Its been quite a weekend at our house. Â We spent Saturday afternoon driving a 12 passenger van from New Haven to Plymouth, MA for the wedding of our good friends. Â It was bittersweet for us. Â We were all so happy to see Jack and Melissa (finally!) tie the knot. Â She looked beautiful. Â He looked happy. Â Both so in love. Â But at the same time, it was also sort of a sad night. Â It was the last night that all of our friends will be in town before everyone moves away as they start jobs and life after graduate school. Â We’ve made so many wonderful friends while we’ve been here, and last night was the perfect ending to three perfect years and the beginning of long-lasting friendships.
The crew at the wedding in Plymouth, MA
We drove back home last night after the wedding and finally walked in the door at 3:00 AM. Â We were exhausted…but our night was not yet over. Â When Chris went to feed the dogs, he noticed a large lump on Lucy’s neck. Â We had been watching two smaller nodules on her lower back for about a week, but we had seen these kinds of lumps before and had been told by our vet that they were fat pockets so we hadn’t really taken much action for them. Â Then, Saturday morning before we left for the wedding, we noticed she had a larger one on the back of her neck. Â It was large and hard and we immediately called the vet. Â The vet made an appointment to see her on Thursday.
When we came home at 3:00 AM Sunday morning though, the lump on the back of her neck had almost doubled in size and there was a new, much larger lump on her neck. Â It looked like she had golf balls under her skin. Â She was obviously hurting and so we called the emergency vet clinic. Â They asked us to bring her in immediately to make sure that the lumps weren’t affecting any organs or her ability to breathe. Â The vet drew blood from the lumps, and said that it wasn’t a bacterial infection and that without further tests, she couldn’t really tell us what was wrong. Â For now, we were instructed to give her Benedryl to see if it was some kind of allergy and to take her to our vet first thing on Monday. Â Throughout the day today, two more large lumps have appeared and the one on her chest has almost doubled in size. Â It is really horrible and scary, but I’m trying to just focus on the positive – namely that cancerous tumors don’t typically multiply or grow that fast.
But then there’s Chris. Â For some reason, this thing with Lucy has him completely devastated. Â He has just been walking around the house worrying about her all day. Â He must have asked me 500 times if I thought we should take her back to the emergency clinic. Â Now, everyone knows how I feel about Lucy. Â She’s honestly like my first born child. Â I can’t imagine loving anything else more. Â But emergency clinics are EXPENSIVE! Â It’s $150 just to walk in the door, and that doesn’t include the x-rays, blood samples, etc. Â Its not the kind of place you want to just drop into. Â Besides, we’ve already been and they’ve done all they can until we see our regular vet. Â But for Chris, this just isn’t enough. Â I’m fully convinced if he could hire a dog whisperer today he would have.
I am wondering though if this sudden pessimism is ALL about the dog, or if some of it is just his lack of sleep from last night and the anxiety of starting his new job tomorrow morning. Â That’s right, its his first day at work tomorrow! Â I’m so excited because I know he is going to be great. Â But Chris is a little more hesitant. Â Every time I ask him if he’s excited about it, he just says, “I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like.” Â I’m sure it is just first-day jitters and I’m trying to be supportive, but its been like living with Dr. Doom today.
I better get back out to the living room before Chris decides to pack up Lucy and take her to a clinic in Mexico…
UPDATE: Â June 4, 2008: Â LUCY DOESN’T HAVE CANCER!! Â Her vet called me late yesterday to tell me that she does not have cancer. Â Instead she has something called nodular peniculitis. Â I about died when the vet told me what it was. Â Lucy’s body is literally rejecting her fat pockets!! Â She has these pockets of fat on her body (which we knew about) but for some reason her body has decided to identify those as foreign objects and it attacking it – just like it would if she had cancer. Â So she is giving cancer-like symptoms (high white blood cell count, producing large amounts of antibodies, large tumor-like lumps), but the only thing under those lumps are pockets of fat! Â How great is that?!?!
The vet was like, “I have never actually seen this happen before! Â I’ve read about it, but I’ve never seen it!” Â She is going to do some research to find out how to treat it and we should have more information by tomorrow.
