Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Day I've Dreaded

I have dreaded this day since Jan. 23, 2005. It was the day we brought Adler home and she buried her way into our hearts that I knew that losing her some day would be one of the toughest things to go through. And, while we haven't lost her just yet (she is still fighting) her recent diagnosis makes it more real that her time with us is short.

About two to three months ago we noticed that Adler wasn't eating all of her food anymore. I had switched types on her recently so I just chalked it up to that and went back to her original food. That helped for a bit but then about two weeks ago she stopped eating entirely and started panting a lot. So off to the vet we went for the full blood work up. Everything seemed good except she showed low platelet counts. The vet did a chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound only to find her lymph nodes, spleen and liver enlarged as well as a small tumor in her lungs. All signs pointed to cancer so the vet took some tissue samples to determine what type of cancer it was and the results showed lymphoma.

This is good news, said the vet. If your dog has to have a type of cancer, this is the best one to have. Of course they couldn't determine what type of cancer the lung mass was but we are hoping that one is lymphoma too and not histiosarcoma - one of the most fatal cancers for Bernese Mountain Dogs. We won't know for sure until after several rounds of her chemo treatment then we can check to see if that tumor has shrunk. So we decided to do a 25 week regimen of 8 weekly and then 8 biweekly chemo treatments. She had her first one last Thursday and on day one, I wasn't sure we made the right choice as she was so out of it and lethargic. By day 2 she was definitely more alert and a bit more interested in food. Day 3, she was like her old self and eating her old food. It was like night and day. If this was one treatment, I wonder what 16 will do for her?!

All I know is I'm not ready to give her up so soon, and I don't think she's ready to leave us just yet. Average life expectancy after treatment is about 13 months. I hope we get at least that with her. All I know is that each day we have with her is a gift. She is a gift. And, there will never be another who captured my heart as she has.

Day 1 of Chemotherapy

Day 2 of chemotherapy - I made it downstairs to watch my mom workout

Day 3 of Chemotherapy - who has cancer? I am alert and begging for food!


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