the whipped cream conundrum

"would you like whipped cream with that? hell yeah!"


January 2018

A [Puppy] Mother’s Love

Poor Sadie.  A few days ago my little pup was bitten by another dog at doggy day care.  She never cried or barked or signaled in any way that something was wrong.  She just trudged along through the snow, taking care of business, and going about her life.

Upon noticing a blood spot on her crate pad, I saw the welt on her leg – it looked painful, but when I touched it she did not react.  So, we went on a trip to the vet.  Without complaint, she allowed the vet to examine her and poke around; she didn’t even flinch when she was injected with the rabies shot.  “She doesn’t feel pain,” said the vet.  fullsizeoutput_80f

She may not feel pain, but I was feeling it for her.  When they put the cone of shame on her, I thought I was going to burst into tears.  I kept trying to convince them, “No, Sadie isn’t going to lick the wound.  She’ll be fine.”  But as I said it, little miss pup starts to lick!   “She’s going to have to get used to it,” the vet informed me.

I don’t want her to get used to it; I want this to not have happened to her and for everything to be normal.  I want her to run around and snuggle up with me on the couch.  I want her to eat and poop and sleep comfortably.  My heart is breaking for her.  I cannot believe the feelings I am having.  It is as if I am feeling the pain for her.  I feel like her mother.

I am getting a glimpse into what life must have been like for my mother for the past seven years.  She had to watch me go through the most frightening of moments, not knowing how to help, or even if she could.  I do hear myself, and, yes, it does sound kind of ridiculous – how can a dog bite compare to years dealing with cancer.  It’s not the incident or the disease, but the power of loving something more than yourself.  That is how I feel about my dog.

Sadie sits by my side as I write this.  I run my hand over her back, telling her “It’s going to be ok,” and hoping that she is somehow soothed.  I am brought back to memories of my own mother’s hand, soothing me, telling me everything is going to be ok.  She was right.


2017: A Love Letter

Dear 2017,

Thank you for being an amazing year.  You are the first year in the last seven years of my life that I spent the entire year cancer-free.  Seven years I have lived with cancer.  Whether in my body or not, I have lived with the ups and downs from diagnosis to remission, from relapse to remission, from a new diagnosis to…well, I’m not ready to use the “R” word just yet.  But, every year, except you, 2017, there was cancer in my body.

2017, you swept away the crazy cells that wreaked havoc on my body, and you successfully kept them at bay.  During your year, I had clear scans and unremarkable blood work.  My body was, and continues to be, cancer-free.  So, thank you for a good year.

2017, I learned a lot from you this cancer-free year.  I learned gratitude – for friends, family, and strangers.  I experienced love – not romantic love, but the kind of deep love you feel when someone has your back.  I moved from the land of the dying to the land of the living.  I moved from patient to person.  I let go of fear and anxiety (ok, not completely!) and chose to move forward, taking a new path instead of playing it safe.

2017, did you know one of my favorite songs is Seven Days by Sting?  Yep, seven again…Seven Days is a love song where, as I interpret it, Sting has seven days to decide on love, and he keeps putting it off.  He sings:

Monday, I could wait till Tuesday
If I make up my mind
Wednesday would be fine, Thursday’s on my mind
Friday’d give me time, Saturday could wait
But Sunday’d be too late

2017, you taught me not to wait.

2017, you haven’t always been easy.  You see, during the other six years, I lived from crisis to crisis and never really took hold of reality.  This year I learned that life truly lived is hard…you have to make your bed, you have to tell people how you feel, you have to face challenges unrelated to illness, you have to make choices (or, as I like to think, you get to make choices), you have to walk the dog in -10 degree weather.  But, that’s life, and I’ll take it.

2017, I will miss you.  I have no idea what 2018 will be like, but, to paraphrase the end of Sting’s dilemma,  Seven [years] will quickly go…Seven [years], so many ways…But I can’t run away…I can’t run away.

All my love,



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