Denial – it’s lovely here, come visit.

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was opting to live in some denial, which is difficult to do on the blog.

For example, when anyone asks me how long Jake has, I say six months. I still say six months, even though it’s been a few months since we got that prognosis. February 13th to be exact. Since Melvin’s cancer prognosis was in days, being able to say and hold onto months feels like such a long, short time. And since it is really anyone’s guess, six months is not a lie.

Then, we saw the oncologist again. Jake’s cancer leg is now not working, at all.  In fact, that leg is making his hind right leg look like it could go to the Olympics.  His cancer leg is in the back on the left, yet it drags sideways to the right, so his stronger-weak right leg has to ‘jump’ over it with every step.

Why universe? Why?

When discussing this with the oncologist, that clearly his cancer leg is his weak link, she shared concerns that perhaps the radiation did not benefit Jake as much as they hoped.

Wait. Stop. Pretend like you didn’t hear her.

Is that even a thing? That radiation wouldn’t work. I mean I guess it could be, she’s saying it but I just sort of thought it was a given.

She said if the radiation helped him, his cancer leg should not be weaker, it should in fact be a bit stronger. (I had thought radiation would just do its magic internally and slow the cancer down, his leg being better was not something I expected so this was a surprise to me). If nothing else, she said it should have stayed the same.

Pretend like you never came today.  Go home and continue saying six months. 

I asked what that did to our timeline, if perhaps the stupid radiation did not do its freakin job. She said, let’s wait and see.  That in some humans who have his form of radiation, there is residual swelling of the tumor for as long as 8 weeks (which in theory could make his leg weaker and then it could bounce back).  I sensed she leapt into denial-land when she said that but I was happy to have company and we decided to wait and see.  We are currently at just over six weeks since radiation.

The important thing is that his pain is under control.  He is comfortable, he is still moving around (with the new back leg drag/hop), he is still eating, he still has joy in his eye (hamburger eye does not really show that much emotion!). Those are my metrics.

We could do another scan to see what’s going on but I don’t plan to do that. I don’t need to see his cancer.  Knowing it’s there is enough. We are still resting our fate on love and joy and he is doing just fine in that area, so our infinite six months still stands.

Here is my little monkey, and his wonky, crazy legs.

Taking a break on his way out back. IMG_8291

Sitting pretty in pink. IMG_8283

Notice my expert wrapping job of cancer legs foot.  That paw stays scraped up and bloody.  We have tried every sock and baby booty known to man.  I kid you not, we have hundreds of socks, shoes and booties.  Nothing stays on him. Gauze, vet tape and Animax are our best friends. IMG_8280

Keeping watch from the shade. IMG_8331


15 thoughts on “Denial – it’s lovely here, come visit.

  1. STUPID CANCER! I love you Jake……I agree with you Tracey….I keep thinking six months, six months! I wish there was something I could do to make it all better….damn it why didn’t I become a vet, a cancer specialist vet. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily! Love you guys like family, stay strong! I will keep praying

  2. My best friend had a toy apricot poodle who was the love of her life and his name was Kiwi. When she lost him due to old age, his fur had turned white. His passing just about destroyed her, so she bought a little toy (as in not real) white stuffed poodle and that dog sits on the sofa and lays in her bed. That toy saved her and I am a HUGE fan of denial. He’s been gone a couple of years but that toy is still making rounds in her house. Interestingly enough, several months after Kiwi died, she found a white toy Poodle in the middle of a highway. Her name is now Poppy and she came along just at the right time. You just stay in denial and be happy with your Jake Monkey.

  3. Hugs to you both! As long as you and Jake continue to focus on love and joy whatever the timeline is, it will be well spent.

    Nothing wrong with a little trip to denial-land every now and then though!

    Oh, and I have been meaning to thank you for mentioning W. Bruce Cameron’s books in one of your posts. I wasn’t familiar with “A Dog’s Purpose” or “A Dog’s Journey”, and have read them both over and over since I got them back in January. I will forever be grateful to you for introducing them to me.

    • Oh my gosh, just the mention of those books gives me goosebumps! They are making a movie out it, although I doubt they can do justice to the books (since I feel like we have already put a face to our ‘purpose’ and ‘journey’). So glad you loved them, I do too!

  4. Tracey, I’m with you, in denial. My little pug Phoebe uses a wheelchair and I have to manually express her pee and leaves me, what you call, meatballs all the time. Her little cart has a bag that catches them on occasion. I don’t know what Animax is, but I’m going to look it up. Phoebe can keep on diapers or booties, no matter what I do. She loves to run after me in her cart, but I always have to stay on a soft surface, otherwise her back feet get raw and bleed. She is my heart. I’m loving Jake and missing Melvin and am in denial on your behalf also. Keep believing.

    • I can relate to every word! Animax is a ointment that heals scrapes quickly. Jake’s diapers fall off 30 times a day, they just keep mocking me. They were great when he was upright but now they drag off. I’m going to try a drag bag to see if that helps keep them on. Have you tried that? Can you strap her legs up in the cart? Jake can have his legs down or we can put them up. Thank you for following along with us!

  5. Call me crazy, but I think denial is a good place to be. Truly. Because it allows you to go on living and loving and laughing and just being. There is so much time–no matter how much it really is–left to enjoy. The grief will get its time. Denial makes grief wait its turn.

  6. I am so with you on not doing the scan. Harper Lee was diagnosed with hip and elbow dysplasia when she was nine months old. When she was about two, I asked the vet if we should do another set of radiographs just to see how things were going in there. I loved his answer: “Why? She’s doing well. She’s happy. That tells you everything you need to know. Everything you’re doing is working–exercise, therapy, supplements, keeping her weight down, love.” He was right. When Harper Lee was diagnosed, I prayed that we would be able to celebrate her third birthday. We just celebrated her seventh in March. I hope that you’re celebrating six months for months and months and months and months to come. Thinking of you and Jake.

Leave a Reply