12 April 2016

Daisy's Diagnosis

The day we found out that Daisy has cancer, we cuddled her and coddled her on the couch. She actually seemed more herself that night than she had in a few days. She'd had 250 ml of fluid drained from her chest cavity at the vet. She could finally breathe again! Her ears were perky! She could eat and drink! She barked when Sergio went out the back door and looked for him from her post at the side door! It was like she didn't even know she had cancer.

April 6, 2016

We began to come to terms with the inevitable. The tumor (the size of a lemon) is too big and she (a 12-pound dog, who has lost a lot of weight) is too small. They will not operate. But they gave us some medicine which we started her on right away. Medicine that was supposed to keep the fluid at bay and that might reduce the size of the tumor. But it might also have some unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects, the likes of which I ought not to recount in decent company.

She was doing well for a couple of days before those side effects kicked in and during that time, while I was wondering how long doggie hospice was going to last, I was also thinking about Jetta.

Three years ago, Jetta was diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer during the first week of April - same timing as Daisy's diagnosis. