Consumed

I am consumed with feelings right now.  The most dominant of which seems to be guilt.  I feel so guilty.  Is there something more I should have done, or should be doing?  Should I have done chemo? 

We have always been honest with each other.  Right now, we are both keeping a very scary secret from each other.  She knows that she is sick.  I know that she is sick.  She is acting like everything is fine.  She doesn’t want me to worry.  That’s just how she is. 

What she doesn’t know is that I am worried sick about her.  I don’t let her know.  I love on her just the same.  I still scold her when she barks at nothing more than the wind. 

I know she knows that I know.  (I hate people who talk like that!)  She knows I know.  I still call her “baby girl” and still rub her tummy.  She knows.  She know me.  She knows what I won’t talk about.  She knows what these tears are for.  She knows my heart, and my heart can’t lie to her.

The lymph nodes in her neck are extremely swollen.  They are big knots in her neck that are reaching up to her ear.  I’ve accidentally brushed them a couple of time.  All I can think is how is she breathing with these things pushing on her airway?

Over the weekend, Thanksgiving weekend to be exact, she started breathing as though she were awake and snoring.  It was an awful, heartbreaking sound.  Then, as fast as it started, it ended. 

I want to be with her every second of every day.  I want her face engrained deep in my memory so I never forget the first time I experienced unconditional love.  I want to remember her as the puppy that entered my life and loved me instantly.  I want to remember my best friend. 

It’s not fair!  Dammit!  It’s not fair.  Why her?  Why this sweet little girl? 

Her doctor said that I will know when the time is right to make the most awful decision I have ever had to make.  I know the time isn’t right.  She isn’t ready.  There is still little glimmers of her spunky-self that I get to see.  She still greets me at the door every time I come home.  She still curls up next to me on the couch.  She still has life left in her.

I don’t want her to be mad at me for not doing chemo.  I know that’s a human though, but anytime she wasn’t feeling good I would fix it.  I don’t want her wondering why I am not fixing it this time.  I don’t want her to think that I wouldn’t fix it if I could. 

My family was here visiting for Thanksgiving.  My mom spent time with Joie, just the two of them, talking.  Mom told Joie, if she doesn’t get to see her again, then to make sure she looks for grandpa when she gets to Heaven because he will take care of her.  It was as though mom just wanted to say good-bye.  Mom loves Joie.  She was the first dog that was allowed to give mom kisses…never on the face of course, but on the hands. 

My little nephew who seemed to be afraid of the other dogs, always wanted to be around “Jo-Jo”.  When I would keep the dogs in the bedroom away from him, he would ask me “where’s Jo-Jo?”  He wanted her out.  He wanted to play with her.  I think in all of his innocence, he could sense hers as well.  He knew she was safe.  He felt her peacefulness.  He knew.  He just knew. 

I am consumed with guilt.  I should have done better.  I should have walked her more.  I should have spent more time with her.  I should have made her more of a priority.   I only pray that she knows deep in her heart that I would do anything in the world to fix this for her.  Anything I could.  I pray she knows that I love her more than I know how to. 

I pray one day I will know that I did everything I could for her.  Right now, there is too much guilt.  Too much pain. 

I don’t want to be without her.  Ever.

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