I've pulled it together a bit. Not a lot, but some. I'm taking steps--action--and that always helps a little, gives at least the illusion that you are affecting your destiny, whether you really are or not. First off, thank you all for the kind comments and support in my stupid pity-party. I love and appreciate you all, more than you could know (and is it sexist to say that I'm especially touched by those men who put aside their "macho card" to leave sweet, caring comments for me?), and anyone who thinks that internet relationships and friendships are not "real" are very much missing out.
I've been in contact with The Amazing Lifesaving Miracle Doctor, and have a telephone consult coming up. This because, when I was talking (sobbing pathetically) to my mother, she asked me, "Where is Dr. Cook practicing now?" (He had left New Orleans shortly after my miracle surgery.) I wasn't sure, except that it was in California. So I looked it up, and he's at the Vital Care Institute of Health, which is in (drumroll) San Jose. The location of the BlogHer conference. Where we're already going, and where we're arriving a day and half early already. Hello, God? Listening. Thank you. I have started the process to consult with him again, and will see how far I can go on this route. The first surgery I had with him cost about $80,000, (I'm still alive, so it was worth every penny, thank you) and that is just out of the question this time...but surely, SURELY, I can't be in as bad a shape now as I was then. And those were multiple surgeries. My husband (then fiance) encouraged and pushed me to pursue the treatment that first time, my parents made it happen financially, it saved my life, and we fought the HMO to get them to actually cover a lot of it, after they'd denied it all originally.
So. I will keep you posted. The dream come true would be if, somehow--some miracle "how"--I could have Dr. Cook perform the microscopic ablation of all the present endometriosis and the hysterectomy (the idea of which I am still having HUGE struggles with), so that I could have the peace of mind that the lurking killer inside me is really gone--that I am no longer a ticking timebomb of pain and fear. Pray for me all you want, internets. I love you guys.
NOW: On to the good news of the day, the blessed distraction from all the angst--today, a little Ninja is in the air, on his way to a wonderful new home all the way across the continent to Fairbanks, Alaska with Erin and Ian and new "big brother" Bobby, where he will be their second poodle and their first showdog! Honestly, this dog may be the best we've ever produced, and while it's killing Alex to have let him go, I think it's really the right thing to do, and that he's got everything it takes to give Erin and Ian a booming start in the showring, and that they will do us, as breeders, proud by him. It feels like a match made in heaven.
So, this morning, loaded up on Motrin, I packed up Bella and Ryder (Impulse Midnight Glory, name pending), and headed to the Delta cargo terminal. It was a twitchy trip, with me watching the thermometer on the rearview mirror flicking back and forth between 84 and 85 degrees--at 9:30 AM. If the temperature is above 85 degrees at dropoff, they cannot take the dog, because it will be too hot on the tarmac, even though the dogs are the last things to be loaded onto the plane.
We got there, and Bella immediately asked me, "Are we going to see Jacy?" How do kids remember these things? Upon going in, we found out that his flight to Atlanta, the first connection on his trip, had been delayed due to mechanical trouble, so there was no way he could go on that flight. My heart sank, because it's only getting hotter and hotter here each day, and I knew Erin and Ian were so looking forward to getting their new baby today. But then, the lovely counterperson asked me what my final destination was, and I told her Anchorage, and after about two minutes of clickety-clacking on her computer, she had our boy re-routed on a flight that was leaving right then through Cincinatti, where he would have a 4-hour layover in their climate-controlled "pet lounge", and then catch a direct flight to Anchorage. It did have him arriving 4 hours later than originally planned, but Erin was unphased, and Ryder has a rock-solid temperament, so I know he'll take it in stride. Once we knew he was really going, Bella got in some last-minute hugs.She was sad, but I had been talking to her for weeks about Ryder being "Erin's puppy," so she actually handled it pretty well. Especially when I gave her a Bad Mommy Sugar-Filled Orange Soda from the vending machine.
I was really proud of our boy. Other dogs were making all kinds of racket, stressing and fussing, while Ryder calmly sat with Bella on the waiting-area bench, looking highly dignified. Then we settled him into his roomy crate, bedded on towels, over a pillow, on top of tons of shredded paper. Having to go pee in the crate is pretty much an inevitability with so young a puppy on so long a trip, so we at least want him to be dry and comfy. Once in the crate, he just chilled out, watching the goings-on and licking the supply of ice cubes in his Winnie-The-Pooh cup.When I set him, in his crate, up on the scale, during the time it took me to sign the shipping paperwork, he was racked out on his side, sound asleep. Real bundle of nerves, that one. He is the ideal show and performance dog.
As Kim noted in her comments on Erin's site, we are well on our way to world domination by the Ninja Poodles...they are here, in Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Maryland, Canada, and now Alaska. We almost have North America covered. Bwahahahaaaaa! We do have two remaining puppies who will be available to pet homes, and that will be our focus next. It's the "little things" that can make the difference between a show/breeding prospect and a stunning companion/performance dog. The black girl has an off bite that would preclude her from being shown, and the silver boy has a soft coat that I think would present a major challenge to any but the most experienced exhibitor...which is a shame, because he's a well-made dog. But both will be fabulous furkids for some lucky people, and that is the main thing.
Oh, and in between the pathetic pity-fest and the Flight of the Ninja, this happened:That is the back of my daughter's head, and many of the dog people viewing this will recognize the object firmly entwined in all that hair. That is a metal finetoothed greyhound comb. In the years B.S.P. (Before Show Poodles), if presented with this predicament, I'd have gone straight for the scissors. But years of detangling show coats with the goal of not losing a single hair allowed me to extricate the comb in just under an hour, without having to cut any of her hair. According to Bella, she will "never, never, never" do this again. Here's hoping!
*UPDATE: Got a happy phonecall at 2:44 AM (11:44 PM in Alaska) from Erin, who gushed and giggled and said the magic words: "He's here, he's doing great, and I love him!" Precisely what I needed to hear. They were going back to the hotel to get some rest, so it will probably be much later today before we hear an update from pupsickle headquarters.