The metal clasp of the lead clinks in a familiar rhythm against the name tag attached to the dog’s collar as he trots along beside me. The streetlights blink themselves on as the evening light dims and it becomes difficult to avoid the snails on the pavement in the dark. The occasional crunch underfoot induces a cringe, my shoulders shudder, and I shake off the sensation of slime on my shoe.
The dog is twelve in a few months and has slowed down over summer. His enthusiasm hasn’t waned but his energy has. He pants in the warm air as summer, which arrived late, lingers.
Days, these days, consist of the everyday; get up, go to work, walk the dog, sleep. There is pleasure in simplicity when the previous years have focused on not just the pandemic but my partner’s cancer, treatment, and recovery during it.
Last week, we had his two-year post-treatment scans and blood tests. Every three months for the last two years, the blood tests have shown no improvement in his immune system. Immunoglobulins have been undetectable much less anywhere near the normal range. But this time, there was a very small increase in two of the three. They aren’t normal, or approaching normal, but they are detectable. And the MRI showed no evidence of lymphoma.
We are celebrating; not with any grand gestures. No parties or cakes. But by simply continuing to go about the everyday.
Anything can happen.