I was sleeping but my mom is awake now. I always hear her when she rises. Many times it’s at night right now. We used to sleep during the night, the last ten years at least but she’s been sick for about four months. She’s told me all about it. As a dog I don’t exactly have a medical degree and I don’t know what the things she tells me mean but I knew it was coming. This year in January her body started swelling really bad all over, getting bigger. The thing about dogs is we smell it on our person. It’s usually in their breath first. After a couple weeks she got so sick she had to go to “the hospital”, it’s a place kind of like a vet’s office. At least that’s what she smells like when she comes home. It’s a crazy unnatural odor full of chemicals. That time she was gone for six days! I knew she’d be back but it seemed like forever. Besides it wasn’t time. Mom only leaves once a year when it’s hot outside for several days. She calls it “going to the beach with the family”. I went there with her once and the water was huge and amazing! Jumping in the waves was as natural as breathing for me, I am a Labrador retriever! The sun and sand were so fun I didn’t want to leave. If she gets to go this year I’m hoping she’ll take me with her because it’s been several years since the waves. But I digress…when mom was at hospital in January she had human kidney failure. It must’ve been bad because even her skin smelled sick when she came home! I heard things like uncontrolled hypertension, edema, irregular heart rate and abnormal lab work. That word abnormal means something bad. She and Dad talked a lot and while she was there he came and went a lot to be with her. We all had to wait. I know she was okay because when he came home I could smell her on his clothes. Those pesky lab tests made her read and read. Mom learns things on her own. Being a nurse makes you pretty smart about healing other beings and yourself. None of my brothers or sisters were as happy as me when she came home! They love her but they aren’t connected with her like me. I was so relieved to see her, smell her, feel her hands and her happiness! It was short lived. Within a few days the bad was back and this time the word “cancer” was going around between Dad and her. Those lab tests thought she had it. Mom found the very best hemo-oncologist in Memphis, Dr. Yasser. That time she had to have a “bone marrow biopsy” to rule out multiple myeloma. This test came back negative after several days of concern and lots of prayers. It must’ve been something that was painful because it took her a couple days to pick up a golf club again, lol. Speaking of golf, it’s a stick and a ball..a really small ball, not the kind you want to chase. When she feels good we go out back and Mom uses the,”golf club” to work on her “swing”. I usually lie down about twenty feet from her while she’s practicing, just for safety. Golf must be something you need to practice often! She still smelled sick but had some good days. I live for the good days with her. She looks in my eyes a lot in a fun way and she’s always moving and talking… chatter, chatter, chatter. It makes me wish I knew more big words. The next thing that came was a “Cardiac Cath” because she couldn’t breath when she got up and started having chest pain spells. This one really worried me. Humans and dogs can’t stay here if their heart stops! It’s vitally important! That test came back negative too, Whewww. Then one night came a spell of chest pain and her heart was beating so fast she couldn’t stand up. That night she went back to the hospital by “ambulance”. It’s a special ride because lots of men came to get her really fast! She was gone another five long days…I tried to pass the time sleeping because I’m getting old AND I was worried! I passed my days but was grouchy with the others and growled a lot (Not my normal). Annabelle my younger sister kept pushing her ball in front of my face! Jeeez, I love her but she can be so worrisome with that damned ball! That time she came home with “new onset atrial fib”. By now Mom has seen two heart doctors, a kidney doctor, cancer doctor and someone called an “endocrinologist”. That last one is pretty hard to understand, I’ll admit. They’ve made her take five new medicines and each one hits my nose differently. She’s told me this coming week will be harder still…. She’s having some “scans”. I was told she has to take a lot of medicines to prepare and stop some of the blood pressure things. I’ll be sticking very close by her. I’m never more than ten feet from her when she’s home anyway. I can tell she’s getting sicker right now. Walking takes her breath and makes her blood pressure go up and there’s been no golf for the last two weeks. I’m concerned but don’t really worry unless she does and she’s pretty good at not worrying. The main things she worries about are her mom and dad, “the kids”, Dad and of course me and the others, Chase, Buddy, Wooby, JoJo, Lyza Jane and Annabelle. I’ll tell you about all of them another time. Of course, I’m the oldest and her special “big girl”. Tonight I heard she’s having an MIBG scan that lasts two days. Something about a Neuro endocrine tumor. Well, she’s finally ready to lay down again so that’s all for now. I’ll do what people say and “keep you in the loop”!