You know when you read about those couples who when one of the spouses dies, the other’s health starts fading and relatively soon after, the other dies. And often we say they died of heartache, even though there are medical issues to point to. Maybe the heartache weakened their immune system?
I think Melvin and Jake may be trying to be one of those couples. In less than a year, Jake lost Melvin, lost sight in one eye, has had to fight off a MRSA infection and went suddenly paralyzed in his back side. I wish this story ended there but sadly, it does not.
I’m heartbroken to share with you…Jake has cancer.
Just typing that, I can’t breathe. I also can’t stop crying.
The cancer isn’t even the cause of his paralysis, they happened to find it accidentally when looking at his mobility issues (which we figured out, but who cares because he has cancer on top of it all).
While looking at the MRI they happened to see a mass on his kidney and cancer throughout the muscle/soft tissue of one of his hind legs. Since those two areas are not really in the scope of neurology, we had a specialist take a look. They called me on Saturday. It was the worst Valentine’s Day gift ever.
It hasn’t even been a year since Melvin’s diagnosis. It’s so easy to ask, WHY is this happening to him. To us. But instead, I’m trying to focus on a different why. Why Jake ended up here. And I know the answer to that one. Jake needed to find his joy, and he was never going to find it in his first home. He waited patiently with them for five years and then it was time, to hunt down his real family. He found his forever here with us. He came for love, he came so that life could show him that he has someone. He came for patience. He came for unconditional support and even-if-you-poop-every-night-at-4am love. When anything strikes him down, he looks to me, with one eye, and I take care of him. And he came because Melvin is his soul mate, his other half. Melvin made him feel safe and gave him calm and gave him a partner in life and love. Together, we completed Jake.
But there is a flip side. Jake completed us too. He made us a little family. He is my laughter, he is the cause of 88% of my smiles. Jake and I have gotten each other through these past months without Melvin. I lean on him, as much as he leans on me. Both Jake and Melvin are my purpose.
Jake came here so I could see him through all his health issues, including cancer. As part of that, my plan is for Jake to live well into his teens.
We have to see an oncologist for prognosis, right now we have an appointment for Thursday morning (I’m calling around trying to find a sooner appt.) In my conversation with the neurologist, he shared concerns of metastasis in areas we didn’t see on the spinal MRI.
Yet another moment all the air went away, but we don’t know what we don’t know.
We will keep you posted. I promise you he will have everything he needs. Love will prevail.
Such devastating news, here’s hoping you get some (well-deserved) breaks in the near future.
Thank you so much!
Thinking of you guys today! What a difficult time, but he is so lucky to have you.
Thank you, Kylie!
If only love could cure cancer. I am so sorry. Sending hugs and healing thoughts to you and Jake.
Love should be able to cure cancer! Thanks for reaching out!
Lots of prayers and good thoughts. Hugs for both of you.
Thank you, Patty!
Thinking of you, always! You are such a strong dog momma and I know these boys come to you so that they can experience true joy, love, and genuine peace. Whatever happens, know that you have a community behind you. Much love to you and Jake.
Thank you so much. I get a lot of my lessons from you.
You’re too sweet.
Love WILL prevail. Oh, Tracey. Why? How I wish I had that answer, but I suppose there isn’t one. You have increased the net love in this world with your devotion to your boys. Maybe that’s the only why any of us can hope for… more love. (Not sure that makes any sense. Hard to form thoughts and type through the tears, but I hope you know how amazing you are.)
The funny thing, but not ha ha funny, is that you were one of the first people that popped into my mind. I may need some guidance on how to handle a 2nd cancer diagnosis and not go all dark on myself!
Any time, friend. Big hugs to you and scritches to Jake.
Thinking of you and sending healing vibes your way. He’s so lucky to have you to love him and guide him through whatever comes next. I’m so sorry.
Thank you, Ashley! I will be here for him every step of the way.
My heart breaks for you.
Ditto. Thank you for reaching out!
Ugh. Just, ugh. Sending lots of positive thoughts to you and Jake today.
Thank you so much! Kiss the blockheads for us!
I am so very sorry to hear this. My heart is breaking for you. Hoping for the best with the oncologist visit…
Thank you, Deanna!
My heart is breaking for you once again! Just doesn’t seem fair does it?
If only LOVE was enough to cure him… Because there are so many of us that love Jake as if he’s our own!
Keeping you in my thoughts!
He def knows he is loved, so thank you for keeping a space in your heart for him!
I am at a loss for words! I lost another of my doggie friends yesterday morning (sweet little Walter Walnut) and then this awful news of Mr Jake! My heart is broken in a million pieces! I am so sorry Tracey! If I could hug you I would! Know that you and Jake are in my thoughts and prayers always and I will keep sending pawsitive energy your way! Stay strong and know that you are both loved!
We always feel your hugs and love, Jody! Thank you for always being there for us!
Oh Tracy. Why, why, why? How I only wish someone had the answer to life’s hardest question. We have had a really rough few months at our house too, and I have asked that question at least 1 million times.
All I do know is that you are so correct when you say that Melvin and Jake landed in the perfect spot, in their home with you. It gets really old (And hard) to always have to be the strong one. But you are, you are a strong and persistent mom. And Melvin and Jake are so very blessed to have you, and I know that they are very thankful and aware of how great mom you are.
