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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What was left of my heart is being put to the test

I can't even believe I'm typing this post. Today I found out that Kitai almost certainly has cancer. Specifically it's most likely he has Lymphoma. What kind I'll find out in the next day or two after we get the cytology results back from the lab.

After letting go of my marriage, selling and donating almost all of my personal belongings since I'll be relocating, and losing Squash I can barely wrap my mind around that soon I'll lose Kitai too. I've been in tears most of the day and am sure there are more to come.

But I'm also certain that there is a lesson in all of this loss somewhere. Most likely it's about acceptance, learning how to accept loss and death more graciously, basically less grief and more gratefulness. By that I mean gratitude for the time we are lucky enough to spend with those we love.

That Kitai and I found each other at all will always be the legacy of my dog Kotaro because when he passed away in 2003 he created the opportunity for me to save Kitai's life by adopting him from my local shelter.

I swear his eyes can see straight to your soul.

Many of you may already know that when I went to the shelter I was looking for a 50 pound'ish dog who was kind of mean looking to be a good watch dog. Instead I adopted this muppet because he'd been there longer than any other dog and I was afraid he would be put to sleep if the shelter ran out of space.

Neither of us knew at the time he would turn out to be the cutest dog ever :) He's always been such a good boy, just a love sponge who wants to soak up every pat, hug, kiss, and belly rub anyone will give him.

Though chemo/radiation are treatment options if the cytology results do diagnose Lymphoma I suspect given Kitai's advanced age the number of months successful treatment will buy him won't be worth it (to me) since the treatments may not work and he'll have suffered more and the quality of what little time he has left will be compromised. At the end of the day I'd rather let him go a little too soon than wait a minute too long and make his suffer.

2007 photo at Baker Beach by: Wendy Maclaurin Richardson

I will keep you posted once we've been to the oncologist. For now all I ask is that you keep Kitai in your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure he'll feel your love from wherever you send it. Just aim it towards the Bay Area and wherever it lands he'll sniff it out.

Hug your dogs people. Love the people in your life. Be gracious, have gratitude for them, and appreciate whatever time you have left to be with them. Life is far too short to waste time being selfish, superficial, or indifferent. Allow yourself to care, forgive, and embrace your loved ones. Whether they're four legged fur balls or the people that are so easy to take for granted be conscious of the gift they are in your life. They are precious. Be grateful.



Updates on Kitai's Condition:

What was left of my heart is being put to the test - February 10, 2014

Kitai Update: Lymphoma and Prednisone - February 13, 2014

True Love: A girl and her dog - February 21, 2014

Kitai Update: Looking for signs - February 26, 2014

Kitai Update: Hanging in there - March 9, 2014

Kitai is almost out of time - March 17, 2014

A once in a lifetime dog. . . RIP Kitai - March 19, 2014

It's been four weeks since you left me - April 15, 2014

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