I wrote this post while staring down at my belly button… please forgive its length and self-absorption.
When John started his new job, one of the benefits was a spousal life insurance policy. So, of course, I filled out the paperwork.
And got turned down. For life insurance. Why? Because, and I’m paraphrasing here, at this point in my life, it’s still statistically more likely that I will die from cancer than not.
Truthfully, I’ve been doing okay with all this by simply putting one foot in front of the next, by focusing on one step and one action at a time. Keep moving forward. But that? That was a bummer.
I’ve lost a lot of things to cancer, in addition to my life insurance policy qualifications: I’ve lost hair. I’ve lost weight (which I gained back double… sigh). I’ve lost lymph nodes. I’ve lost the integrity of some relationships that I thought were one thing but cancer proved that they were another. I’ve lost sharing Lukey’s golden years with him because it’s going to take him too soon. It’s always too soon.
I’ve also lost the desire to pour my energy into things that aren’t really my problem. I’ve lost the self-absorption (this post notwithstanding) that allows negativity to seep in and leak out over day-to-day stuff. I’ve lost the ability to tell the dogs “not now” when they shove my fingers off the keyboard asking for a walk because from now on it will always and forever be “sure, let’s go.”
I’ve gained perspective on my priorities. I’ve always tried to be a positive person, but now I’m a grateful person, too. I hope so anyway. I’m naturally introverted, phone averse, and shy, but I’ve gained a bit of confidence that, I also hope, has made me a better friend.
(Except, Erin, if you’re reading this today… I’m so sorry Grace’s gift is still on my desk… no excuse but the aforementioned navel gazing… and post office aversion…)
Anyway, last night on his twice daily jaunt up and down our street, Lucas lost traction. He stopped to catch his breath, then he laid down in the neighbor’s backyard.
Among all the things I’ve lost and will lose to cancer, the most devastating is my Lucas. I’ve always said that if Emmett is my heart dog, Lucas is my soul dog. (Cooper is my little co-dependent angel, but that’s a story for another day. Actually, several of you thoughtful friends have asked how Cooper’s doing with all this. I’ll write that update for Friday.)
Recently, someone suggested that maybe I was being too positive in my posts about all this, that maybe I needed to share the hard stuff, too. I get that. But the thing is, it’s all hard. All of it. Every single second of it. Every wag of his tail. Every rest stop on a short around-the-block walk. Every song he sings. Every stuffie he snatches from Coop and shreds on the living room floor. It’s all hard. That’s not what I want to focus on. Today’s post I think will be it. Because focusing on the road ahead won’t allow us to focus on the moment, the right now, the joy he gets from those short neighborhood hops and toy shredding sessions. The only way I want to move forward is by staying in this exact moment, one little hop at a time.
Promise to lift my eyes up from my navel very soon. In the meantime, thanks for being here, and I hope you’re having a wonderful week.
One last note. A favor, really. There are too many friends, too many dogs facing down cancer right now. It’s unfair. When you’re thinking your happy thoughts or saying your prayers for today, please think of our friends Callie and Maggie, a good news diagnosis for Honey, and for our human friends Jeff and Sara.