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Catie Caitlin

Golden Retriever and cancer

Catie Caitlin

And so it goes…

May 11th, 2011 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

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The last several months were relentlessly gray and cold, but, finally, the snow is gone. It lingered until well past the middle of April. But, like it does every year, spring is finally here. The trees are anxious to bud. Gardeners are anxious to plant.

A wicked wind whips the wind chimes outside my kitchen window and plays equal havoc with my hair. But the skies are blue and between the hearty gusts, there’s actually warmth from the sun. Catie is stretched out on the deck and Riley amuses himself by rolling on the lawn, scooping up the brown debris that was grass, albeit patchy in spots, before the snow came. He shakes some of it off, but not enough. I tell him if he wouldn’t drag all the dirt in the house I wouldn’t have to vacuum so often. His frenzied consternation with the sucking beast is surpassed, it seems, by his love for wiggling on his back.

I know haven’t posted for some time. To be honest, I got stuck in a winter melancholy and inertia that I had trouble shaking off. Frankly, I could barely stand myself for some time and certainly didn’t want to inflict myself on anyone else.

Through March I thought Catie’s increasing lethargy was because she too was tired of the bleakness of winter. Everything seemed a struggle for her from lifting herself up or going up and down the three steps from the deck to the lawn. She didn’t come up on the bed any more. She seemed sad and tired. I convinced myself I was perceiving things through a skewed vision. Everything was seemed tinged with gray, after all.

Then she didn’t want to eat. And she had an eye infection. And her mobility was definitely compromised. She couldn’t make it down the driveway without stopping for a rest.

A trip to the vet at the end of March. Some pokes. Some prods. A gentle palpation along her spine.

“This dog has a really, really sore back,” the vet said.

Perhaps she’d strained herself. Taken one too many tumbles on the ice. Homeward bound with Metacam and some antibiotics for her eyes.

She improved for a few weeks. She was still less active but she ate again. Her eyes seemed less red.

Late last week her eyes started weeping again. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to go to the park.

Yesterday morning my husband took Catie to the vet with instructions to get some xrays. The results? Not good. Catie has a mass in her chest and from its position, the vet believes it is pressing on some nerves.  Hence, the back pain.

Hence, some painkillers to see if we can minimize her discomfort. Some different eye drops. The vet believes her eye infection has been so resistant because her immune system is compromised.

I won’t say I wasn’t upset. I was. There’s a part of me that quivers but I’m working hard on giving it but a cursory acknowledgement because  it will be Catie’s 16-month ampuverary this Friday and that’s really, really, really something special. So special, in fact, that we are celebrating early. We had steak last evening with some leftovers for tonight.

Maybe it will be ice cream tomorrow. Or green beans. Perhaps even more steak. For now, the sunshine and the wind and this moment is enough. We’ll figure out the rest as we go.

 

 


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9 Comments so far ↓

  • maximutt

    I’m sorry to hear about Catie’s troubles. I hope the new meds help her feel better. I know you’re feeling melancholy, but remember this: you’re right, 16 months is amazing!!! So congratulations Catie! Hang in there, and tell your Mom to grill you some more steak. That always makes a girl feel a bit better. Hang in there, and keep us updated. Sending pawsitive thoughts your way.

  • cometdog

    A long time ago, there was a little dog named Cometdog, who stumbled on a blog of Catie Caitlin, who just happened to have cancer. She had a brother, named Riley who didn’t have cancer.

    Catie and Riley’s mom seemed down about the whole turn of events. Cometdog knew she had to step in and remind their mom that each day was a beautiful day whether it be rain, snow or hurricane force winds! Dark clouds be damned! Life was fun, joyful and full of laughter!

    All you had to do was look past those “grey” days and know that the sun was shining somewhere and above the clouds. She knew because she lived in Vegas, where it never rained or snowed! The sun was always shining.

    She also knew that a cookie, whether it be a oven fresh peanut butter one or the cheap store bought ones would make it alright.
    She knew it was the simple things in life that made life fun.

    That little named Cometdog cheered every moment she was alive because she was loved. And making other’s cheer and laugh would spread her joy. She never wanted anyone sad.

    And when her time came, she had a bakery sugar cookie even knowing her time had come. Because again, a cookie made it okay.

    This little dog knew her job had been done here. She had cheered up Catie and Riley’s mom and was certain that no matter what happened in the future, that each day would be spent with joy and sunshine mixed with a good zinger of a joke!

    The twinkling, anti-cancer wishing stars are still twinkling. And now there are many stars that shine a little brighter because she joined them. She would want us to not be sad even if she wasn’t here to crack a joke about Catie’s mom’s obsession with the weather!

    So, we won’t be sad, we’ll be happy for the 16 months! We’ll don red party hats! We’ll eat cookies until our stomachs hurt! We’ll crank up some electro-sounding 80’s music and dance like we were young and in a mini-skirt again! And we’ll giggle remembering all the silliness that made these last 16 months the best ever!

    And we’ll do it because that’s what Catie, Riley and Comet would do!

  • Leslie

    You’re definitely not the only one that gets the winter woes. The odd thing about me is I get depressed in the winter, but I hate the summer. I’m such a hot blooded person that I rarely wear a coat in the winter, so summers are unbearable. You’ll bounce back and your thoughts will move in a more positive direction. The most important thing is to show 100% love to your loved ones and never let them forget how much you care, even though you don’t feel well.

    Leslie

  • etgayle

    knowing there are no guarantees and knowing nothing is permanent doesn’t make dealing with things any easier sometimes. we celebrate catie’s 16 month ampuversary here in ET, and celebrate the love you guys share through this rocky journey we call life. hugs to that brave girl!

    charon & gayle

  • maggie

    I was excited to come to your blog but then sadness overcame me as I read on 🙁 Sorry to hear about Catie’s diagnosis…but YES! 16 Month ampuversary is PAWESOME! Steak! Ice Cream! Give that girl all the great stuff to eat!!! 🙂

    Hugs to you from Maggie and I…

    Tracy

  • krun15

    When Maggie was diagnosed with her second cancer things were pretty bleak. But I took the lessons I learned from our first cancer journey- and decided to make every day we had the very best day ever! No counting the days, no watching the clock. There will be time for the gray clouds later- for now enjoy every sunny spring day you have together.
    Happy ampuversary Catie!

    Karen and the pugapalooza

  • admin

    Yummmm… green beans and ice cream! 🙂

  • riosmom

    Oh catie, we are sorry to hear about your troubles. It HAS been a long winter, and my mom has struggled with the “dark cloud,” too. Especially since my health has been such an ongoing concern. Its hard for the humans not to worry about the future and the sadness it may hold. But you and Riley have got the right idea: every moment of every day, there is cause for celebration. Even if it’s a small victory in the face of daunting odds, like having just one more chance to see your beautiful smile. 16 months is HUGE, by comparison, and deserves a major celebration. Steak AND ice cream AND new toys AND 80’s music AND dancing (although I’ll pass on the miniskirt!!!)!!!! Hang in there, girl.

    Rio

  • jerry

    Catie, cancer might rear it’s ugly head again but I know you and your Mom will laugh at it and make it crawl into a hole and disappear.

    I’m sorry about that stupid met. Dang that’s hard, I know it’s ruff to cope with for those humans. We dawgs though, we don’t really care one stinkin’ bit. We just wanna see our pawrents hoppy again.

    So cheers to no more snow! Cheers to your ampuversary! Cheers to taking the bull by the horns and running with it!

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