I haven’t written much about cancer in this space because I didn’t think it was relevant, so as a result, I haven’t written much here at all since cancer has been my life for the past 10ish months. But now that I’m emerging from the worst of it (and only six weeks left!), I’m realizing what a critical role Emmett, Lucas, and Cooper played in all of it.
The first phase of my treatment involved a month of two-hour-a-day chemo drips that made me so sick, all I could do afterwards was crawl in bed and sleep until the next day. Every single day, when I returned home, Cooper stopped what he was doing and jumped in bed with me. He curled up on my feet, and there he stayed until someone came to fetch him for dinner and to go outside. After he ate, every single night, he came right back and curled up with me, where he stayed – unmoving – until the next morning.
My friends and family have done a lot for me this past year, but none of them could come close to matching that unwavering devotion, that loyalty.
Since John left to work in Louisiana, the boys have had very few walks. I’ve spent months being sick or, even on the good days, I just haven’t had the energy. Somehow, they understand. Historically, when they haven’t gotten enough exercise, their behavior reflected that. This year, though, they wait patiently for me. On the days we can walk, we walk. On the days we can’t, which is most days, they’re fine snuggling up with me on the couch or playing chase with their toys in the living room.
For years, they each had their own bed where they slept every night. As soon as John left, without me inviting them up, all three boys moved into bed with me. Maybe they are just taking advantage of that space opening up, but it’s reassuring and comforting to have them with me.
Lucas, never one for snuggles, started putting his head in my lap at night when I’m reading or watching TV.
Cooper, my high-energy two-year-old, spends every morning curled up on my lap while I check email, and he dozes on my legs every evening after dinner, reluctant to leave my side for even a minute.
This past year has been incredibly difficult. But through it all, they’ve demonstrated a loyalty and devotion that I can only hope to earn.
So when I was at a function recently talking to a couple whose daughter wanted her first dog, and they told me they couldn’t imagine their life with an animal, the only thing I could think to say was, “I can’t imagine my life without my animals!”