

In the last week I have been contacted by two readers who were just diagnosed with Canine Cancer. It is a tough road. I find myself reliving the past (I guess it is a theme of late) and what it was like that horrible year of cancer when I found out that Cody had it. As I say in my Introduction to this blog… it was an entire year of cancer.  It started the brand new year with a friend passing suddenly within a month of diagnoses of brain cancer, then my very favorite Uncle who I loved like a Father passing of lung cancer just a couple months later, my step sister getting and beating breast cancer all summer with a  double mastectomy and a long chemo treatment,  my own battle with cancer and surgery that summer, and then to culminate in Cody’s diagnosis right around my birthday. And that was just the beginning of this long road…

Since we started his treatment there have been lots of small hills to climb, and large ones too. Just this last week he had some crazy ear infection. It was so strange because I of course love him every day… meaning I rub his ears, scratch his butt, rub his belly, kiss his face, lay around with him, rub him down (all under the guise of checking his body)… and I did not notice the onset at all. Then I was rubbing his head on Saturday and wow! Grossness!!!! A weeping, bleeding sore and swollen ear that I am not sure how I missed! And boy did it stink! (I apologize and hope you are not snacking while reading this today)


Of course being the anal retentive Mommy that I am… and clearly a closet hoarder… I have a stockpile of antiobiotics and treatments that I have used for him and his various ailments… always reserving some just in case. Good thing. I dug out some ear drops that Butzer prescribed a while ago for just this kind of issue and started administering after I cleaned his ear up with some water. I used Cipro/Keto/Dex Otic drops which apparently according to the bottle are Anti-Yeast, Antiobiotic and Prednisone drops. Cody can handle Pred topically, just not ingested. And it worked like a charm… redness and inflammation gone almost overnight. And I am of course all proud of myself for being an at-home vet. And closet hoarder. It’s the little things…

And all of this stuff brings to mind all the little things the two readers are going through with lethargy, diarrhea, small appetite. You just have to keep the big picture in focus. I remember when Cody was diagnosed I would freak out over every small issue he would have. And had he not had cancer I would not have taken each thing so intensely. I feel for Meadow and Dante’s parents… it is a stressful time. But it does get better… or easier… or… ok it does not really get too much better but it does get easier. You acquire thicker skin I guess. But that is not to say you do not remain vigilant. Like I have said prior… I watch him like a hawk and notice every single thing in his behavior to make sure he is ok.

And he is. He is a happy boy sitting here at my feet on this gorgeous 74 degree morning… waiting for me to take him running. Again the little things… the normalcy. And I am glad I tend to keep things stockpiled because they do in fact come in handy.

As I mentioned last entry, I was digging through boxes last week. I found these crazy glow in the dark star and galaxy stickers that I have had since high school. (Hoarded) I can not believe I kept them or that they have lasted this long. When I was in high school my love and I painted my bedroom ceiling black, PITCH black… with a huge sun in the corner that we only got around to painting one ray of.  Looked like a huge colorful sperm. My Mom was ecstatic……….  And then we strategically placed all of these exact same glow in the dark stars, planets and galaxies all over. It was awesome! HAHAHA! Those were the days… I even found some pictures of it. So anyway I found these stickers and it inspired me to start a new sketchbook. I have kept a sketchbook every year or so my entire life and I have them all to prove it… so I put some of these cool stars all over the cover. Again to remind me of my path… and connect with it again. Sometimes you just never lose meaningful connections… as it should be. But the new sketchbook is the beginning of a clean slate and new chapter…

It has been interestingly therapeutic to bring the past through to the present recently. I am still not sure what to make of it all as I am still processing, but it has been quite the journey of memories. And still on the same trip of appreciating the moment, I am reminded of the small things like the star stickers, or the tiny ups and downs of cancer treatments. You can always get through the bumps in the road, plod through the journey, take note of but discard the meaningless and take the things that are meaningful with you for later… to learn from and acknowledge and let all have their moments. And the things that stick are the ones that are important… they reveal themselves. Just don’t ever forget to look and listen…

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
‘one who knows the better way to live alone.’
Bhaddekaratta Sutta


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on April 10, 2012.

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