Cheyenne is home. She's loopy and dizzy and sore, but she's home. With me, where she belongs. The lump was broader and deeper than we initially thought but it's all gone now. And by "all gone" I mean that it's out of Cheyenne's body and sitting in a jar filled with some preservative something and on its way to a lab where it can be tested and analyzed. But... BUT... her doctor/vet/surgeon said to me that everything about that lump has been removed from Cheyenne's body.
So, yeah, I'm breathing again. In. Out. In. Out. Nothing fancy, just breathing.
The girl has 29 staples in her shoulder. On her chest, nine stitches close three incisions, another row of staples on her leg. On her belly I can't count the staples and stitches because she has no interest in getting on her back.
It doesn't matter.
The important thing is that my girl is back home with me. I understand that many lumps were cut out of her body today and I can see the stitches and staples that sew her together again. What's important is how she ran to me when she saw me, how she squeezed herself between me and the counter, licked my leg and slightly wagged her tail. She knows that I belong to her, that my body and my heart translate to safety for her. That position of trust is a glorious one that I embrace.
She's sleeping beside me now. It's a heavy sleep, she's drugged and breathing deeply in and out. I watch her rib cage rise and fall, watch the shiny staples lift and sink. A third of her body is shaved, parts here and parts there, but what matters is that the danger has been removed. What matters is that she is with me again. What matters is she needs to heal and I am right here, right beside her, and I will help her become whole again.