Having turned forty on May 15th, I finally made the decision to realise a life time dream - to get a dog. I've never wanted children. I have known that all my life. Tried to convince myself that if one came along, the maternal instinct would kick in, but I knew it wouldn't. My love has been and always will be for animals and I had promised myself that when I hit "The Milestone" - my gift to life would be to finally commit to bringing a puppy in to my World.
They say - it chooses you, you don't choose it and sure enough, I walked in to a barn two weeks ago and my eyes met with a little bundle of fluff, with the most adorable (and naughty) face I've ever seen. She stood aside from the others, was smaller than the others and seemed to take her time in considering walking over to me - unlike the others. And when she did, she calmly laid down on my lap - like she knew that she belonged to me.
And it was as simple as that. I committed to buy her the next day and agreed to pick her up the following weekend - I knew it would be the longest seven days ever!
And thats when the longest week of my life, turned in to the most terrifying week of my life. While sitting having a civil drink with my best friend, I touched my neck as I do on a frequent basis and recoiled in shock as I felt a lump the size of a golf ball above my collar bone. Double taking - I asked my friend to look - hoping to confirm that I was over reacting, but knew from his face I wasn't.
Waking up the next day, I knew that I had no option other than to get a professional opinion as over night my neck has swollen to twice the size it was the day before. Blood tests and a chest Xray were the next stop - followed by a wait to see a specialist. And three days later I found myself sat in front of a consultant, as the words "I believe you have Lymphoma and need to confirm the diagnosis so we can begin urgent treatment" came out of his mouth.
You listen to stories and see commercials of how people feel when they are told they have cancer, and it did and still does feel like I am watching someones else's story. The one overwhelming feeling I do have is that my little dog is here for a reason and that reason is to give me hope.
I am yet to find out the final diagnosis and have no idea what is in store. But I have found over the last couple of years that writing has been a massive therapy for me, when things have gotten tough. So that is what I will do! I will write away the fear, and the uncertainty, and keep a log of my feelings, so when things are better, I can look back and truly appreciate everything that I have and be a stronger, better person for it!
And as for my new baby - I will introduce her to the World separately!
Let the battle begin :)