Tag Archives: death

Hard choices

I talked to my dad yesterday about Ginger. He’d talked to the vet, and what he found out isn’t great. Not the worst news imaginable, but not great.

The lump is definitely a malignant tumor. It is definitely in her jawbone. It is, however, a non-aggressive cancer, which the vet explained meant that this cancer wouldn’t get in her lymph nodes and spread all over her body. It would isolate itself on her jaw. There is definitely a viable treatment, which is to remove part of her jaw. They aren’t sure how much they’d need to remove just yet, but it sounds like we’re talking a substantial bit, like a third of her jaw or more. The vet says she should adapt to this just fine and lead a normal life. However, she naturally will be disfigured, missing part of her jaw and all, and there’s no guarantee that the cancer wouldn’t come back. And, since she’s ten years old, fairly on in years for a Labrador Retriever, there’s no guarantee something else couldn’t hit six months from now.

My dad is going to talk to the surgeon who would do the operation in a day or so, to really get some details cleared up, and ask some additional questions. Right now, he’s left with the tough decisions that many dog owners face: where does he draw the line? Should he go into debt to prolong Ginger’s life by what may be only a few months or a year? How much cost is too much cost? And is all of it fair to Ginger?

I’ve told him, were it Bailey, my dog, chances are, unless the costs meant Lane or Jake couldn’t go to college, I would probably do the surgery… but if the tumor came back, in three months or three years, I would not do it a second time. And at the same time, I told him Ginger’s getting on in years, she’s had a good, happy life, and if the surgeon tells him this surgery is going to cost more than his property taxes, that no one would blame him for deciding not to do it, and just letting Ginger live happily for the few weeks or months she might have before the lump starts to interfere with her ability to eat and drink.

Ugh, this is the part of dog ownership that nobody likes. 😦

RIP Benazir

I’m so incredibly bummed about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.  It shocked me, nearly as much as any news story can manage.  I read the story on CNN.com with my mouth agape.  I guess mostly because it’s such a violent, awful end to what seemed like such a possibility of hope for Pakistan.  I’d been following her return to the political landscape of that country, and it was inspiring.  She brought a sense of hope and optimism to a place that seemed, for a long while, to need it a great deal.

Plus, she was a woman on the political forefront in a pretty major country.  That’s inspiring, regardless.  I mean, if a woman can lead a country like Pakistan, there just might be hope to someday have a US president that isn’t a male WASP.

Heh, two political-ish posts in one day… I promise this probably will not be the norm.

Am I the black sheep?

I send cards.  Since having kids, it has become a slightly costly affair.  I get these special spiffy cards printed up, which will include pictures of my kids and my family’s blog address and it does make me happy to do it.  I love having these two little people in my life who are so important to me that I want everyone else to see pictures of them at least once a year. 

Yes, it’s my choice that it’s so costly.  I get the extra-spiffy bona fide greeting cards printed, not the single layer postcard-esque cards.  I may have to find a more frugal solution next year, since this year I opted into stay-at-home-mom-hood, and our disposable income just got amputated by that choice.  But really, the cost part of it is but a small piece in the inequity.

There are about a half dozen glaring non-card-returners on my Christmas card list.  And I’m not quite sure what to do. 

These are all relatives of my mom, who passed away about ten years ago.  These are aunts/uncles, stepsiblings, and first cousins of my mom, who I’d spent a good amount of time with growing up and are people I think of fondly.  I don’t feel like I have a ton of stuff in common with most of them, but I like and love them a lot.  And every year since the year after she died and I sent out my own cards, they have gotten cards from me.  The first couple years I’m sure I got cards in return.  Now… nada.  I know for sure I haven’t gotten cards from them in at least four years.  Normally I could write this off to “well, maybe they don’t send cards” but I make the rounds at Christmastime and with the exception of one, I have seen that these people do, in fact, send cards.  Cute cards with heartfelt messages inside, cards with pictures of their kids. 

And they choose, despite getting cards from me, year after year, to not send me a card.  Either that or my mailman is extraordinarily incompetent.

I mentioned my mom passed away a number of years ago.  I’ve talked to my younger brother, and we both feel like lots of my mom’s family just isn’t sure how to interact with us comfortably since then… and thusly might simply choose the easy way out by not interacting with us at all.  Fair enough… not nice, but whatever.

But my dad got cards from some of the offending parties.  And my grandma – my mom’s mom – will almost certainly get cards from nearly all of them (with the exception of my uncle, who was my mom’s stepbrother from when my maternal grandfather remarried and acquired for my mother two stepbrothers.  Really, is there any person in the world that sends a Christmas card to their stepfather’s previous wife?).

So maybe that leaves me the black sheep, and damned if I can figure out why.  It makes me feel vulnerable and foolish and silly to continue to send cards to these people, when by all outward indications these people don’t care if they get them or not.  Yet… I will probably continue to send them.  Try as they might, I am still quite fond of these people, and even if my mom’s death inserted a permanent and immutable rift in our relationship, I will just hope that these folks will continue to enjoy getting a small indication that my life had turned out well, I have a couple beautiful kids, and that I hope they have a nice holiday.