This is our dog. His name is Kingsley and today he watched the sunrise with me.
It was his first walk in four days. King has been stuck in the house waiting patiently for the sound of his leash and collar coming together. The jingling sound lets him know that a walk or something equally exciting is about to happen.
King’s routine this week became an opening of the back door, a few sniffs, a quick relief, and then back to the door to wait for me to let him in. Despite my slow response, he shows no anger towards me and simply follows me back to the couch and curls up next to me. For the four days when my chemo side effects really zap my energy, we switch our positions from couch to bed – from bed to couch. Kingsley does not leave my side the entire time nor does he ask me to play or pet him. He has come to know my chemotherapy cycles and seems to be aware of my discomforts. He knows when I need to rest and, somehow, he knows when the side effects are over.
Chemotherapy round 69 began on Monday and ended on Wednesday at 1:00pm. It was a tough round of side effects that made me nauseous, irritable, angry, and unmotivated. Even though I was disconnected on Wednesday, the side effects lingered late into Thursday evening. I began dreading waking up on the fifth day to feel the same way. But this morning was different. Instead of a curled up Kingsley waiting for me to wake up, I was greeted by a playful paw, a wagging tail, and a bouncing trot. As I left the bed, I noticed that my headache was gone, my face was no longer flushed and burning, and the chemical taste was out of my mouth. Water tasted like water again and my appetite had finally returned. This morning, for the first time all week, King finally heard the sound he had been patiently waiting for – his collar and leash jingling together.
It was 5:45am and we were out the door. King and I had enough of lying around and it was time to get going and make up for the lost days. We both wanted to make the most of today because in ten days chemotherapy round number 70 will begin and King and I will go back to our routine of shifting from couch to bed – bed to couch….