Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A donut STILL can't fight cancer...

A few months ago, I wrote about my run in with a chocolate-glazed donut when my family and I learned my grandfather's cancer had returned.

I have to admit, that was incredibly hard and it remains incredibly hard, but we're encouraged by the fact my grandfather's tests have not been alarming recently. He's due back for another check next month and we'll know more then.

But last night, I had a flash of deja vu, and another fight against emotional eating when I got news about Dobie and his surgery.

I was sitting at work when my mom called and she started hedging right away...asking if I was in the office, if I could talk, that she didn't want to disrupt me. So I outright asked, "Is the dog alive?"

She was a little taken aback and said, "Well, of course he is...but..." and that was when I cut her off. Because as far as I was concerned, if Dobie was still with us, the day was a good one. With his heart condition and some of the blood issues Doberman Pinschers have, I truly was terrified my beautiful bud wouldn't even make it through surgery. So for me, hearing he had was the best kind of news.

Until my mom finished speaking. Apparently, before putting Dobie in, his vets did another x-ray and a physical exam. In that, they discovered the tumor on his prostate had grown. Rapidly. They opted not to perform the surgery on him and when my mom said that, I could only choke out the words, "It's cancer, isn't it?"

Hey, I was pre-med for two years. And I'm pretty sure I remember reading that benign tumors don't grow that rapidly. That Dobie's had meant that well, it was a malignant tumor. My mom whispered, "Yes" and that was when I just felt rage. I barely listened to the rest of what she had to say, but I gathered that the vets decided to do a biopsy to determine what kind of cancer he had, how aggressive it was, and what--if anything--could be done for him.

We'll get the results in a week. So basically, we have another week of waiting and wondering and worrying.

But I was so angry because this is incredibly unfair. So incredibly unfair. Last October, we had to put our other dog down because of--you guessed it, cancer. Then in May we learned my grandfather's cancer was back. Now at the end of July, Dobie had cancer. How many times can this same disease cause havoc on one family? Seriously! And that's in the past year. I've lost my cousin and my uncle to cancer as well. Cancer is just hitting below the belt right now and I'm really beaten up.

I made arrangements to meet my mom and stepdad at the vet to pick Dobie up. All the way there, I fought the urge to stop at McDonald's and get fries. Or onion rings from Burger King. By the time I passed a KFC, I was just about ready to stroll in and sate my pain with an entire bucket's worth of fried chicken.

Why I didn't stop, I'll never really know. I don't know if it's the fact that my brain understood food wasn't going to help or if it was just that I was in a hurry to get to the hospital and see my boy. Either way, today, with a little bit of perspective, I can just say I'm grateful I didn't find solace in food.

When I finally saw my Dobie, he was still groggy from the anesthesia, and his eyes were a little glazed. But when he saw us, his little tail started to wag. He ran (well, as best he could) to us and licked us all. I had to fight back the tears. No one deserves cancer. Not my grandfather, not my cousin, not my uncle and definitely not this dog...this dog who has never done anything bad to anyone. Ever.

For the past week, I've soaked up every minute possible with Dobie. I'll be honest--once his surgery was scheduled, he became my priority. Instead of going to work out when I was done with the office, I'd rush to my parents house (ie, the Den of Evil Food Goodies) and see him. This morning, I finally put a stop to that and went back to my Pilates class.

I feel almost mean and selfish for saying this, but it was probably the most peaceful hour I have had in the past day. I was done with the worrying. I was done with the crying. The only thing I could think of was the physical pain I was feeling--the burning in my thighs, the stretching in my hamstrings, the straining in my arms. Never in my life have I been as grateful for a workout as I was for my Pilates class this morning.

It reminded me that no matter how painful, how difficult life gets to be, I need to take care of myself. I need to find relief for me. I need--for at least a little bit--to think of no one but myself. And I can only hope my lack of exercise doesn't catch up to me when it's time to face the scale on Saturday (Because more honesty--I have been a little naughty, what with the birthday and the fact a few--okay, two--chocolate chip cookies found their way into my mouth last night.)

Today has been about regaining my focus, regaining my control. There's nothing I can do, or eat, that will make Dobie better. Nothing I can do, or eat, that will make my grandfather better. I can only stay positive and pray for them and that is what I shall continue to do.

