Friday, October 22 – Rosie is one today!

Chris and I were taking Rosie (the puppy) for a walk this morning, talking about how we knew we should not expect her behavior to miraculously improve on this milestone birthday.  But we can always hope…(see, there is my theme of hope again.)  And then, right in between us on the ground…SPLAT. Bird poop. 

We stopped and looked up.  No bird.  But also, no wires, no trees, or any other things for a bird to sit on.  So, some bird way up high happened to poop just then and it happened to land on the ground right in the middle of that small triangle the two humans and puppy formed as we walked down the street around 7:45 Friday morning.  We weren’t sure whether that was a good sign.  Or a bad sign.  Sometimes we actually feel pretty lucky all things considered (please set all of the theological thoughts aside, people!) Sometimes we feel like bad things keep happening, over and over.

This has been a weird week.  Heath feels pretty good, certainly much better than we had anticipated, so far.  His blood numbers are actually not neutropenic at this point.  We had a really long day on Tuesday at the CHC (Children’s Health Center clinic at Duke) where he had outpatient lumbar puncture, labs, ostomy change and then an unexpected blood transfusion.  Hemoglobin was a little low, so they did a transfusion to give him a “boost” before it went WAY too low.  I do think it helped, but the waiting and late afternoon in the infusion space at the Day Hospital was almost more than this mama and boy could take.  For some reason it really brought the stress of this whole situation to a head–which just highlights that this is a hard, sad, exhausting road.  Our oncology fellow mentioned to me that they see some of this about half-way through treatment as folks know the hard road they have traveled so far and see about the same amount ahead. A weird mix of gratitude and dread.  We’ve talked through some ways to help cut some of that clinic/day hospital stress/anxiety, so we’re hopeful moving forward.  A quicker day on Thursday in clinic for Heath and Chris–a little school, labs and ostomy check was helpful (and, his labs looked good!).  He just told me that he thought he might be ready to try a cheeseburger. Step by step. 

We’ll hope we stay like this through the next week.  We are grateful for how well the week has gone, but it also feels like the exhaustion is catching up with us.  We feel like we’re moving through quicksand, and find ourselves forgetting simple things.  Or stopping mid sentence:  “What were we talking about?”  All of you who are caregivers know this especially, but anyone who has waded into the deep waters of grief.  It wears you out.

So today we’ll be celebrating Rosie’s 1st birthday.  As frustrating as she can be in her super smart “I know exactly what is going to make you crazy so you will pay attention to me” puppyhood, we also are so grateful for the joy and comfort she brings to us.  Chris is not so sure about the “closeness” (she is like a cat and seems to know exactly who DOESN’T want her to sit or sleep on top of them, and it is usually Chris.  hee, hee).  We’re glad to be her humans.

We are also beginning the celebrations for our almost-16-year-old (10/25 is EB’s birthday).  As we dive into insurance and parking passes and driver’s license paperwork, I keep thinking, “how is it possible that she’s 16?!!”).  More on that later in a later post, likely accompanied by mama tears.

My friend Beth used to say something about how if you had to pick one or the other, you should pick well-behaved children and poorly-behaved dogs.  At least we have that going for us (most of the time).  Rosie helps our perspective in so many ways.

Today we’ll consider ourselves lucky in quite a few ways, the least of which is managing to escape the most random of bird poop.  Maybe a cheeseburger.  Maybe a sit on the porch.  It’s hard to see too much beyond that today, but I don’t think Rosie is the least bit worried about any of it – which isn’t a bad way to be.

30 replies
  1. Reba Huckabee says:

    You ALL continue to be in our prayers. Thanks for all the updates for we CARE. Reach out for any needs you have. Reba and Jim

  2. Heather Helen Hale says:

    Big love to all you humans and quadruped on this journey. .. Sending energy and hoping all the love from a distance buoys you all at least a little bit. 💞

  3. LINDA C FISHER says:

    I look forward to your posts every week. We need to know about Heath’s journey and all his family plus sweet dog’s journey through this process. Love to all the Tuttles from all the Fishers.

  4. Barbara says:

    Good morning dear tuttle family~i am happy to celebrate “wanting a hamburger”, Rosie and Ella Brooks birthdays👍😘🎉🎃I know you are feeling so overwhelmed with emotions and praying the good news(although so mixed with the other) will carry you through this next week. With love and prayers for continued better news each week.

  5. Rebecca R Glick says:

    God is at work for Heath. We pray for the rest needed along the way. Rest your weary head on your pillow to feel its softness and comfort that God is providing. He will give you peace. Even Rosie is working hard taking care of you. Love and prayers.

  6. Nancye B. Bryan says:

    Day by day, step by step. Sending love and prayers for all of you. Especially Heath, but every last blessed one of you. Even Rosie!

  7. Pauline Leveille says:

    Sending all our love ❤️ And Chris, our Skye is the same with Ken, will lay or sleep on him at any opportunity 😃

  8. Greg and Wendy Lunsford says:

    “I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” Doris Day

    Nothing like a pooch to make a family whole…continuing to pray for your family and Heath’s healing❤️🙏🏻

  9. Sharon Fender says:

    Thinking of you all with lots of hope and love. Having an extra driver in the house might be a good thing? I think it’s important that that bird missed all of you❤️❤️❤️!

  10. Melissa Burris says:

    No, 16 years old is definitely not possible! But what an amazing 16 yr old EB will be, and definitely better behaved than a 1-yr old pup (my granddog recently turned 1 as well – EB and I will have to swap pup photos sometime, since I still have one of her holding my sweet Sadie back at a Moral Monday March a million years ago). Sending so much love to ALL of the rest of you too – to a mama and boy who keep finding ways to hang in there and look forward to cheeseburgers, to a dad who is a grudgingly great pup pillow, and to the best and coolest younger brother a Tuttle could ever have, I’m very, very sure!

  11. Muff Urbaniak says:

    So glad you have Rosie to give all of you snuggles, love and a little distraction. My heart and prayers are with Heath and your incredible family!!

  12. Barb Burig says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed. Holding all of you in prayer. It was so good to see you both in person tonight! Happy Birthday to Rosie and Ella Brooks!

  13. Karen Vandersea says:

    Dear Tuttles — I love the photos! Happy Birthday to Rosie! ❤️🐾
    Thinking about you and sending lots of love for the journey ahead.

  14. Lori Hawkins says:

    Hi, Carrie, those feelings are so understandable. When our 13-year-old daughter had rods put in her back to correct severe scoliosis, I held it together until the last day in the hospital. They brought my daughter’s breakfast but forgot mine. I started sobbing uncontrollably. The feelings had to come out. We pray that yours do as well, in ways that are surrounded by love and hope.

  15. Lee willard says:

    Just got to Montreat this afternoon and wishing you all the air and hope and love that Montreat brings us all. Much love and prayers. Lee and Carlisle

  16. David Vaughan says:

    Sending loads of love to the Durham Tuttles. Continuing to be in prayer for Heath’s journey, which is shared by all y’all.


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