For a little over two years I have been posting on this blog. It all started on June 18, 2015 with my first post. My goal for this blog was to try to bring more peace to the lives of others and to myself. I have written a lot about the events of my life, both past and present. I have written about lessons I have learned and have expressed my opinions on many topics. To me, social media is a platform that we all have access to. It is a platform that we go to daily to share our lives with others. It is up to each of us to decide what type of platform we want to have. Do we want our platform to be uplifting and inspirational, or do we want our platform to focus on the negative things in life?
All of our lives are colored by positive and negative emotions. We experience these emotions daily. Many times we focus on the negative so much that we do not see the positive. Other times we focus on the positive so much that it drowns out the negative. I do my best to see the positive side of life, but I fail every single day. I hate that I fail, but I know that with each new day, I have another opportunity to focus on the positive. In my quest to always see the positive side of life, I often avoid sharing my struggles with others. My grandma always taught me that the struggles and valleys in life are meant to serve as a testimony to others who may experience similar situations. I tell myself that, and I give others that advice, but I often do not follow my own advice.
The valleys in life truly are what make the mountaintops in life even greater. It is the quest to reach the mountaintop that makes us stronger people who have more faith and trust in God. It is like my grandma always said, “We grow in the valley.” I hear her voice telling me that, but I often choose not to heed her reminder. If we did not experience the valleys, we would not be able to look down on them from the mountaintop and see the growth that we achieved while struggling in the valley. The valleys truly make the views from the mountaintops all the sweeter.
I said all of that as an introduction to the story I am about to tell you of walking through the valley and reaching the mountaintop. My valley started six months ago on January 31, 2017, when Jeff and I were told that our little boy, Peyton, had liver cancer. As you can imagine, Jeff and I were devastated. We had lost our little girl, Parker, almost two years earlier to cancer when she was eight, and we could not believe that we were facing this again. Now I know that many people would say that Parker, Peyton, and Paycee are just dogs, but to us, they are our kids. They are what make our little family complete. They give unconditional love, and they never ask for anything in return. So to think that we were going to lose another one at such a young age from the same dreaded disease was almost too much to bear.
We reached out to family and friends and gave them the news about Peyton. We asked them to pray. The following day, the doctor wanted to do one more test to make certain that her diagnoses of liver cancer was correct. Thankfully, the test showed that there was no cancer, but it indicated that Peyton’s liver was not functioning properly. The doctor told us that she would start him on medication, but she did not give us a lot of hope. She said that some dogs respond well and others do not. A month or so later, Peyton returned to the doctor for more blood work. The blood work showed that Peyton’s liver was improving, but his kidneys were also beginning to fail. Once again, she said she could give us medication for the kidneys, but that in her experience when a dog had two organs that were failing it was the beginning of the end. She told us that we should begin preparing to let Peyton go. We started Peyton on the medication that day and brought him home knowing that the journey we began walking that day would result in Peyton’s final journey to heaven.
Around this time, I was reminded that each day truly is a gift. Of course, this was something that I knew, but we tend to take this for granted when things are going well and everyone is healthy. I felt very strongly that I should start thanking God every night when I went to bed for giving us another day with Peyton. I have continued this prayer for six months now and truly have been thankful for each additional day we have been given. Jeff and I set a goal for Peyton to make it to his 10th birthday, which was May 13th. We were doubtful that he would make it, but we felt it was important to have a goal. On May 13, 2017, we celebrated Peyton’s 10th birthday, and we were so thrilled that he was with us, but we firmly believed that it would be his last. In fact, I told my mom that I didn’t expect him to live through the summer.
Then on July 31st, exactly six months after his original diagnosis, Peyton returned to the vet for more blood work. To be honest with you, I was filled with dread and very unsure of what we would be told. We had been given so much bad news about Peyton that I was prepared for anything. However, when his blood work came back, the doctor told us that everything was completely normal! His liver function was back to normal and so was his kidney function! His levels were so normal that the doctor decided to reduce his medication. The doctor truly was shocked. She said that 99.9% of the time when a dog has two major organs failing she has to keep increasing the medicine to help them function normally and have a good quality of life. She truly could not explain the change, and she called Peyton a “Miracle dog”, something Jeff and I had always known about him.
Peyton and Parker
So today I am filled with such gratefulness for Peyton and this miracle that God has given us. Peyton has been a miracle since the day he was born, and I know that he will continue to be a miracle as long as he is with us. Through it all, Peyton has been happy and pleasant. He faces each day with joy in his heart and greets the day with excitement and vigor, and I am thankful to know that he will continue to bring joy to our lives for a little longer.
Peyton and Paycee
I am so thankful to have been witness to this miracle and feel so blessed to get to share it with all of you. I always say that miracles happen everyday, but honestly there were days that I doubted that, but once again, God has proven to us that miracles come in all shapes and sizes and just when we are ready to give up, he moves in a miraculous way. Believing in miracles leads to peace and PEACE MATTERS!