Many hugs and positive thoughts sent your way
We are sending you love and hugs back! We don’t always get to control everything with them, but we can control the love.
Saying I’m sorry is just not adequate, but I’m so stunned I don’t know what else to say. I read all of your blog posts and have been following poor Jakes’ journey without Melvin. It’s heartbreaking, but knowing how loved he is I always hope the next post will be filled with joy and good times.
Please know you are in many a hearts and thoughts and Jake is absolutely cherished by many.
Thank you, Jenna! I was stunned too. But we will pull ourselves up and face this thing with lots of love!
I’m sorry to hear this, my heart hurts for you. Stupid cancer!
Perfectly put! Stupid cancer, indeed!
Oh, I am so sad to read this. My heart is broken, for Jake and for you.
I only found your blog a few months ago, but I know how much love you have for your furbabies. I know you gave Melvin the best of care and you will do the same for Jake. I love your writing and your photography. I feel like know you and your family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jake during the next chapter of your lives.
Thank you for so many things, Mary Beth…for following along, for reaching out and for allowing us into your life. We feel all the love and are so grateful!
Thinking of you and Jake. Sending much love.
Thank you so much, Tanya!
I’m so sorry to hear Jake has cancer but i know he will fight and you will be by his side in the battle
Yes, for sure! Thank you!
Tracy, I am so sorry for the news. It’s heartbreaking. I know you will do what’s best for him, like you always do. I’m sending you and Jake big hugs!
Thank you so much!!!
Dear Tracey. I am praying and crying at the same time. You and your boys are true gifts from God. I am here if you need anything! Love to you and Jake.
I have no words. I read your posts, and I feel I am reading my life with Mckinley. Wonky legs, frogger mats, 4 am wake ups to poop (ours are 3am), legs that do not always work. Thank you for sharing Jake with us. I wish my words were more elegant, and comforting. Please know that Jake had been in my thoughts all weekend.
I love that Jake has a soul wonky! You reaching out means so much, thank you!
I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear this news. Hugs to both you and Jake.
Thank you so much, Sharon!
I am so sorry for this news, but I know that Jake will be comfortable and loved to the very end. Prayers and hugs to you.
Thank you, Elysa! He will know infinite love!
Oh my word….or loss of words…I am so so so so sorry. Sending you a million hugs and snuggles.
Thank you, sweet friend!
The tears just will not stop. I am so saddened to hear this news. I cried and hugged my dear little Phoebe so tight she squeaked. You and the boys have all been so blessed to have each other through everything you have had to endure. I want to go back and read today’s post again, but I cried so hard the first time I’m afraid to. My thoughts and prayers are added to all the others for you and Jake. Hugs, Sandra
Thank you so much, Sandra! Give Phoebe one of those bigs hugs for us too.
Stay strong! He'll wag on forever, regardless 🙂
I love this! Thank you so much for sharing with me, I’ve never seen it.
It’s for Melvin (and Max!) now but, someday, it’ll be handy for Jake. Hopefully not too soon, though, as you could use a break. Best wishes!
I knew I didn’t want to read this post when I saw the title. Seriously, W.T.F. There are no good words for this. Definitely wish you didn’t have to be super amazing at dealing with crazy health issues all the time. I know you’ll get through this with grace & great humor, just wish you didn’t have to, especially so soon. Hugs to you & the great googly moogly! <3
We are in the WTF camp too. I guess Jake and I were just meant to be and this is something we have to see each other through. So we shall. Thank you so much for reaching out!
Oh Jake 🙁 I’m so sorry, you guys just cannot catch a break. I definitely agree with you that his health has declined so rapidly partially due to the loss of his best buddy. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way and crossing my fingers for a good prognosis <3
Thank you! I have been whispering to him that heaven can wait so I’m hoping that starts to boost his immunity!
I am so so sorry to read this ……..:( You are in my thoughts, and I truly hope Heaven can wait … you need time to love on Jake even more than you already do!
I agree! I am pleading for cures and time! Thank you so much!
I really hate this. I remember when I did your home visit for Jake and thinking how lucky he was going to be. Not only was he getting a great house and a full time mom, he was getting a sweet, dopey lab for a brother! I know how hard it was on both of you when Melvin died and then bad things kept happening to Jake. The one bright spot for him is that he has you and he knows that you’ll do what’s best for him every step of the way. The hard part for you will be just living through it. Thank you for being such a wonderful mom.
Thank you so much, Amy! I am the blessed one, to have Jake (and to have had Melvin) and I would move Heaven and Hell to give them what they need. Thank you for all the support from FBRN over the years, I love that group so much! You guys can really lift up a little wonky dude and his mom!
I sat on this overnight trying to think of something uplifting but you know. You know that love cradles that boy and everything he needs you will see that he gets. you know that love surrounds you and that while many of us aren’t physically close to you, we are attached to you still and are sending you so much love and healing thoughts and prayers to lift you and Jake through this and far beyond. You know that, right?
As for the uplifting thoughts, I’ve read many of those this morning. You’ve got many friends here that love you and Jake and Melvin. If you need anything…
When I got the news, I took a moment for myself and Jake, then I thought about all the family and friends I needed to reach out to. And this blog community, is part of that family & friend outreach. We would be lost without all of your support. Thank you!
I am so sorry, Tracey. I hope this is one of those times when the bad isn’t as bad as it could be, and this is just another hurdle you all will conquer. We’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the best!