For all of you with manuscripts that are ready to be published! Thanks, Cindy, for the heads up!
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Oh, sure, you can drink what you want and stay up late, sleep as late as you want on the weekend and even take a mental health day without asking anyone’s permission. You get to make your own choices. But then there’s all the responsibility you have and that’s the rub…
October has never been the kindest month for me. The weather gets colder, the sun hides behind clouds, the days start to shorten and things die. My garden is gone for the year. My flowers are close behind, just waiting for first real frost to wither and turn brown. My dad passed away several years ago this month. On Halloween. And now my sweet 14-year-old Norwegian Elkhound, Inga, was just diagnosed last week with advanced stage lymphoma.
This past weekend was awful. We were waiting for confirmation of the diagnosis from the vet while medical tests were being run. On Saturday Inga ate some people food and a little bit of dog food but mostly drank tons of water. By Sunday, she ate nothing and could barely stand up to drink water or go outside. This morning we had the diagnosis confirmed and decided to begin giving her high doses of prednisone. If she’s responsive to the steroid, she hopefully will get less weak and develop a bit of an appetite soon.
But her long-term prognosis is about two or three months, if the prednisone helps. It seems like a reasonable thing to try but right now I feel like she’s slowly starving to death before my eyes and I can’t bear to put her through this for very long. I’m dribbling water into her mouth through a straw. If the prednisone doesn’t help soon, we will talk euthanasia.
A more aggressive approach would include surgery to remove her spleen and chemotherapy. I told my vet I wouldn’t consider that. It’s not only the cost, which would certainly be several thousand dollars, but the fact that Inga is 14 and a dog, albeit a well-loved pet. And from what I’ve read, chemo would only put her in remission for about a year (if she survived the surgery and treatment).
So why am I agonizing over the decisions? And second guessing myself? Because there isn’t a choice that doesn’t break my heart. Right now, I hate being grown up…
Postscript: I wrote this post Monday night and decided to post it anyway, even though my precious girl took matters into her own paws and passed away during the night. I’m so very sad but also happy that she won’t have to suffer. We were honored to be her family for all these years…