Maybe this is what is happening to my thighs! Â Maybe my body is swelling up on my thighs because it is fighting fat pockets! Â This just explains so much…
Turns out that Chris was right to worry. I took Lucy to the vet first thing on Monday and it didn’t go well. The vet took blood and was able to run some tests on it in their own office right away. They ruled out that it was a bacterial, viral, or allergic infection. Then, she came out to me and Lucy in the waiting room and asked us to “Step into her office.”
Why do doctors always do that? Its like that Sex and the City episode where Samantha gets tested for HIV and the nurse asks her to step into the back. Samantha faint immediately. Just the idea of going back into a secluded location to talk quietly about health is enough to make anyone faint.
So, Lucy and I go (unwillingly) into the office with her. The vet tells me that she is going to send blood samples off to a pathologist for further testing. She said that she wanted to prepare me for what to expect so that I wasn’t thrown off guard when the results came in. “We are asking them to do a cancer screening, Katie,” she said in her most vet-like voice. “And I fully expect the results to come back positive.”
It sounds harsh that she would just say it out loud like that, but honestly I was relieved. I hate it when doctors withhold information from you. Just tell me what’s going on and I’ll deal.
Needless to say, its been a hell of a day already as we wait for the results to come back. Then, about an hour ago, the vet tech, Debbie, called to tell me that the doctor was in surgery all day but had sent her review of the lab results and had asked Debbie to call me with the news. There was no “immediate threat.” There were parts of the blood work that seemed “questionable,” but so far things seemed pretty good. So I say to Debbie (because I’m kind of slow about these things), “So it’s not cancer?” Debbie paused and then said, “At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any immediate threat.” Good enough for me! I immediately hung up and called everyone I knew to tell them the good news.
But… Ah, yes. The buts. No good news ever follows a but.
But, as I was on the other line calling my middle school bus driver to tell her the good news (that’s a joke, by the way), I got a voicemail from my vet’s office. False alarm.
The FIRST blood test was back and it looked good, but this one did not have a cancer screening on it. The SECOND blood test was the cancer screening.
And, unfortunately, that has been sent to an oncologist for further review.
And my vet wants to talk to me this afternoon in person.
Three years ago today at this time, I was woken up in a beach condo on Pensacola Beach by my sister coming into the room singing the wedding march at the top of her lungs. Ah…memories. That’s right, boys and girls. Today is my 3 year wedding anniversary. Three years ago I tied the knot, strapped on the ball and chain, got hitched, took the plunge, bought the cow, set up shop.
Now a lot of people want flowers or candies or romantic cards for their anniversary. But me? I just need to reminisce. I just need some time alone (Chris’ presence is optional) to sit in my wedding shoes watching my DVD of our wedding day and flipping through my wedding photo album. For me, the anniversary isn’t so much about celebrating where we are, but instead is about remembering where we’ve come from.
I love the wedding picture of us standing next to our wedding cake because it reminds me of one of the sweetest parts of my wedding day. Chris’ grandmother made 7 wedding cakes for us. There was a large center cake and then 6 supporting, smaller cakes that sat on tiers around the big one. It was beautiful. Apparently about an hour or two before the wedding, my Dad was helping to move the wedding cake table and he knocked it over. All of the cakes fell and were ruined, except for one little cake. My Mom told my Dad to just let it go and not to say anything to me until right before the reception so that my day wouldn’t be ruined. But the guilt killed him. So just before he walked me down the aisle, he whispered that he needed to tell me something. He took both my hands in his and he had tears in his eyes. I almost fainted. “Chris bolted!” I thought. “I’ve been ditched at the alter!” But then my Dad told me what happened, and I remember I was so relieved that Chris hadn’t changed his mind I couldn’t care less about the cakes! I loved that moment with my Dad.
And I remember my Mom had this sudden coolness about her on the day of the wedding. My Mom and I planned my wedding together. Completely together. And we’re still speaking! If I could put that on my resume, I would. I think it shows excellent conflict resolution skills. My Mom is a 4-star General when it comes to planning. She’s the kind that creates the notebooks, carries samples of tissue paper in her purse, distributes lists of to-do activities to the Groomsmen, orchestrates an emergency phone tree of all wedding party and family members. In short, she’s crazy! But the day of the wedding she just had this calm. I remember when we were adjusting my veil in the back room of the church, and I was getting ready to walk down the aisle, I looked over at her and she just looked so happy. Now, I’ve told you that I’m a crier, but my Mom takes the cake on this one. She cries at just about anything. But she was just peaceful on the day of my wedding. I remember thinking, “This must be right if my Mom is okay with it.”
