As you might have noticed, I completely dissapeared.
I had an incredibly hard time, I had to write my thesis, I had to do my final exam to get my degree, and Kami is sick. Very sick.
Kami’s illness, as you might know, started about a year ago (bit more). It started with her getting blind slowly. She is not completely blind, but technically she is. It’s not a big deal for a dog, they don’t use their eyes like we do, it’s not that important for them (of course it is not like “nothing happened”, but they can live a full life without their eyesight).
Then her body started to act crazy. The regular blood tests always had different results. No one had an idea what is happening with her (and by “no one” I mean a bunch of highly educated, experienced veterinary professionals)
About half a year ago, we started to suspect it’s in her nervous system. But there are three major parts of the nervous system, and we didn’t know, where to start to search. Her peripheral nervous system? As she had trembles in her back leg muscles. Or her enteral nevous system? As she had serious bellyaches. Or her central nervous system? And if so, her brain or her spine? You can’t just shoot around with MRi and CT and hope you’ll find the cause. It’s one thing that the examination itself is incredibly expensive, but it also needs anaesthesia, which is very stressful for the body of a sick dog.
From time to time, we could minimize the syptoms with some steroids, but we didn’t know, what are we treating, will it get better on the long run, or is it just treatment, but not cure.
Then the determinant symptom came. To be honest, I – even as a biologist, an animal caretaker and a vet assistant – don’t feel like I know much about neurological illnesses. I only knew that my dog is sick. But I always suspected this. And when she started to have a side preference (turning more to the right) when she feels bad, it became clear: it is her brain.
But what is it in her brain that makes her body act crazy? There is always hope that it is “just” epilepsy. But the MRi crashed our hopes. A non-resectable lump in her brain. Is it cancer? Is it just a cyst? The modern imaging diagnostics can’t tell, and it is in a place we can’t reach.
When I got the results back, I was waiting for my tears start to fall. But they never came. I know this for 1.5 months now, but I never cried. Why?
My dog, the one who dragged me through the darkest hours of depression, the one who changed my life, my education, my career path, everything, is possibly terminally ill. And yet, I never shed a tear.
Because I have a lot to do. I have to grant her the highest possible quality of life for the time we still have. It is a bit scary that it can be months, a year, or even all the years we planned with, and I don’t have a chance to know. I have to change our routines, basically we can’t even have any routines, because her condition can change within a day.
All this happened while I had much more to do than ever. I never had time to stop and think “what’s next”. I know that after this period is over, fatigue will set in, and I will cry incontrollably.
But right now, Kami is sleeping peacefully, surrounded by her beloved stuffed toy army, and I have to focus on keeping all our lives together, celebrate every little thing we achieve (and the big ones, like a degree in biology), take care of Kami and be grateful for every happy moment we have.