Have you ever received an unexpected gift …and realized later – that unbeknownst to the sender – the arrival of the present was actually perfectly timed? On Friday, September 23, I leashed-up Lager for his walk. When I opened the gate, a beautiful bouquet of red-white-and-blue flowers greeted us! A very special person sent this amazing bouquet along with a note that read “Sending pawsitive thoughts and prayers. Stay strong. You got this!” When I reached out to thank her, she said, “Something kept tugging at my heart to get those sent.”
With the help of Brian, I have been checking Lager’s surgical area since he had his mass removed. When we returned from our walk, I asked Brian for assistance to check Lager’s mouth. To our dismay, it looked to us like the mass has already begun to grow back. I contacted Lager’s primary veterinarian, Dr. Helen Campbell, who agreed that it appeared to be regrowth from the photos I sent her. Panic and distress overwhelmed me. We knew achieving clean margins during Lager’s initial surgery was not going to be possible. However, I was taken aback at how rapidly the mass had returned…and at the size that it had grown already. It was then that I realized that the beautiful patriotic bouquet arrived just in time …that the something (or someone?!) tugging at my friend’s heart made sure of that…to remind me to be honest with myself about the current situation, but to also have hope – and look forward to positive outcomes.
“Take a walk outside – it will serve you far more than pacing around in your mind.” ~Rasheed Ogunlaru
Once you hear the word “cancer,” it’s easy to let your mind wander in a million different directions. I’m definitely guilty of letting my mind march itself right down it’s own panic-stricken path. I have found that walking with Lager helps lead my “pacing” mind to find a refreshed, positive course. I talk to Lager, I pray, I plan, and I enjoy. I let Lager set the pace and allow him to create our adventure, stopping and exploring anything he wishes along the way. Although I use an app on my phone to track our walks, I do so more to celebrate our time together, rather than race to get done.
Lager’s medical team is aware of the new re-growth of the mass. Thankfully, I was able to move up Lager’s oncology appointment to a sooner date. Brian and I will continue to check the mass, and I will be in contact with Lager’s primary veterinarian as well as his oncologist to keep them informed of our observations and any changes we note.
Brian and I are extremely grateful for all of the private messages, prayers, kind gestures, encouragement, and support. These are all reminders that we are not alone on this journey, and we appreciate that beyond what words can express.