Flash has more lumps. I discovered them last week in a cuddle session. The first is the size of a golf ball and it’s located just slightly above and to the left of where his right foreleg begins, in the chest area. The other lump is between his ribs and spine on his left side. The big one on his chest doesn’t bother him. The one on his side does. He doesn’t want you to touch it.
We’re going to the vet’s tomorrow afternoon and he’ll probably have a needle biopsy of both lumps.
Did you know that, after euthanasia, cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs? You know what saddens me about that statement? That we still euthanize too many animals.
I lost my previous Sheltie to lymphoma. She was the same age Flash is now. I did oodles of research on malignant tumors, fatty deposits, etc. with Lovey and again when Flash had the first lump on his neck. I now know enough to be dangerous.
The strange thing is that I’m extraordinarily calm. First of all, I’ve already gone ballistic once this quarter. I’m not due again until July or so. Secondly, I realized that when something new happened, I was reaching into the closet of my emotions and grabbing one that felt familiar. “Yes, I used that one when I was in intensive care.” Or: “Yep. I felt that when my husband died.”
They are all old feelings. They belonged to that experience, that time, but I don’t have to keep feeling them. In fact, I think it’s best if I discard them.
Wisdom is the side effect of every experience. Every screwup we’ve caused, every time we’ve gone through something difficult, we learn. Even despite ourselves, we learn. That wisdom shows itself in the depth of our emotions. The fear we felt in our twenties is different from the fear we feel in our forties.
I love this silly dog with his protective barking and his tail at full furl. I love how he’s come to accept that I’m going to kiss his long nose and not flinch. I love that he doesn’t flatten his ears anymore when I pet him on the head. I love how he crawls up on my lap while I’m watching TV and sometimes faces in the other direction as if to say, “Um, can you scratch my derriere for a while?” I love how he rolls over on his back and whines if I’m not giving him the attention he thinks he deserves. I love how he plants himself on the floor beside my bed as if to guard me from monsters as I sleep. I love how he’ll do almost anything for kibble, even starting to do tricks all on his own as if to convince me that it’s treat time. I love how he makes me laugh when he eats lettuce or would sell his doggy soul for peanut butter. I even love how he’s a PITA at times when I want to work and he wants to play.
I know that something bad could come from Flash’s lumps and bumps, but I also know that it could be nothing. I’ve had both experiences. Panic isn’t helpful right now. Knowledge is. So I put the Panic emotion back on the hanger and stuck it back in the closet.
With any luck moths will eat holes in it.