First things, first. Thank you for your health wishes and thoughts for Ella. Her bloodwork came back today, and the vet says it looks great, which is a really good sign for overall health. We'll schedule the lumpectomy, and if it looks to be anything other than a cyst or the suspected fatty tumor, it'll be sent off for biopsy. Poodles, as a breed, tend to get lumps and bumps as they age, but it's good we're looking closely at this. The urine sample came back showing a few struvite crystals, which has always been Ella's case, and not an unusual one. Crystals in urine can lead to incontinence, though not always. They'll do a bladder ultrasound during the surgery for the lump. Meanwhile, she's lively, playful, very alpha over Cricket and the entire household, and seems to be feeling good. We're on the Chinese herbs now, and I'm hopeful about them working. I didn't realize this vet practiced Chinese medicine; she's only begun to do it, on the side, rather recently, had been taking classes, she said, in herbs and acupuncture. I am very grateful she supports my feelings and wishes about not over-vaccinating my dogs, and is willing to send me to another vet who orders the leptosporosis vaccine in single doses. Lepto is a BIG risk for dogs here, it's a parasite that's found in much of our fresh water in the mountains, and since we hike a lot, and since Ella is impossible to keep out of the water, it's a must-do vaccine. Really, these days, I'm only vaccinating for Lepto and kennel cough. If I move back to the mainland with my dogs (and that's not happening anytime soon, don't worry) I'd have to vaccinate for rabies again, but Hawaii is rabies-free.
So again, thank you, heartfelt, for your thoughts about my beloved sweet friend.
So many things have happened today. I have been on quite the rollercoaster. I heard from a very old friend this morning, one whom I had nearly written off, due to the years w/o any communication, which had been preceded by years of mixed messages and mis-communications. He wrote a lengthy e-mail, one to which I want to respond, but I want to choose my words carefully, because he said some things that would have inflamed me, 2 years ago, but now, with time and distance, I merely want to respond to fairly. I think I've been, on some level, working on observing/changing ongoing patterns in my life, and the negative patterns I have ingrained in this friendship (one that's been going on since I was 18) are some I'd love to address. So I sit and think, and engage in that inner dialogue that I find myself having with friends who are too far away in time and space.
At school this morning, I found out, before I walked into the classroom, that one of my students' fathers had committed suicide yesterday, by hanging himself, and that the children had discovered his body. The child is 5 years old, and told me very matter-of-factly that her daddy was gone and wouldn't be living with them anymore. There are all kinds of wheels being put in motion, for grief counseling, social workers, translators (the family doesn't speak much English) and support, but nothing removes the reeling shock of it all, huge for me, and unimaginably more so for that family. I've always believed that school is a kind of safe harbor for some children, and so it is the case for this bright girl, who threw herself into her schoolwork today, checking her classmates' folders in, and practicing handwriting with a vengeance, in spite of our urgent reminders that "if you need to talk, or play or cry or call home, you can, just tell me". Time later for the realization, the release of grief, the understanding of it all. I cannot even imagine the pain and stress this family is going through right now.
Mercury made its transit across the face of the sun today. A couple of astronomers brought telescopes to school today, and we got to see the incredible view for ourselves. It was beautiful and amazing, the great orange ball of the sun, with the tiny round black dot that is Mercury moving across its face. I felt very small, and unimportant, and the unimportance was a huge relief, in the face of the days earlier events and revelations. They say that transits of Mercury occur at the midpoint of the Mercury retrograde period and because eclipses tend to mark crisis points that instigate change, we may notice a shift in events and focus during that time. Like a shift in the balance of power in Washington? Like the voice of a person from my past that I cannot just write off because we've had misunderstandings? Like a new life, for better or for worse, for a family in crisis?
So I look up at the sky and consider things carefully.