Regular readers will know that October was going to be my month. September was busy, but encompassed some decisions on lifestyle that were going to be implemented in October.
The month started on a high in Granada; sun, sangria and history are pretty much my heaven. Although we walked miles each day I came back feeling rested, relaxed, rejuvenated. Ready to face whatever the world could throw at me.
One of my close friends believes in a widely held theory that life is a series of plates that need to be kept spinning. We each have multiple plates that represent different areas of our lives; whether they be our friendships, our lovers, our children, our careers, our sanity of mind, our house, our garden …
They are all plates that need to be kept spinning, to be kept turning. One plate may be spinning happily on its own, needing little effort or attention. Another may be off balance, needing constant attention and effort. Diverting resources to the troublesome plate can help that needy plate to return to a state of harmony, but ultimately jeopardises the rest.
And that is how life works. Work can be troublesome and difficult and sometimes takes up too much of time and energy causing resentment at home when you spend evenings glued to emails. Or relationships at home can leave you stressed and cranky, snapping at friends and other loved ones. Often you solve the problem of a non-spinning plate only to have another plate come tumbling down on you.
At the start of October I felt like I had all my plates spinning in perfect harmony. I had taken active changes at work which has allowed me to figure out where I want to go in my career and what I really want to focus my skills and specialities on. My marriage, after a rocky six months, was feeling stronger than ever and my friendships felt on fire. Even my health was behaving.
Then work spiralled out of control; 14 hour days become common place and commutes into London extended and extended. This had a knock-on effect on my head which became crankier and crankier. I haven’t had the time to exercise which helps to manage my chronic pain and I didn’t have much time to relax and rejuvenate – something that is essential to my self-care routine. Pain killers, instead, have become my way of getting through the day.
The situation was only worsened when, during the middle of a Skype meeting on a rare work from home day, I noticed that my pooch’s nose was bleeding quite heavily.
Weeks of vet appointments, tests, x-rays, CT scans and specialist referrals ensued. And I’m sad to say that my darling boy has a rare kind of nasal tumour that is obstructing his left nasal passage. A biopsy has told us that it is a cancerous growth, fed from the cartilage cells in his nose.
There is no cure; no surgery to remove the growth.
He is only five years old; an otherwise fit and healthy dog. Even now, with such a devastatingly short time left here, he is a happy and bouncy dog who looks after his toys and wags his tail at passing cats. It feels a cruel twist of fate, with no explanation for why.
Our vet says that sometimes bad things happen to good people.
People without dogs won’t understand how much a part of my family he is.
Fergus is my child; he gave me a reason to get out the house and go for a walk everyday when recovering from illness, he was there (licking my face) when my husband proposed and there again, pulling at his bow tie when we got married. He comforted me through the loss of a baby and protected me from a boisterously large dog when I was unstable on my crutches.
He is my darling, and the love of my life.
Thankfully, there is a bright side. Radiotherapy may give him several more years with us. Fergus is young and fit, and although the chance is remote, he may pull through this and have the chance to chase many more pheasants. We will know more in the next week or two.
And of course, as with so many tales of spinning plates, as one part of my life falls apart, our well laid plans crumble, something unexpected happens.
In this case, it is something that we have hoped for for a long time and we should be exceptionally excited about. In fact, if it weren’t for the news that our darling little boy is so poorly, then we would definitely be more than a little bit excited about the big change ahead.
I can’t tell you what it is yet – but no, its not a baby! But I promise to share more next month.
In the meantime, I’ll be looking after my darling pooch, investigating our options, and trying not to keep our time together as happy and joyous as it can be.