We are now into the second week of Cassie’s treatment for Cutaneous Histiocytosis, a treatment that includes a month of steroids to make the bumps go away and long term treatment of Atopica (Cyclosporine) to keep them from coming back. While the steroid treatment will end in another few weeks she will likely be on Atopica for the rest of her life. While she is on the Atopica she can’t have live vaccines and heartworm medication isn’t as easy as it used to be so it becomes a trade-off for other potential health issues.

I don’t like like it. Sure, I like that the bumps went away but I don’t like what the medicine is doing to Cassie. She eats, drinks, takes care of her business outside, but that’s it. She’s not interested in playing or going for walks. She doesn’t race up the stairs as soon as she hears the door open when the last person gets out of bed. She doesn’t chase bugs outside. Jumping up on people when they come to the door? Forget about it. She barely thumps her tail hello anymore.

Getting better has basically sucked the life right out of her. Now I am hopeful that once she is on the reduced dosage of Atopica that she will bounce back to her former self but it’s a bit scary. Because what if she doesn’t? What if we have to decide whether to continue the treatment and have a shell of a dog or discontinue it and deal with what happens next?

I’ve been sitting here tonight, trying to figure out how to connect this to writing.

What do I say? That sometimes we can try too hard to fix things? That sometimes when you think the writing is perfect, it’s really just a shell of what it is possible? That sometimes you write crap and you try to fix it and it’s still crap but you keep on keeping on?

Maybe what I say is that if you love something — your dog, your art, your writing — if you love it, you don’t give up without a fight.