And, of course, I remember seeing Chris when the doors opened in the church. Seeing him in his tux at the other end of the aisle was just breathtaking, but its not actually that memory that I think about on my anniversary. Its the memory of us going to dinner the night BEFORE our wedding. In all the hustle and bustle of the wedding week, with family and friends in town, parties being thrown, Chris and I decided that the night before the wedding would be our night and we would do something that was normal to us. So we went out to dinner. We had about a 4-hour dinner and talked about everything that was getting ready to happen. We talked about how our lives were about to change, and how exciting that was. We talked about how excited we were to be moving to Connecticut, and how nervous Chris was about starting graduate school at Yale. We talked about our first date, when I forgot him and came screeching through the K-Mart parking lot in my Mom’s convertible, an hour late. It was just a perfect dinner. When he took me to my parent’s condo and dropped me off for the night, I will never forget what he said to me. He kissed me goodnight and then said, “There’s no one I’d rather see walking down the aisle to me than you.”
Yep, anniversaries are pretty good stuff. Its a time to think about how great our lives are and how happy our marriage is. But it is also the time to look back at where we started, how far we’ve come, and how we got here. 3 years isn’t that long, but my goodness. What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday I spent some time Googling on how to have a well-read, successful blog. After the whole “I’m-only-popular-because-of-Godzilla” phase, I decided it was time to dedicate some effort into making my blog more satisfying to my devoted fans…all two of them. The one thing that every website said was not to talk too much about yourself, but instead focus on issues that other people have a vested interest in. This creates lots of traffic on your website. Great!
Today, let’s talk about Global Warming. Chris and I are both against it.
(crickets, crickets, crickets)
Well that was exciting.
I don’t care what those websites say. I blog about things that are interesting to ME – like dogs, family, marriage, and minibars. I can’t help it. I’m a selfish blogger. Maybe I need a hobby so that I have something to focus on. I read lots of blogs that have themes – interior design (I like the pictures), raising children (its like birth control), technology (those were for school). Maybe my blog needs a theme. But to be honest, I don’t have any hobbies that I can specifically point to and say, “This is what I enjoy doing” or “This is what I’m good at,” unless you count painting my toe nails, which I enjoy doing AND I’m good at.
The other day I had a job interview and the interviewer actually asked me why my extracurricular activities on my resume were so sporatic. I responded that I am interested in “a wide variety of activities to keep myself engaged and educated.” I said this because I figured, “I have the attention span of a gnat” probably wouldn’t get me hired. A few months ago, I decided that sewing would be my new hobby. I wanted to start making patchwork quilts while I watched television at night – great idea, right? I called my Mom to tell her I wanted a sewing machine for my birthday and she said no. Flat out, no discussion or reason given, no. “Why not?” I whined. “Because you don’t have the patience for that. How about a nice perfume?” Its tragic. My own mother doesn’t think I’m dedicated enough to have a hobby.
Then I thought about my favorite blog of all times, Pioneer Woman. The Pioneer Woman is a city girl who married a cowboy, moved to a ranch, and now spends her days documenting their farm life on her blog. Its hysterical, but when I think about it, its all just about her. She doesn’t talk about global warming. Its just a daily account of her life. So if she has millions of loyal fans, then I should be able to just talk about my life, too. I think the major difference here is that her daily vocabulary includes words like cowboy, wrangling, and working calves. All interesting. My daily vocabulary includes laundry, dirty husband, and smelly dogs. Not interesting.
So, I guess I’m out of luck. Actually, my readers…all two of them…are out of luck. I’m uninterested in current global crisis. I’m hobby-less. And my life revolves around my house, husband, and hounds.
But you know what? I don’t really care. If I got tangled up in my wrap dress as I tried to get dressed this morning (which I did) and want to blog about it (which I will), then dadgummit I will! It’s my life! It’s my blog! It’s my readers…all two of them! As Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam!”