A month later.  The fastest month in my recent memory.  It was a month ago that we were given Oliver’s diagnosis and, well, here we are.  Already.  We were told he’d have good days and bad.  We were told to give him medicine for his pain.  And now here we are, the bad days are outnumbering the good and the medicine is barely taking the edge off.

Oliver is not well.  We knew this.  We were told this, but now we’re seeing this.  Ollie’s lymph nodes are always swollen now, making it hard for him to eat.  He gags on his food during most meals.  It’s okay though, because I wet it down and mix it with canned food to make it easier for him to eat.  Ollie’s hind legs are very weak, undoubtedly a side effect of his stroke earlier this year.  He falls down a lot.  He slips on the tile floor.  It’s okay though, because I just pick him back up again.  I can pick him up all day.  We could go on like this for a long time.  The one thing I can’t help him do is breathe.  It’s hard for him to catch his breath and he is starting to wheeze.  I can’t breathe for him.  If I could, I would.  Believe me, if I could find a way to make this different – make this better – I would. 

So, here we are.  We’re having difficult conversations.  We’re trying to be objective, trying not to be selfish.  It’s impossible.  No matter how much I reason, no matter how many ways I look at it, I don’t ever feel like I am making the right decision.  He still wags his tail and greets me at the door when I walk in the house.  But is that enough?  Is it enough that when I pick up his ball he gets excited and wants to go outside?  He only has the energy for one or two laps around the yard.  Then we go in the house for 30 minutes of wheezing.  Is it enough to keep him here, to keep putting him through this, because of these snippets of his former life?  I don’t know that I will ever be at peace with this.  But in the end, it’s not about me at all, it’s about Oliver.  And right now Oliver is not well and he’s not going to get better.  This isn’t the flu.  There’s no pill, there’s no drug, there’s no procedure that will make him better. 

Here we are.  Today we went to the park as a family, maybe for the last time.  This week we will say goodbye to our best friend.  How do you do that when there is never enough time?

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