I am Thankful for…
This Thanksgiving the sentiment and true significance of the word itself strongly resonated within me. I was flooded with gratitude that we are blessed to still have Bruno in our lives and for all moments, both those good and perilous, which we have together. Leading up to Thanksgiving Bruno had just had one complication after another and our last trip to OSU,in September, had brought with it disheartening news that the cancer had spread to his lymphatic system with a mass visible on his spleen. Not what I had wanted to hear. We have since restarted chemo although I am truly at odds with what to do next.
I know that my life will never be the same the day in which he physically leaves my side and I shudder at the mere thought of it. However, Thanksgiving gave me a time to reset my thinking and offered up a more positive mindset for me to go forth in.
This Thanksgiving I say, “Thank You.” Thank you to: Bruno and Daphne (my heart companions who are with me 24/7 and make my life full), for their four boys: Vinnie, Lightning, Lincoln, & Frankie, to the many vets and Drs. whom have tried their best and given us options and countless treatments, for my family who always keeps us in their thoughts and prayers, for my best girlfriend, Maria, who always lends a shoulder and ear, for the Tripawd community’s support and outreach. But… most of all ‘”Thank you”so very much to my husband, Jeremy. It is because of his love, support, and financial backing that Bruno has never been without. He knows and understands what that boy means to me, and has never waivered in his support.
June 1, 2012-
JD, Bruno, Daphne, & I made the 3 hr trip( from NW Arkansas to Stillwater, Oklahoma) to the OSU Vet Teaching Hospital. To my amazement we actually left on time, by 6:45am, and arrived just in the nick of time, at 10am. It was Bruno’s follow up appt to gauge his response to the new daily chemo& anti-inflammatory meds; he had now been on them for 60 days.
60 days ago:We learned-through radiographs-that a tiny nodule had presented itself within Bruno’s left lung. Having just gone through 5 rounds of lomustine chemo every 3-4wks without side effects, this was not the news I had wanted, prayed, nor had hoped to hear. But there was no time to sulk. The game plan was now to begin smaller daily doses of chemo along with an anti-inflammatory and re-evaluate in 30 days.
30 days ago: we once again took the 6+ hr road trip to OSU, to run tests & re-evaluate based on Bruno’s response to this new chemo. By all outward appearances I tried desperately to remain optimistic and cheerful, yet the looming possibility that we could be delivered unfavorable news again overwhelmed me.
But thank God! The words we heard instead were,”Everything looks good.The radiographs are All CLEAR!” It took me a moment to process.
No nodule. Clear lungs.
Hallelujah! I then let out a deep breath which I had been holding- captive inside of me-for far too long. Whew!
Follow up again came back “ALL CLEAR!”
This was Bruno’s reaction to the good news…
Bruno doing what he does best!
In the summer sun-basking,
as he listens to birds singing.
In the cool river, refreshing,
watching Daphne swimming, as he practices his fishing.
In the sultry evening celebrating,
with a watermelon he’s long been awaiting.
On dirt road, open-air, country drives he’s contemplating,
his thoughts interrupted by adventures he’s anticipating.
And as I watch him, intently, I am taken;
enchanted by his essence:
quiet, gracious, gentle, stoic-fighting, life-loving.
I catch him smirk-
with a devilish grin,
and a twinkle in those cognac eyes.
He takes a deep breath–
and Thanks God to be Alive!
Our stay at Cabin #2…Ahhh! The Beautiful Buffalo!
Cabin #2 was were we sought refuge.
Ahhh! Away-at last; and together.
Away from: iphones, laptops, blackberries, emails, texts, messages, appointments, traffic, voices, reminders, and the countless other impending 2dos & distractions which intrude our lives each day.
Our schedule went something like-
Mornings: Taking in: breakfast, morning coffee, and the cool-crispy morning air compliments of the cabin’s screened-in porch, a late-morning walk; followed by-
Afternoons: Spent by theBeautiful Buffalo River (fishing or just exploring), followed by a “hearty” lunch, which then required a restful, replenishing afternoon nap (again compliments of the screened-in porch), a late-afternoon drive to neighboring towns to explore, & another visit to the water; followed by-
Evenings: Hanging out at the cabin & preparing the much-anticipated, carefully planned dinner menu meals, a much needed evening stroll, and each night- finally!–the much-needed, peaceful, revitalizing slumber.
(fyi: Bruno, Daphne, and Vinnie not only participated, but thoroughly relished, in this schedule.)
There is no place like the Buffalo.