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Man and dog on motorcycle

Flash

Flash is a Basset. A 12-year-old, spoiled rotten, rescue Basset. I think he started in Arizona. I am not sure how he got to Indiana, but he did. In Indiana, he became part of a family. He was adopted by a member of a motorcycle club. He was loved and taken care of.

Years go by, and the motorcycle club member passes away. His wife and son are Canadian, and after their loss, they had to return to Canada. For reasons unknown to me, Flash could not make the trip. Maybe he was flagged on some watchlist. Maybe the family just could not take him. I have no idea, but this is where I get involved.

Finding a new home for Flash

I am a biker and a pastor. Occasionally, a member will need a pastor, a wedding, a funeral, a jail visit, and my phone rings. So it was that I got called and asked if I knew anyone looking for a dog.

I called around and sure enough, I found a home for an old homeless basset. My daughter was in. Introductions were made, and we all fell in love. Flash was home. Since 2013, he has been family. My daughter is a national marketer, and my son-in-law is a trucker. That means that Flash spends 1/2 his time at Gramma and Gramps’. That would be mom and me.

Urinary tract issues and testing

A couple of months ago, he started having some urinary tract issues. Tests are run. Blood is drawn. Waiting is done. More waiting is done. Flash has bladder stones and will need surgery. The date is set, and we all hold our breath.

The bladder stones were actually cancer

Today was the surgery. Everything went well, and Flash should recover well. The catch was that the bladder stones were actually bladder cancer. The cancer was just like mine. Fully encapsulated and just attached to the lining of the bladder. The doctor removed it, and now he is cancer-free.

It was my cancer journey all over again

My daughter called and gave me the news. I was relieved. I was overjoyed. I was devastated. It was my cancer journey all over again with floppy ears and a long nose. Here I sit, so thankful for a good outcome and petrified about recurrence, his or mine. I haven’t thought about recurrence in years. I have been post-cancer for 13 years. I have my annual scope in September, and everything is going great. No symptoms. No issues.

Yet, here I am. I love this old dog. He follows me to bed every night. He saddles up to the side of the bed and nudges me until I pet him and use that ‘I am talking to a dog’ voice. He stays until he has received his well-deserved scratching and petting; then he waddles back into the living room for another nap. When I get up at 1:45 in the morning, he lifts his head and looks at me like ‘sleeping here, a little quiet.’

The lingering effect of cancer

I never know for sure what will trigger my cancer fears. It may be a movie. It may be a call from a friend or a hospital visit. Some are obvious, some just blindside me. I have accepted that I will break down, that there will be tears and struggles. I know that this is the lingering effect of cancer. I think it helps to let it out and not to pretend that I am okay all the time.

A chance to be fully present

Today, I am thankful for an old friend who is going to be okay. He will come home, and I will lay on the floor and hug his neck. I will make sure he always knows he is loved. At the end of the day, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. This has reawakened my awareness of how precious moments and friends are. It is easy to become complacent and relaxed. Today, I was given a chance to be fully present and alive.

My friend will come to visit his Gramps, and we will sit on the back porch so he can lay on the hot concrete and feel relief from his arthritis. Then when he has had enough sun, we will come in and he will lay on his bed and I will hit the couch. We will talk Gramma into taking a ride to get some soft serve ice cream and we’ll take a nap.

My friend is going to be better, and tonight I am elated.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • JJPool
    4 months ago

    Mac,
    What a lovely story. I’m so glad you and Flash are doing well. Now I have to go read all your other stories!
    Best,
    Jessica

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    4 months ago

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts with Mac 🙂 His other articles are just as amazing – I hope you enjoy them!
    -Alina, BladderCancer.net Team Member

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