Look at me procrastinating on a Monday morning. I'm putting this in ratty chat, even though there is a "small" Moose update thrown in. I'm going to update about my boys too so don't fear!
I'm glad that the forum is up and running again. (not that it was down, but I mean with all the regulars popping back up)
( if you get bored, skip to the Boys update, where I actually talk about my ratties. Also I mention God and the Bible - I cannot share a life update without this and am just sharing from my heart. )
I'm doing well. I was not doing well at all for quite a while... Since about this time last year, things steadily went extremely pear shaped for me. I lost so much of my focus and made some poor choices due to unresolved pain from my past. I took on some ill-advised friendships without much thought for the consequences and turned a blind/deaf ear to sound instruction. I tried to perform for everybody on the outside, but inside I felt the increasing hollowness of this performance because I was drifting further and further away from myself and my life in God. I tried to please others and had all these photos of 'me enjoying life' up on Facebook whilst actually waning away inside. I had opened the doors for old destructive behaviours to seep right back into my life.
For the other Christians here, this is so much like what what the Israelites were doing when God was leading them out of Egypt - longing back to their slavery, unable to trust Him for the Promised Land...
Anyways... I won't go into all the details since it is done and over, and I'm wiser and more mature because of it. I won't say that I came out of it on my own strength either - God is good. I learned a lot and had to work through a lot of baggage that I had previously thought was dealt with... but it is a blessing to be wiser and absolute Grace that I did not succumb, even if the experience was humiliating to the max. (Romans 8:28)
Now I'm back to no Facebook (just thinking about the curated display of meaninglessness there nauseates me - I find it incredible how one can package snapshots of your life and caption them to make it seem like you are happy and are choosing it all, when actually you feel like you have lost all control of your life to others...) I do believe people can use it in a healthy way or for good - but for me, I intended to use it well and it still ended up being so negative for me I'd rather want no part of it. I still have an Instagram account for my business, but will particular about how it is used. I also don't game any more, at all. I got rid of and deleted all my games and will not be reinstalling Steam either. I feel much more free and happy since making that decision, since I am now free of the constant thought of 'getting back to gaming' whenever I'm working or spending time with loved ones.
Anyways, that's it from me.
(If you get bored, scroll down for cute pics.)
I still have Atom, Boots and Tobi. Atom is a lovely, social, playful and healthy boy. Atom is a sturdy, introverted rat, but not without a streak of mischief and playfulness. Tobi is wonderful and sweet.
A while ago, Boots developed a melanoma under his one little back foot (can you believe as I write this that I don't know which side, left or right) - at first I thought it was a bumble, but after inspection from Dr Bernice and a test, it was diagnosed as cancer. Because of the risk of spreading tumours if the tumour was not sufficiently removed, she had to amputate his little foot just above the ankle. He is like a little pirate rat now, with a peg leg, but he is incredibly well adjusted even though he walks and scurries with a limp. He has had no further complications and I trust that none of the cancer cells got the chance to spread.
About two months after this, I discovered two lumps on Tobi. One seemed superficial under his arm, and the other was rather large and fatty on his abdomen to the one side. After examination, Dr Bernice and I concluded that both tumours would be removed, and then tested to find out what type of growths they are. However, only the small lump under the arm could be successfully removed. Dr Bernice was already busy with the operation on the abdominal lump when she discovered that the lump was entirely to connected to the muscle tissue over a large area, to be operable. If the tumour were to be removed, Tobi would lose so much muscle that he would not be able to heal. So we had to decide not to operate. She did take some cells of the tumour for testing, and it turns out that it is cancer, but not a type that will spread to other areas, thank God. It seems to be a rather unusual cancer for a rattie to get. His prognosis is grim in the sense that the tumour is inoperable - so if it grows to large too quickly, tissue on the inside can become necrotic due to insufficient blood supply. If this happens, inflammation will occur which will make him sick and cause discomfort. There will be nothing we can do then except to let him go peacefully.
Thankfully, so far, Tobi is still doing very well. The tumour has grown but I thank God that it has not grown out of hand. Tobi is still moving around - he has already learned how to have better balance and be more agile with this new foreign mass - it must be quite heavy and he was struggling with balance for a while. But he is eating, grooming, enjoying the company of his friends and his humans, and is all round still a very brave and happy boy. I am enjoying all the moments I can have with him, because I know they are very precious.
I have a picture of Tobi's lump as it looks today - like he is carrying a gholf ball in his pocket. Maybe I'll make a different thread to show it, since I don't feel like posting that pic in this thread because these are supposed to be happy pics.
Here are some recent pics of the boys:
Atom in his gentleman's best
Mommy making Tobi look silly with silly phone app
Cozy Cozy ratties
Brothers Atom and Boots
Tobi shortly after the lump was discovered and removal attemtped.
Boots during his healing period after his amputation.
Thanks for reading and looking