Its just a part of basic math. It comes naturally for some people, but for others its a bit more difficult. Division seems harmless when you think about it briefly and in terms of math. You’re presented with a problem and you just need to find the answer. Sometimes division can help with that, making division the solution. Sometimes division is simply the problem and you don’t want any part of solving it, you just want to walk away from it because, if you dislike division, it can frustrate you and be upsetting.
Its a basic part of science. Its how cells grow in numbers. They divide. Unfortunately, uncontrolled cell division is also just a basic part of science. Uncontrolled cell division is also known as cancer. Cells divide and grow in number at an insane rate; they grow and divide faster than any of them can die. With unprecedented cell growth comes a lack of regulation. You don’t have a bunch of normal healthy cells dividing and reproducing like crazy. Somewhere along the way, something happens too quickly, too much, something irreparable happens and it ruins things. It ruins happiness. It ruins health. It ruins futures. It breaks hearts. It leaves you wishing you had so many answers you’ll never have.
Today I lost someone. Someone who’s presence I took for granted. I was selfish and I never devoted enough time to being with her. She didn’t ask for anything. She needed very little. But she deserved everything and got so very little in return. She was robbed. Shortchanged. Twelve short years of being an angel and all she really got from it was not enough love, and cancer. Hemangiosarcoma. A rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of cancer arising from the lining of blood vessels. Hemangiosarcomas occur almost exclusively in dogs. A month and a half ago she had a 1.5 pound mass of pure cancer removed from her left side and I was told her spleen was enlarged so it was likely that cancer would show up again. She developed cysts on her head, neck, and paws WITHIN FOUR DAYS. Today she couldn’t walk much. She couldn’t eat. She couldn’t lift her head. The light that had happily resided in her eyes for twelve years was gone and when she looked at me she all but said, “I don’t feel like being happy to see you.” She went to the vet twice today. Once when we panicked and wanted help, but were told we could only have bandaids. We agreed to take the weekend to say goodbye and return on Monday for a final visit before she crossed the rainbow bridge. We came home and moments later all of the cysts that had formed, ruptured. She looked awful, she felt awful, and I had never felt worse about anything in my life as I did right then for ever leaving the vet in the first place.
Today, division was the solution.
She mostly stayed outside unless the weather got too extreme in one way or another. And now when I look out any window into the backyard, it is so empty. Then I feel a tugging in my chest. And then I feel tears on my cheek. And then I feel extreme guilt for all of the minutes that I spent doing anything but spoiling her. I always have this feeling when I lose an animal and after countless animal deaths in my 24 years of life, I still can never avoid this feeling. I can never ever escape it.
But…today she got relief. Today I laid on my side on the floor of the exam room with her and cried harder than I ever have as I watched what little life was left in her eyes fade away. And then I reached out and I closed her eyes, and I held her and sobbed into my paper towel. And then I waited in my vehicle for the veterinary staff to bring her out to me so I could take her back home, even though she wasn’t there anymore.