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Mom2Shelby

Five Months an angel

4.8-.14 – 9.8.14 

How have five long months passed already? It feels like yesterday and forever all in the same. Time stands still yet time goes on without my best girl by my side. I miss Shelby every single day. The pain does indeed subside but there is still a dull and constant ache.

And not only has it been five months since you joined the other Tripawd heroes (Jake, Sassy, Brendol, Jerry, Libby, Polly, Franklin, Maggie and many others who were there to greet you) but September marks one year since we got that fateful call with the worst possible diagnosis. Oh how I had wished it had been Osteosarcoma since your diagnosis of Hemangiosarcoma was so much worse.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We had spent a wonderful weekend with our friends; two young pups and Shelby was such a good sport. She played a bit but mostly kept to herself on my lap. I suspect that rear leg was probably bugging her but she was putting on a brave face. The grown-ups drank wine and ate cheese and crackers (and I probably slipped Shelby a few slices of cheese). Shelby was the alpha in the group and the other dogs respected and honored her hierarchy.

Wine night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun with other dogs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day, while suffering a wicked hangover, Shelby and I snuggled up to watch our beloved Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons. While I don’t remember if we won or not, I remember that football Sundays with Shelby was always the best. Shelby was a great Saints fan and a great sport – no matter how loudly I screamed at the TV, she took it all in stride.

Geaux Saints!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday evening, as I was preparing to leave town that Friday to run a marathon in Utah and I was making plans for where Shelby would stay, Shelby got this awful look in her eyes. I figured she was upset about the luggage and my packing but it was worse. She started to dry heave and I knew instantly something was wrong. I rushed her to the ER vet and they told me that it was probably pancreatis (damn that cheese I had given her).

Sadly, it was not the cheese. It was her spleen. It needed to come out. Our trusted surgeon and her wonderful tech delivered the news. They said there was no way to know if it was a benign mass until it was biopsied. They told me it was a 50/50 chance that it was cancer. I prayed to God. But I knew. A mother always knows.

They told me to go run my race; that Shelby would have her surgery and she could stay there. I stayed with her and visited her after her surgery and every night until when I left. Things that had been so important 5 months ago when I started training for this race were rendered insignificant. I no longer cared about my race time or if I re-qualified for Boston. I just wanted to get home to Shelby. I dedicated my race to her and I didn’t re-qualify. I don’t even remember my time.

While I was away, my dear friend went and sat with Shelby and sent me photos and videos. Shelby recovered well from her surgery. She was doing great! Maybe we had dodged another bullet.

Dedicated my 11th marathon to Shelby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, I started my new job. Shelby was home with me, resting comfortably. She was happy. I was happy. My life was falling into place.

My first day of work! Shelby wasn’t thrilled that I was going back to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That night I got the call that no one wants to get. Shelby had hemangiosarcoma. I heard the concern, sadness in our surgeon’s voice. She kept asking me if I understood what she was saying. I was speechless. How could this be? I was in shock. She tried to give me the information about an oncologist and treatment and the prognosis. I couldn’t speak. My heart and my world collapsed.

Shelby and I were given a timeline of 1 – 3 months – WITH chemo. How could I possibly begin to say goodbye to my girl? What did that look like? What did a world without Shelby look like?

I did, what I always did, I put on a brave face for Shelby. I refused to let her see me cry and be upset yet she could feel it. She and I were so incredibly bonded that she felt my emotions before I felt them, most of the time. We were indeed one soul and true soul mates. I vowed to fight – with every ounce of my being. I would fight until there was no fight left. I would do everything and anything to save my girl and maintain her quality of life. I told no one. I feared judgement, opinions, feedback. I knew the love and bond that Shelby and I had was strong enough but I needed my focus to be on her.

And together, we did fight. We fought for 7 months. Seven beautiful months that we didn’t think we would have. And when Shelby was done, she let me know. There was never a doubt in my mind; it was crystal clear she was tired and she was ready to transition. And now, as I prepare to re-live those last several months we had together, I pray that Shelby sends me signs, guides me and holds me tight. She was the brave one. She was the strong one. She was the one that always saw the glass half-full.

I miss you, Shelby Lynne. I miss you with every ounce of my being; every fiber, every moment of every day. To the “love of my life” … I love you to the moon and back and for all infinity.

Kisses … always and forever!

3 Comments »

  1. Michelle Said,

    September 8, 2014@ 7:14 pm      Reply

    Alison,
    I know today is tough. We are all here with you. Thank you for sharing the story up to & through that surgery for Shelby. I love the pictures of her & you together. You can see the love for each other in both of your eyes.

    The pain does get better like you say the dull ache will somewhat lessen too but will be there. Shelby is watching over you and brought you a great companion until you 2 meet again. I am sure she would love Jasper 😉

    hugs
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. Christine Said,

    September 9, 2014@ 7:07 am      Reply

    ahhhhh sweetie… thank you for sharing your sweet Shelby’s story…
    It’s hard going through those “anniversaries” but I promise you… it does get better… never forgotten… but better.
    And it does help when we have another 4 legged or 3 legged in some case, furkid to help us smile to offset the sadness…
    I smile every time I see Shelby’s picture as well as seeing new adventures with Jasper too!!
    You are in that place now where we realize… it’s ok to grieve, it’s okay to love again, and it’s okay to realize that life does go on while we build more memories in our hearts with different paw prints!!

    Christine… with Franklin in her heart♥

  3. taynam Said,

    September 11, 2014@ 3:05 pm      Reply

    I know it is so hard to go on without them. I am experiencing the pain all too well. Your Shelby obviously had a great life and was very well loved. When you are ready, like Christine said, sometimes sharing that same love with another pup will take our minds off of the sadness and remind us of the ones that came before. Thanks for continuing to honor Shelby!

    Taylor remembering Chance


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