My "Golden Nurses"

     Jack and DukeWhat do you do when a radiologist tells you he thinks you have a tumor in your colon, and more likely than not, it's cancer? You have a sixteen year old son and a husband, both of whom have habitually depended upon you for just about everything. You are the mainstay of the household while at the same time holding down the job that generates the majority of the household income. And superimpose upon this the fact that you survived breast cancer some ten years prior to the current diagnosis.
     When you are the one who takes care of everyone and everything, who takes care of you???
     Jack and Duke, that's who!!! In 1995, they were 8 and 5 respectively. Jack was the "alpha" dog and Duke was the world's greatest lover. No, they could not accompany me to the hospital for the resection or for the chemo treatments which lasted approximately nine months into 1995, but they were there waiting for me when I came home with tails awaggin and the light of love in their eyes. They were never afraid or reserved to show their concern and affection. They were right there starring up at me with those deep, soulful brown eyes on the days I spent shuddering on top of the bed because of the eventual toxicity I developed to chemo.
     They loved me right into recovery. Later that year, when I was again hospitalized with a blood clot, they loved me through that trauma as well. When I thought I had no veins left from which to extract blood, they kissed my arms and the top of my hands until I knew I was healed.
     A year later, I was back in the hospital for prophylactic surgery that went downhill, but knew when I returned home, my two "Golden nurses" would be there waiting for me.
     Jack and Duke were the spiritual providers who guided me through all of those dark days. In their quiet way, they were able to provide more strength and support than any of my family or human friends. Without saying a verbal word, they let me know how much I was loved and needed.
     With Duke who died suddenly this last May, I could not return his gift. With Jack, however, I was right next to him when he breathed his last and crossed over to that more peaceful, calm world where he was no longer old or infirmed.
     My "Golden angels" helped me to help myself and overcome what nature had dealt me. Goldens are here to teach us how to give by giving so much to us.

Entry written by Janis R. Musante
* Honorable Mention Award Recipient

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