We celebrated Buddy’s 1 year and 4 month ampuversary recently with some unexpected news from the vet. He’s a pretty lumpy, bumpy dog. We’ve been pretty lucky with his lumps with the exception of the one that ultimately led us to amputation with his front leg. He’s had a pretty large fat lump on his chest for at least 2 years. Every time we’ve had it checked it came back as fat. Its been growing larger and heavier in the past few months. We’re talking softball size. The color has changed and its warm to the touch. He never seems bothered by it though. We decided it was best to take him in and see what the vet thought with the hope that perhaps they could remove it. There had been discussion quite some time ago to remove it but the vet feared that it could be near a major artery. We all agreed it was best to leave it alone at that time.
We took the kids, home from college, along with us for his visit. It makes him happy and I think everyone was getting a little concerned over this lump. Our vet was a little unnerved about the size and warmth of it this time. She didn’t like the way it looked and agreed that it should be removed. She extracted a small amount of fluid from it and started preliminary blood work for surgery. She would call us with results. We weren’t to worried and were feeling pretty confident that it would come back as fat again. He’s had it for years. How could it be anything else? He’s happy! He bolts out the door for walks and he eats, pee’s and poop’s all the same.
We had eye exam’s the next day and while we were waiting to check out we got a text from our daughter telling us to call the vet as soon as possible. The test results came back as cancer. My heart dropped. I thought I was going to be sick right there in front of everyone at that eye Dr. office. How can it be cancer? Come on. We beat cancer already. We removed his leg for God sake. We take really good care of him. He gets excellent dog food. I give him chicken as a treat. He goes for walks, with out fail, everyday. CANCER?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE HAS CANCER?! How can this be happening?
We called the vet and she explained that she saw cancer cells on her slide but wanted to send it off to the lab. She wanted it confirmed with the hopes that she was wrong. She also noted that his calcium came back high which also indicates cancer. High calcium could mean that cancer could possibly be elsewhere in his body. She explained that the calcium level could be wrong because of the way the blood was drawn but lets wait on rechecking that until we get lab results back.
In the meantime the kids headed back to college. Both with heavy hearts. I couldn’t bear to watch them say goodbye to our sweet boy. I thought my heart would rip out of my chest. We promised to update them as soon as we knew anything and we all prepared for the worst. But we also left room for hope.
I’ve had some serious conversation with God. I thanked Him for blessing us with this dog, that kind of got thrown in our laps 14 years ago. I asked if He would please let us have him awhile longer. I know it’s selfish but… you get to have him for eternity. I just want him awhile longer and besides, I don’t think it’s his time to go yet! I know he’s old but I’ve seen dog’s his age act older. I decided to leave it in God’s hands as He knows best. I asked that He be gentle with him and with us. This is hard but I trust Him.
The results came back a week later confirming cancer. (Darn it.) We all agreed he could do the surgery as long as the cancer hadn’t made it to his lungs and as long as that pesky calcium level wasn’t to high. The cancer will come back but we may buy him some time. She was concerned with his age but knows what a strong trooper he is when it comes to surgery. We scheduled chest x-rays and calcium blood work and possible surgery a week later.
He had a great week last week. Sat in the sun a few times. Had a few extra treats. Visited with his royals subjects while cruising down the street in his colorful scarf. The scarf had became a bra for his lump. I bought myself a bracelet from the crystal store thats supposed to soothe worry and fear. I don’t believe for a hot second that a bracelets gonna help me with that but it is soothing to roll around the colorful stones between my fingers. Life is good.
He had his appointment yesterday. We dropped him off readying ourselves for what ever may come. I was glad to be busy at work. The waiting game of hearing wether he could have surgery or not was awful. I think I almost broke my bracelet twice. Steve texted me a little after 11:00 wondering if I had heard anything. Nope. Nothing. So he decided to call. Steve texted me 15 minutes later. Lungs are clear. He’s having surgery within the hour! She hadn’t checked his calcium level but wasn’t concerned unless it was over the top. Prayers answered. I can breath for a minute. She would call us later to let us know how he’s doing. We got her call a few hours later. More prayers answered! Calcium level was only a smidge on the high side. Which means it’s probably no where else in his body! And it gets better…the vet that performed the surgery was able to remove all the cancer he could see! There was a fear that he wouldn’t be able to get it all. He will likely have cancer cells floating around in there but at least he was able to get out as much as the eye could see and thats good news to us. God is awesome. They are doing a biopsy to see how aggressive this cancer is but for today, all is well.
We are thankful. Yesterday was an abundance of blessings. We are happy for everyday that we get to have with him.