I've gotten so many positive messages and wishes for my family, my dog and I and I really wanted to say thank has meant a lot to me to know so many people have kept us in their thoughts and prayers. There's still a very, very slim chance it won't be cancer, and I'm not above asking God for a miracle.

But for the most part, right now, I'm just continuing to pray that my amazing dog isn't in any pain. That he doesn't suffer and that his doctors and my family do the best we can for him. If that means we have to send him to be with his brother, we'll deal with that then. But for now, I just want him to be happy and painfree and enjoying the world around him...


Lynn said...

Wow, cancer is everywhere for you and I'm really sorry to hear that...

You're doing great for avoiding your urges to binge on bad junky foods though.

Keep your head up!

Shannon said...

Holy Cow, CCC. I am so sorry to hear this about Dobie. I was frustrated at first thinking how on earth can a vet make you wait AN ENTIRE WEEK for test results, but we went through the same thing. It seems to be an eternity. You appear to have the best attitude about Dobie, though. His comfort is very important, along side of him being around those that love him. My guess is that pets don't have any idea what's going on when it comes to illnesses, unless, of course they are feeling pain. So, keep loving, keep hugging and keep kissing and Dobie will know no least for a week.

My prayers will continue for you and your dog, AND your grandfather.

Livy said...

You poor thing. Sorry to hear about Dobie. My cat is yet to return, and I still think about her every day, wondering where she is, and if she is ok.
Eating is a bit of a double edged sword. You eat to feel better, but when you have eaten, you just feel worse. Every time you think of eating KFC, or Mcdonalds, think about what it would be like to eat battered cardboard, deepfried in fat that wasn't very hot. Imagine those young pimply kids that flip the burgers, with their hair and dandruff falling into the food, and their grubby hands putting the lid on your softdrink. YUCK.
You know, cancer loves weakness. You need to stay strong. What better motivation for you to get up, dust yourself off, and say "RIGHT..I am NOT going to let all this get on top of me".
I know it's hard, but try and stay strong babe.

BigLoser said...

"Today has been about regaining my focus, regaining my control. There's nothing I can do, or eat, that will make Dobie better. Nothing I can do, or eat, that will make my grandfather better. I can only stay positive and pray for them and that is what I shall continue to do." are dealing with some truly heavy heavy stuff right now. It would have been so easy to use this as a reason to stop at McDonald's or KFC or some other similar place, but you didn't. You showed the control you think you need to 'regain'...but it's still there and it hasn't left you in your hour of need.

Continue to hang in there. You're doing everything you can and whether you think that is enough or has to be.

I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Continue to stay positive girl!

Chic Ink Designs said...

You're stronger than you think CCC. I'm sorry about Dobie and all the cancer issues you have faced.

Stay positive.

My WW leader once told me something that rang true with me and that was:
If hunger is not the problem, then food is not the solution.

Big Momma Black said...

You are right. A donut can't cure cancer. It also can't clean my house, fix my car or pay my late rent. I need to remeber this the next time I go to eat emotionally. In the wake of your tragedy, bravo to you for facing life unmedicated and dealing with the pain and the reality constructively. That is very mature of you. My thoughts are with you during this tough time. There are people who are cheering you on.

Ash said...

You are a strong person. You will get through this. You will find strengths you maybe didn't know you even had.
Do what you can, and leave the rest to the One in charge.

Lora said...

Cancer is such a horrible disease! I just hate it! I sure hope Dobie makes out okay...waiting for test results is the worst.

Good for you for turning to exercise instead of food. That's a real sign of progress in making lifestyle changes.

Suppressed said...

Just started reading your blog. Your Dobie is in my thoughts. Fighting the urge to console (medicate?) myself with food is really tough and it appears you have your thumb on it. Incidentally, Mr. CCC seems like a prince.

SarahA said...

I am keeping your entire family in my thoughts. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about you lsing your precious Dobie.

My husband's family has had a bad year with cancer as well with his dad having a relapse for the 2nd time, 2 of his uncles being diagnosed, I had a breast cancer scare (thank God it wasn't anything) and my husband has emergency surgery due to what they thought was cancer (again, it ended up not being cancer). % of my dad's 6 sister have been dignosed 3 of them having mastectomies. When you hear the word cancer it just stops your heart.

I know how scary it is and can be. Please know you have somebody thinking about you and praying for peace, strength and healing for your entire family.