Love and hope

As of Friday last week, back home in Melbourne. It’s good to be here. The plan is to take it easy as much as possible, though it’s a busy time of year. It means giving up the little post-Christmas jaunt I hoped for, for fear of getting another infection. I’ve had lunch with my dad and aunt and uncle on Monday. Wednesday night, I catch up with friends for a pre-Christmas dinner. Christmas day itself I will spend with the Cheeses. In between is a visit to the hospital for a check-up and hopefully the chance to sneak in a booster shot.

My health has gone backwards a little since returning from Sydney, and I saw the doctor yesterday to get a new set of antibiotics. I expect they’ll do the trick, though I’m resigned to the fact that proper health is months away.

For most of the time since surgery, I would describe my state of mind as philosophical, if not stoic. It’s a practical mindset that accepts the things I can do nothing about and must accept. My challenge is to make the best of the situation presented to me. I have my moments of exasperation and impatience, but, by and large, I think I’ve achieved that. At times I feel it’s added a hard edge to me.

Surprisingly, there are occasions when I feel very emotional. The trigger event will usually be a news item – the usual, something sad or something uplifting. However, it taps into something deep inside me. I suspect there’s a lot of unexpressed fear inside me and grief and loneliness.

Today, I’ve had more cause for emotion. I can hardly bring myself to write about it.

On my return from Sydney, I noticed a lump on Rigby’s back. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it before. He’s had various lumps over the years, and most have been fat deposits. This felt different, though it appeared it wasn’t causing him any pain or inconvenience.

I’d planned to take him to the vet, but this hurried it along. We went this morning. The vet confirmed what was probably obvious: it’s a tumour of some description. Given his age – he turned 13 in November – there’s not much that can be done.

I can only hope it’s benign, though I fear the worst. He’s remarkably chipper for his age – still lively and full of energy. Other than the occasional issue with his back legs, he appears just as fit as ever. He’s happy and appears pain-free.

There’s nothing I can do. The time was always going to come when he would begin to fail, but I don’t know how I’ll cope with this. My own pain, my own dire state of health, is easier to deal with than the thought that my best mate may be ailing. I can only continue to love him and hope for the best.

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