Monday, September 14, 2009

The "C" Word

Last week, we received the diagnosis that Murphy, our dear, sweet dog, has bone cancer.

We've heard those words before. It'll be 10 years this November that Mom passed away from ovarian cancer. It seems that no family is untouched by this disease.

I did nothing but cry when we first heard the dreaded "C" word. I was immediately reminded of Mom's arduous struggles - 6 rounds of chemo and always the hope that this would be "the one" - ascites that had to be drained on a regular basis - hospitalisation for months.

10 years ago I didn't know the techniques I do now. Then, I spent most of my time worrying and eating my way through the grief, doing the best I could to cope.

This time, I'm doing things differently. After the initial shock, I now make a conscious choice to convert my worry and grief to feelings of love. As often as possible, I focus on the joy that he brings to us. This helps balance my nervous system so that I'm better able to cope with the tough times that will arrive.

It is also better for Murphy. He has always been attuned to me, so it is in his best interest that I effectively manage my emotions.

Our family and friends are saddened by the news and feel our pain. It seems that Murphy has managed to wiggle his way into their hearts, too! I've asked them, as often as possible, to think about Murphy in a positive way and shower him with love. I can see their faces change when I ask them to do this for us. That makes me feel good knowing that it helps them deal with this situation.

I am thankful that he is still his happy and curious self, even though we've had to curtail his walks. I am also grateful for the supportive care we're receiving for him.

We'll take it day by day, heartbeat by heartbeat.

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11 comments:

  1. There is no-one that is not in some way touched by cancer, as today's Twitter stream demonstrates. Truly a battle we must all consider facing in one form or another, on behalf of someone in our Circle. Let's make that the new C word...

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  2. What a wonderful thought to replace the C word with the power of our Circles!

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  3. wonderful post - truly the only way is energize the thoughts and reality you seek to manifest, and you certainly seem centered there (another C word btw) - best energy for you and all of our Circles!

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  4. Thanks for your input, Kayt.

    I have my moments, as does anyone going through a similar situation.

    That's exactly what I'm striving for - being centred.

    These situations can knock you off centre and right out of the circle.

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  5. There is nothing more distressing than a pet with illness about which it cannot articulate. I have gone through that experience and can relate to your feelings. I admire the way you have decided to tackle it this time. All the best to you and Murphy.

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  6. Ramana,
    A very poignant point you've made with "an illness it cannot articulate."

    In communicating (another C) we share and hopefully, lessen or at least ease our burdens.

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  7. My son's dog was running with me, I on my mountain bike, when some lowlife shot him. I heard him screaming ahead. Another shot & then silence. Thank God!

    Think how I felt. The only time I saw my grown son weep.

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  8. My mother told me not to say the "C" word. Then it was something you couldn't do anything about, so you didn't think about it or mention it.

    She died later from cancer. Things have changed. We hear about it constantly & have tests for early detection.

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  9. BHB,
    I can't even imagine how horrifying that would be. For all of you.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Despite better detection, certain types of cancers run rampant before they are detected. That's why ovarian cancer is known as the "silent" killer.

    There's a fine balance between awareness and checking things out and living in constant fear and worry that you could get cancer or any other serious disease.

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  10. Oh Marianna,

    What terribly sad news; you know we are dog lovers and our Teg is a key part of our family too.

    You have my love and admiration for tapping into your own resources so that both you and Murphy will still take so much from life and one another in the time you have left together.

    To use the C-word suggested by Coffee-offline, in that Circle of Life, one of our hens has hatched four chicks and has a few eggs left to go!

    Stay strong Marianna.

    Nigel x

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  11. Nigel,
    Thanks for your encouragement and support. The hug is appreciated, too! :)

    Ahh, the Circle of Life...windows and doors opening and closing....

    I'm sure you will all enjoy the chicks. What does Teg make of them?

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Welcome! I know your life is busy. That's why I appreciate your stopping by to comment.