I break down every day.
Sometimes, more than once.
The triggers vary.
Like watching this song being performed on the “Today Show.”
I am generally neither sappy nor a fan of country music, but wow! These lyrics.
This puppy also made me cry, and I mean THIS SPECIFIC PUPPY.
Her name is Tina.
Last summer I was walking in our neighborhood and saw a tiny, adorable fluffball that looked like the puppy version of When the Gremlin Was Still Good.
Minor stalking later, the owner told me it is a Havashu, which is a designer dog cross between a Havanese and Shih Tzu.
These dogs are not easy to find, but a random Google deep dive led me to Tina, who was available at the beginning of the year, right around the time of my diagnosis.
Spouse – who probably would have done almost anything to cheer me up – offered to make Tina part of our family.
That idea was wildly impractical for so many reasons, but the one that hit hard was the fact that Tina’s life expectancy – 16 years – may exceed mine.
Cue the waterworks.
Lost professional opportunities are also hard to swallow. From a career standpoint, 2019 was a banner year, and 2020 held infinite promise. It is hard to decline invitations and cancel plans for speaking gigs or conferences. I fear that my professional stock has fallen now that I am sick and broken. I see it already. Maybe I will not come back – ever – to where I was B.C. (Before Cancer). People will whisper, they will be sad, I remain a Cautionary Tale.
But I am saddest when I think about my children.
While I have not shared this here before, my son – MGM – has autism. There is a distinct possibility that he will not be able to live independently in the future. Until now, I thought my predicted longevity and earning potential would be a cushion for him as he grows older. His vulnerability is nearly too much to consider.
And my daughter. Oh, my daughter. She is so smart, strong and independent – and honestly, she probably would be with or without me. However, the thought of her college entrance essay’s theme of “My Mother’s Death” is a loop I cannot stop playing in my head.
I hate that movie.