:Run fast, run happy…The Last RunPosted: June 19, 2008
After reading about Lisa in the AKC Gazette, I watched The Last Run.
Miss Diva, MAD, Bronze-TM, AX, OAJ, CGC
Greatly moved by this performance, the joy of watching Diva perform in the agility arena, the knowledge that Lisa died from Leukemia after an eight year battle with —DAMMIT IT ALL! — breast cancer, I wanted to share this with all of you.
Live outloud. Sounds like that’s how Lisa lived her last years. That’s what Chris is determined to do. She golfed nine holes last week. Carol often says, “are ya gonna die dying or are ya gonna live dying?”
Kay, Rick and Chris’s mom, battled to the very end, even when it was hopeless. It was years ago. Her choices were very limited, especially at the stage her cancer was diagnosed. Because she wanted to live, she chose to undergo chemotherapy with Taxol, first generation Taxol. It was miserable. She would tell you her choice was to do everything she could in an attempt to live. From my perspective, the cure was worse than the cause.
My dad battled cancer for five years. He lived without a voice, with a trach tube all that time. Every three hours – 24/7 – the tube had to be cleaned. He had good days. He loved his grandkids. He spent lots of time with them. Again, the choices for treatment weren’t like today’s choices. Like Kay, he chose every treatment, even when he was done with the battle. Did he realize he had a choice? Did he do it so his family would know he tried all the options?
Mom….well, she simply didn’t go to the doctor. I’m convinced she absolutely chose how she was going to handle cancer. Perhaps, like Lisa, she believed she’d received and given all this live had to give and take. She was dead 10 days after being diagnosed with cancer. She finished teaching her last session of obedience class on a stool. And died two or three weeks later. In some of her last words she asked the nurse how Schatzie was. Schatzie was a schnauzer mom groomed. Mom’s life revolved around dogs. During her funeral, in the limo from the mortuary to the cemetary, I turned and looked out the back window. The road gently rolls in that section of highway. For as far as I could see, the line of cars went. Our family is a very small family. The family members were in the limos. These were people whose lives mom had enriched through dogs.
Watching Lisa run Diva, I thought about how live is ‘rich’. I thought about how dogs and people we’ve met because of dogs make our own lives ‘rich’. I knew I wanted to share this video, this last bit of Lisa’s ‘rich’ live with you. I contacted her friend Terry, asking permission to use Diva’s photo and Lisa’s letter on this blog.
Debby, so sorry to take so long to get back to you. Lisa was pretty incredible. She never let the fact that she had cancer keep her from enjoying life. Agility was a large part of that enjoyment. Yes, you may use this picture. What is the URL for your website? 🙂
April 11, 2008
To all of my fellow agility competitors and friends,
Last Tuesday I was admitted to hospital, for eight years I have fought breast cancer. I have been diagnosed now with AML Leukemia and have been given approximately three weeks to spend on this wonderful earth. I have chosen not to do any more chemo as I believe I have received and given all this life has to give and take.
With the help of my dear friends in Dallas we were able to talk the Dr’s into springing me out of hospital today. Tomorrow at the Dallas Agility Working Group’s trial I will run my darling Chinese Crested Diva for the last time – it wont be pretty, no one will be able to guess who’s handling style I will use and I don’t even know myself – just staying on my feet will be an achievement and to run with my very best friend and to be among friends will be enough to give me the energy I need to get through the day.
I am thrilled I will also get to watch the veterans parade and to pay tribute one last time to all the great dogs that have helped form this sport that I so love.
If you want to do anything for me pray that Diva and I can achieve a super Q, it is all we need to become ADCH together, but even if we don’t get it – I know I am blessed to share what time I have with my dogs and my friends.
Please wish Angela Lancaster all the very best with my dogs in the future, she is going from the cheesiest Yorkies to a couple of naked Cresteds and I know my dogs will continue to be well loved and respected and they will be in the agility ring again at some time to play.
Many thanks for all your love and support over the years, I am indeed one of the lucky ones that get to say thanks in ‘person’ before my time.
Remember this weekend to enjoy your friends, dogs and should success come, enjoy and embrace it, if it doesn’t never forgot the love of this game and the friendships we have forged. Thanks to everyone who helped me with my journey I sure do appreciate you all.
Run Fast, Run Happy