January 7, 2016

I refer to a year ago today as “that day” – the day I will never forget and long to forget. It was the day where the only thing I knew what to do, was pray. All control ceased to exist and chaos engulfed me.

It was your average frigidly cold, sunny day in January … for most people. I was waiting for a phone call that could potentially flip my world upside down and cause major disruptions in the year ahead. It all started around 11:30 am – the shrill ring of the telephone that day sounded like death and despair calling me …

I answered the phone and immediately recognized the caller’s voice … it was our Veterinarian. It seemed like an eternity from the time we exchanged hellos to the moment he shared the biopsy results. All I remember of that conversation was, “blah, blah, blah … transitional cell carcinoma, blah, blah, bladder cancer …”

Did he just say, “cancer?” Hold on a minute here … wait, what?

I remained calm throughout the conversation, but had to check out. I was teetering on ‘not being able to deal’ and preferred to explode alone. I couldn’t bear listening to life expectancy, declining symptoms, blah, blah, blah. I have to go! I need to figure out what to do. I felt like God abandoned me the moment I heard the word “cancer”. I felt so alone … if God would allow her to get cancer, I would have to fix her. I know that sounds crazy, but that is how I felt at that moment.

Immediately after we said our good-byes, I contacted our local Veterinary Teaching Hospital to schedule an appointment with an Oncologist the next day. We had been there before so they got us in first thing the next morning. Alright – step 1 done.

Knowing that I had to tell my mom (who was in the other room tending to Layla) that her sweet grand-dog had cancer, I called my husband instead. The moment I heard his voice, my stoic demeanor crashed and burned. I started shaking, crying and screaming. All I remember saying to him over and over again was, “cancer, Layla has cancer!”

I hung up the phone, collapsed on the bed and wailed! My heart was shattered, my world had been flipped upside down and I didn’t have the first clue how to tackle cancer. How were we going to get through this?!

This cannot be real … this must be the absolute worst nightmare ever. Wake up, wake up, walk up already!

I remember feeling, scared, sad, angry, confused (in that order). The circle of emotions never ceased and I continued to go around and around the emotional  merry-go-round …

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