Life Unfolds To Reveal…What, Exactly?

Letting life unfold— you’ve probably heard this somewhere, from a self-help guru or an old sage. I imagine petals opening into a flower. Maybe a fresh bed sheet billowing in the breeze to reveal children joyfully playing hide-and-seek. Can you feel the cosmic waves washing away doubt and fear?

If so, I’ll have what you’re smoking. My dogs, Rico and Roxy, and I have been through a lot since we last posted on Dog and Dojo. And when Roxy, my little pit bull, developed an aggressive cancer after more than a year of physical therapy for an injury, life’s unfolding felt more like the unfolding of damp, smelly workout clothes that had been sitting for weeks.

I guess life doesn’t always elegantly unfurl to present its gifts. Sometimes it drops those gifts into a crumpled heap. A heap, mind you, that Roxy appears to enjoy snuggling in.

 

Roxy under blankets in bed

How can a person achieve her mindset?

Dirty Clothes Piling Up

I swear I’ve never let dirty clothes pile up for long, but since I started with the laundry theme, I’m sticking with it. Let’s go back to early 2014. That’s when Roxy tore one ACL. By mid-2014, she strained the other. That’s a big pile of unpleasant laundry. But wait, there’s more.

Since Roxy can’t tolerate beeping noises after I bullied her with a bark collar (biggest regret ever), a stay at the vet’s for surgery, with all its beeping machinery, wasn’t an option. Not unless it was to save her life.

Which it was when they discovered a hard mass in her lower belly. That brings us to this year.

When The Laundry Starts To Stink

I know that’s gross. But so was Roxy’s grade four carcinoma mass with its own system of blood vessels. She developed the kind of cancer that doubles in size in less than a month. And hers had evidence of metastasizing, or spreading already.

The good news, sort of, is that it isn’t painful for her. It steals energy from her body. Left unchecked, she would simply deteriorate and be gone in three months or so.

We’ve been checking it, though. With chemotherapy, homemade food, closely monitored fun, and a spoiling fit for a princess. (More on each of those topics in future posts.)

Still better news is that chemo doesn’t have the same devastating effects on dogs as it does on people — no weight or hair loss, normally no nausea. In fact, she’s handled it like a champ. She’s been in treatment for a few months now. And she’s still the same Roxy.

 

Roxy pulling her toy away from camera

Well, almost. Because she also suffers from a canine form of Bell’s Palsy (I’ll cover that later, too). The right side of her face became paralyzed—heartbreaking because it meant she couldn’t fully smile. She also can’t blink. Early on, she drooled a lot and had soggy food bits stuck in her cheek that she flung onto the walls or furniture. Or us.

A Little Laundry Everyday

Life is in a state of constant unfolding. It reveals all sorts of things along the way. Some good. Some like smelly gym shorts. We have to maintain its pace by working on ourselves, dealing with each thing as it comes, or else we suffer. Like laundry, you’re never actually done. As soon as you empty the hamper, someone throws in their socks. Life unfolds to reveal another challenge.

We all fall short at times and it hurts; that’s human. And pain can be deafening. But Roxy snores pretty loud, too. And she looks mighty comfy in that pile of blankets.

 

Roxy snuggled under blankets looking content

So maybe life unfolds to reveal that even in the midst of pain, joy beckons. Maybe challenges are designed to help us learn and practice hearing it over the fear and suffering?

What do you think?

Have you ever been lucky enough to recognize a blessing even while in pain’s grip? I’d love to hear about it, so please do share in the comments below.

Advertisements

About Christie Green

A student of martial arts since 1995, a writer since 1999, and an animal-lover for all of time
This entry was posted in Odds and Ends. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Life Unfolds To Reveal…What, Exactly?

  1. Christi: I love the laundry photos and the analogies. Life is often beautiful but then comes the smelly laundry you eloquently put is never really done. I know Roxy is an awesome companion and trouper thru this difficult time. The thing I noticed when I had an incredible dog named Indy that had Lupus, Arthritis and Bursitis all at the same time was that despite what the disease took from him he was focused on the moment he could be giving his heart away to me and others. No matter what hurts in life we always have more to give than is being taken away. It is in the present moment Roxy cares all about. Dogs just get life where it is lived, right now. I see their gratitude for one more treat, a roll in the grass of the dirty laundry and then the clean sheets and I am moved to live with absolute present intention. Indy suffered time and again miserably surgery after surgery, complication after complication yet all he lived for was the one thing he did best, love (and making me laugh). In it’s purest form kids and dogs live this moment and all the love in it like nothing and no one else I know. I have learned that thru the trying painful heart-aching times that to live to love is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself, another, and the Universe.
    May God let Roxy and Rico teach you what you most need, that which makes your life rich and sparkling with the gifts of love that last forever.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with me. My prayers are with you and Rico and Roxy as you navigate your way thru time’s ups and downs.
    Blessings to you and playful abandon with your inspiring twosome Rico and Roxy…

    • Hi Silver Fox – I spent some time absorbing your comments and their good vibes. Thank you for sharing! Your observation that we always have more to give than is being taken away hit home. It’s easy to remember when things are good, but among the first things we forget when it gets rough. Besides selfishly documenting our journey for myself, I do hope something in here inspires others to pause for a second, look at their incredible pets and think about this important lesson as well. Thank you, again, for hanging out with us and for sending good thoughts our way 🙂

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s