This is a story I wrote today. It is told from the point of view of my son Captain. It is (as far as I know) true.
“So as you read this note my friends, I’d love to stay with you all. Please smile when you think about me. My body’s gone, that’s all” – MegaDeth
We got back from the hospital today. My Mom, Dad, and me. The doctor spoke to my Mom and Dad. They looked sad.
A few weeks ago, we all went to the hospital, and they took something off my skin. That hurt.
I am running around the house, making noise, playing with Bella the girl dog. My sister is back from college. Wait … that was weeks ago.
I am waiting for Dad to get back from karate. I always make lots of noise when he comes in. So does Bella the girl dog. Its fun.
I’m getting confused. These are memories. This has already happened.
Mom and Dad seem sad again. They are giving me even more attention than normal. Taking me outside. I feel sick, and can’t walk with them. I go inside and rest.
Dad is playing with me. I love roughhousing with him. Bella the girl dog wants to play too.
We are back at the hospital. I feel unsteady. The doctor is saying words I don’t understand. Mom is asking questions. Dad is holding me. Then Dad is asking questions. They are worried. I see another little one like me. She is crying.
We are out on an evening walk, just Mom, Dad, Bella the girl dog, and me. Dad is holding me. I love the smells, the sounds, the people! Bella the girl dog just wants to chase squirrels.
I’m tired. I lay down on the floor next to Mom while she crafts. I’m not feeling great. I sleep more now.
I have to get in the car. I have trouble climbing into the back seat. Mom comes back to sit with me.
The doctor says more words to my parents. I hear Met A Sta Tick. And Too More. I just know I feel bad.
It was hard climbing out of the car. Dad had to pick me up because I was afraid of falling.
Bella the girl dog is sleeping in my bed again. She tries to sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed sometimes too. She’s spoiled.
Dad talks about me all the time. I’m his 12 year old boy he says. He tells me he loves me so much.
Mom and Dad are talking in hushed tones now. I can still hear them, they don’t know it. Their voices are strange. Like when Grandma went away.
Dad is cooking steak again. He cuts a piece and tastes it. He sees me looking. He cuts me a piece too. And one for Bella the girl dog.
We are walking outside again. He tells me to look both ways when we cross. I don’t because he looks for us.
My head. I stand and stare at a wall.
We are driving. I’m restless, and need to go pee. They stop the car at a rest stop, and we all go pee. I run around for a few minutes until I’m happy. We all get snacks. This is before Bella the girl dog comes to live with us. I feel great!
I’m young. A baby. A couple visits, they are nice! Much nicer than where I came from. They seem to really like me!
I’m at a park. I run around with the other kids. We have fun. Some of the parents play catch with us. The kids chase each other.
The doctor is saying something again. Stay Roy. I get a shot. Ow. I don’t like shots. Dad and Mom comfort me when I am back with them. I start to feel a little better. I’m still unsteady. I’m very tired.
Mom is crying. Grandma is gone. I love Mom so much, I feel sad for her. I miss Grandma. She always was nice to me. She gave me treats. I don’t like it when people go away. I don’t like it when Mom is sad. I try to comfort her.
I’ve been adopted. Its my first time at my new home. I’m scared. I run up the stairs. But then I am afraid to come down. Dad walks upstairs, talks to me. He picks me up and carries me down stairs.
I feel bad. I tried to eat, but I threw up. I tried to walk outside. I couldn’t. Mom is worried.
I am tired. Dad tries to take me up to bed. I don’t want to go. Mom takes me up the stairs. I lay in my bed. I don’t feel good.
Dad wakes up, and stretches. Sometimes we stretch together. He makes funny noises when he stretches.
I go to day care, and play with all the other kids. I love day care!
Dad takes me to work with him. I run around inside. Into the big room with the table. I’m scared so I hide under the table. Dad finds me. He talks softly and brings me back with him.
Its lightning and thundering outside. I’m scared. I’m shivering
Mom is stretching on the floor. I walk over to her. I try snuggling in and smile at her. She laughs and hugs me.
I’m coughing. Dad says “drink drink” and points to my water. I keep coughing.
I’m having a bad dream. I hear a voice, “good boy, you are such a wonderful boy!”. It sounds like Mom and Dad. I feel better.
The doctor repeats the word. I don’t know what it is. Heh Man Gee Oh Sar Koh Ma. Dad pushes at his machine with his fingers. His face changes as he reads. He fights with something inside. I can see it.
Dad is cooking again. The house smells like chicken. He is doing something with the orange things. He’s tried to get me to eat them. Yuck.
I’m still confused. All these memories. Something isn’t right.
I’ve been with Mom, Dad, and Sister for many years. Bella the girl dog a few years. I love them very much. Even Bella the girl dog. I know they are sad. They know it hurts. Dad is talking to the doctor. He says something about Honk Oh Low Gis in fourty days. Doctor’s face isn’t hard to read.
Mom, Dad, Sister, and Bella the girl dog. I have to go soon. I don’t want to. You have been a wonderful family. But I am hurting. I want peace. I want you to love me. And let me be at peace. Hold me, never let me go. Until it is my time. I will tell you when that is.
Date of biopsy 5-July-2022
Date of initial diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma 7-July-2022
Oncologist scheduled ASAP, 2-Sept-2022
Date of chest/belly x-rays, 19-July-2022
Date of discovery of widespread metastasis 20-July-2022
Date of initial steroid (palliative) 20-July-2022
Captain, my son, is a rescue dog. Coming from the streets of Detroit, he was chained outdoors to his sister for the first 9 months of his life. He was abused, he came to us with a mostly healed broken rib. We rescued him when he was 10 months old. And spoiled him. Showered him with love and affection. Working every day to help overcome the horrors he experienced as a young pup.
We had hope yesterday, when the doctor couldn’t see a primary mass, and we thought we could skate by with a simple dermal presentation (for which the removal is the cure). The radiologist spotted multiple … no … many … diffuse likely tumors that are consistent with the visceral presentation of this disease. This is what we were told today Don't do as I did, and read up on the visceral presentation of hemangiosarcoma.
We don’t know how long he has left. We just know that we love him, and want him to be free of pain, and feeling well. Steroid is not curative. It won’t treat the cancer. It won’t prolong his life. It ma.y make him more comfortable
He is coming with us to deliver his human sister to graduate school in 24 days. And returning with us from there in 31 days. I hope. We are driving. He is driving with us. Limited goals and objectives.
Also note: A tout le mond is a song by American Heavy Metal group MegaDeth. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tout_le_Mondefor an article on the song.
From the Wikipedia entry:
The song's chorus, "à tout le monde, à tous mes amis, je vous aime, je dois partir", translated into English is, "to the whole world, to all my friends, I love you, I have to go",
The lyrics from the songthat are relevant here are “Smile when you think of me, my body is gone, that’s all”. Captain is not gone yet. He is still with us. I’m hoping he can see his sister off to graduate school.