Grief minus death

I look at Bandi now……

And I think about who she was a year ago……

And it feels like we’ve already lost her to this awful cancer.

It is day 46 since the assumption of cancer was made; day 3 since the diagnosis was confirmed.  Still, the cancer (we still don’t know what kind for sure) has been growing in Bandi’s leg for some time.  She’s been on pain medication for a couple of months, and on steroids for at least 30 days.  Either the medications, or the cancer itself has already taken her.

There was a time, not that long ago, when all Bandi wanted to do was play ball.  She would run out into the yard barking with excitement and anticipation of catching the kicked ball mid-air.  She was so quick, and rarely missed.  Today, she spends every waking moment focused on her next bite of food. 

Imagine a wolf in the wild where some event has devastated his food supply.  Imagine that having to focus on survival makes him so aggressive that he will eat ANYTHING.  Would YOU want to come upon that wolf in the forest?  No way.

Bandi has plenty of food, but the medication makes her voraciously hungry an hour after she eats.  It is ONLY during that one hour after she’s eaten in the morning and the evening when she will slightly enjoy my touch, or my kisses.  She no longer seems content with any human interaction.

Because of the cancer in her leg that has forced the bones apart, Bandi can’t play as she used to.  Her daily activity is trying to find a comfortable position to lay in and pant constantly.  She doesn’t sleep more than 15 minutes at a time.  And she jumps up every time I move because she thinks there will be food involved in my activity.  It’s all very miserable to watch.

I’m already grieving the loss of Bandi, even though she’s still with us. 

“I’ve changed my ways a little, I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream, and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.”

Robinson Jeffers

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