I have anxiety, particularly with health-related issues. Usually, I catastrophize things. But I’ve been working on it. To test my progress, the universe sent me a challenge. The other day, I noticed my dog, Lulu, suddenly got a huge lump on one side of her face.
My first reaction: She has another tumor, it must be cancer this time. She’s 11 years old and I never had a dog life past age 10.
Then, I texted my friend and my mom and both said that if she has a tooth abscess, it can come out on her face. So I channeled my thoughts in that direction. My dog has horrible teeth, and most of hers are missing. She’s a rescue and we got her in that poor, uncared for state. This made perfect sense. No need to spend my time worrying about the worst when it might not even be that bad.
I had to take Lulu to the vet by myself because my husband is away on a business trip, and was pretty proud of myself for staying calm and putting positive thoughts into my mind. I tried so hard not to overreact or cry in front of the vet, even when they put me in the same exam room our dog Lucky died in a few years ago.
The vet said that although Lulu has had cancer before, and she does have a lot of new tumors on her body, he was leaning towards a tooth abscess but couldn’t be sure without testing. So we took tests and I waited for that call.
The next day, Facebook memories showed me a picture of Lulu wearing a party hat years ago and I broke down crying. She looked so beautiful and happy and young in the photo. And I hate seeing her with this lump on her face, a sign that she’s getting old and sick and one day won’t be here with us. And how will I tell my kids they have to say goodbye?
A few hours after my sob fest, the vet called– two days earlier than expected. This could either be really good or really bad. My voice shook as I answered the phone, but I stayed calm. The test results showed that there is super tiny presence of cancer related stuff going on- like basically nothing, just some things that show up when there is an infection. So we are going with that- an infection from her mouth caused her face to have a swollen lump. Lulu is OK! WHOOOO!!!!!
We go back in two weeks to check her progress healing and monitor her.
She’s sticking around to continue stealing food from the kids and barking at anyone who sits on her favorite spot of the couch.
Lesson learned from this post: Changing our pattern of thinking takes time but with practice and the right tools can be achieved. Worrying wastes precious time. Focus on living in the present.