As I sit here, typing this post out, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and the computer screen in focus. I managed to squeeze in a few hours of sleep last night. A long day of work followed by an energy-sapping evening of worrying about, taking care of, and stressing over CJ.
I’m hesitant to write much about it here because, yes, CJ is “just” a dog; my black Labrador retriever.
And yes, he’s being treated for cancer which sometimes surprises people. Why would I bother with all of that? Isn’t that expensive? I could list a million reasons why, but I don’t regret taking this path with him.
What matters is that since starting down this journey, CJ has been happy, playing fetch again, and most importantly, not in pain. Before he started treatment, he was barely able to walk on his front leg, limping and gingerly putting weight on it. But now he is doing surprisingly good. Since April, we have gone swimming, went on walks, taken car rides, and have been enjoying life.
And though I know it won’t last forever,
I’m still getting precious time with him.
Even though there are some sleepless nights, or a day or two where he seems a little “down and out” because of the chemotherapy, he remains a joyful dog, often acting like the energetic puppy he was the day we brought him home. CJ is important to me. He is my first dog ever, he was rescued from an animal shelter, and he has been on a journey with me, teaching me important lessons along the way about what really matters. How to love unconditionally, how to enjoy each day and not worry about tomorrow. It’s his soul that shines through it all though; he has an amazing spirit and all it takes is a look into those big brown eyes of his and you understand.
And that is where I am right now, my life taken week by week, and day by day. I’m usually one planning so far ahead I end up changing course before getting there, but lately with CJ I haven’t been planning much farther than a few days in advance. This journey is teaching me to focus in on the now, be even more present in the everyday than I usually am, and well to let go of this little stuff because its really not worth it!