I Will tell You What I Plan to Do With My One Wild and Precious Life, Here is Just What Happened To Me. part 1

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver

I love this quote and it strikes me solidly in my chest at these crossroads of my life.  On paper as far as life goals, and bucket lists and all that jazz, my life is looking really good.   However, if you look at the day-to-day life of the last past month ending yesterday it has been a freak show like none other than American Horror.  So let’s start with the gnarly day to day stuff that has basically stopped on occasion right in my tracks.  Then I will move on to what Ms. Oliver is really trying to ask, and I am excited to be in a place where my life is so epic and drenched in the ooze of happily ever after.

So the day to day stuff of the last month, reads write out of a trashy novel, you would only reach to make your own life feel better.  It started a month ago last Friday, when I was walking outside.  I was wearing my soccer slides and enjoying the 70 degree weather (we have yet to see since that day).  At the time I was pretty on top of the world, enrolled in spring semester 1/2 way through it maintaining my perfect 4.0 GPA.  I was walking towards my house, yes it was right in front of me, when I took a flip in my slide and came crashing down on my right leg and my left hand and arm.  FORTUNATELY nobody say this great stunt, I jumped up right away trying not to draw any attention to myself. The short of the story is I fractured my entire hand, broke two bones in my leg, and would require surgery.  For starters this sucked because I had to pull out of school, unable to type or write, as well as the upcoming surgeries made school impossible.  I loved my professors and had 100’s in my three classes that I would have to drop.  Moreover my family was living for a trip to Europe to first Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, that do to my casts and my surgeries I would be unable to travel for those 12 days.  So no school, no trip with family, surgeries needed; you get the fucking shit storm of a picture.

So on a Monday my ex-wife and my daughter left for 12 days in Europe without me. I had dropped my classes and left hand and arm were casted, and on my right knee this big fancy high-tech brace, oh yay with crutches.  My first surgery was scheduled for that coming Thursday.  My -ex-wife put our beloved pug, Jack in a kennel because I could not watch him, plus with all my stairs, it would be too hard on Jack being deaf and blind.  I was put on the kennel paperwork as an emergency contact.  I called the kennel on Tuesday and the news was not good.  Jack was declining and not eating well.  I contacted my ex-wife in Europe and gave her the news.  Wednesday was a blur as I got ready for surgery; a steel plate and 8 screws to fix my fractures.  Off to the hospital I went with my girlfriend Stephanie, had the operation, recovered and returned back to the house.  I have my own little black pug, Julia Bleu, she was so excited to see us but nearly sent me flying in pain right to the zoo.  At about 9 pm on Thursday of my operation my phone started blowing up.  It was my ex-wife from Europe things had gone much worse for Jack at the kennel.  I gathered myself and she called me from Prague.  There was a long list of details involving picking Jack up a the kennel to take him to an emergency vet appointment all Friday afternoon.  No matter what beloved Jack could not die, he was 16 years old and every one’s best friend.  To cut to the chase Stephanie and I picked Jack up at the kennel. It did not look good. On top of Jack was my throbbing leg which just had surgery the day before.

We got Jack to the vet, it was clear to me, Jack was too stressed out at the kennel and although not a good thing with my surgery and my staircases, I knew Jack would never make it through 8 more days in the kennel. So the vet saw Jack, took one look at him and rushed for Oxygen, this was not looking good.  I had called my ex-wife in Prague and told her Jack needed a sedative, and I would go to the store tomorrow and buy baby gates and everything else we would need to take care of dear old Jack. We met the vet and he stated Jack is more calm with you, I am afraid there is a chance Jack wont make it through the night.  So after calls to Europe, a trip to the kennel to pick up Jacks things and pay the bill, we finally make back to my place which is not safe for him. We locked him in our bedroom, with Julia Bleu by his side. The sedatives and all the medication seemed to work real well.

We got up on Saturday, and Jack was much better with me-he could still smell me even though he was blind and deaf.  He fed them we got them all comfortable as could be, and off to the stores we took to get the baby gates and all the other things I cant even remember right now.  Jack had a great day and I decided to feed him and Julia Bleu around 5 so they both get outside in the sun filled air.  The spring grass was plentiful and Jack enjoyed each moment he was outside for sure.  After twenty minutes, we brought them both into the house.  I had put Jack’s bed right beside my desk, so when I got off my leg I could be on my computer.  Jack settled down in his bed, all happy from eating and going outside.  I reached over with my one free hand and just patted my best friend’s ears, like old times.  I finally could take a breath, this wasn’t going to be easy, but I would do anything for Jack.  In a blink and a flash, I realized, Jack had just died! I screamed and I wailed to Jack to come back, but my best friend chose leave us on his near perfect day.  The REST is just sad, hour calls to Europe, crying and crying till I couldn’t cry anymore.

The rest of Jack was getting him to the vets on Sunday to have him cremated. We picked three urns since we all wanted our own.  My heart was heavy, Stephanie was sad, but little Julia Bleu was not quite right. So this is a true story of  events I can verify them all.  We took Julia Bleu to see Jack’s vet because she was so off and not eating at all.  Upon examination the vet found a growth.  To be safe he would aspirate it and call us with the news.  We left with Julia Bleu and knowing more about pets and their grieving as we do. Stephanie had just pulled the car into the yard when my phone rang.  It was the vet I wasn’t worried at all.  Julia Bleu is just a baby at 5 in perfect health…..”Corey, I am so sorry to deliver such bad news.  Julia has mast cell tumor that needs to be operated in the next few days.  There’s three stages 1,2,and 3.  We would hope for a 1 or 2 that would be great news, a 3 would it was spreading and not very good.”  So surgery was scheduled last Wednesday for Julia’s cancer.  I was pretty much in a daze and thanks to Stephanie, she gave me the love and strength I needed to get by.  Wednesday we dropped Julia Bleu off early for her surgery, I had my second appointment with the leg surgeon to schedule surgery number 2.  While Julia was being operated on I found out I would be having surgery in one week exactly, that was this past Wednesday.  I had determined after the doctor saw me the very first time of this saga, and told me straight up I would never run again.  So this Wednesday with my pug getting a cancerous tumor removed, I spoke up for myself. I told the doctor, “To go fuck himself.”  He didn’t know me or my determination, and I would run a road race with my daughter again.

The vet called at noon and said Julia Bleu was out of the surgery.  We picked her up late afternoon and brought her right home. Now it was a waiting game until the lab confirmed the tumor and staged it properly. On Tuesday afternoon the vet called once more.  I knew the news was not stellar.  He said it was confirmed as a mast cell tumor, and it wasn’t stage 1 , but was already stage 2. Julia Bleu was going to be fine we would just do some imaging not required.

The end of the story is too beautiful to leave out.  If Jack had not died I wouldn’t have taken Julia to the vet for another year. Julia Bleu would have died in no more than 5 months.  So in dying, my best friend Jack, the pug, saved Julia Bleu’s life and that is his last great deed.

Julia Bleu

She had just seen a vet and got a clean bill of health.  With this mast tumor going undetected, Julia would have died in no more than 5 months.

This was a lot so I will blog part two early morning for sure.  I am in need of pain medication from my second surgery just done on Wednesday.  My life is so blessed and touched in oh so many ways, it will make this last month seem well worth it in the long term.