It’s easy to forget, as the time goes by, that I’m caring for a terminally ill dog.
It’s also really easy to let it seep into every thought of every moment with him and dwell on it and just try to hold onto each second – to let it get to me, and overwhelm me, and be really difficult.
But lately, as I’ve been busier, it’s been much easier to forget.
The medicine and the special diet food are no longer purchased with the hope of “maybe this will make him feel better” or the thought of “here’s a thing I can do to help,” as it felt in the beginning – as if it’s a one-time thing. Now, the extra $200 expense a month takes on a feeling of normalcy; almost an annoyance – ugh, this food is so expensive. Why do you need such expensive food. Ugh – your pills are so expensive, what a pain. They’ve become a way of life.
I try to balance my budget and freak out when I realize that the extra $400 I had to spend this month in vet bills, food and medicine really wasn’t accounted for. Of course, at the time (and in reality) I’ll suck it up and, as always, “find a way.” But again, it was easy to forget that expense is real, just like the cancer.
Without getting into too many details, I’ve found myself in a position where I need to figure out ways to make up the extra costs for Mumford’s care. In addition, other life expenses are piling up – student loan payments increasing, I stepped back from my part-time job to spend more time with Mumford, and so on.
Toinght, while texting Derek about my financial situation (because all I seem to do lately is stress out about it – hard), he said to me, “I want to say something, but it’s really shitty.” And I replied, “Go for it.”
He said, “You know that in a couple months you will have less pressure on you [monetarily].”
In all honestly, I replied, “Why???”
The response of, “Are you really going to make me say it?” hit me like a punch to the gut. Because, in that prior moment, I truly had forgotten. It didn’t even occur to me that a few months are, most likely, all I have left.
It’s as if the normalcy took over and I just accepted the current state of what we’re in as how things are going to be now. I know that I probably became overly optimistic at Dr. Rodriguez’s analysis last Saturday that his tumor is growing less rapidly than he anticipated.
And then, in a sort of cruel cosmic way of reminding me, when Mumford and I made it home tonight, he became sick all over the sidewalk. A kind of a — yeah, this didn’t go anywhere. Ignore it all you want, but it’s still there, just waiting to rear its ugly head just as soon as you get comfortable and forget about it.
I would take paying an extra $200 a month for the rest of my life in a heartbeat if it meant this dog would be there beside me.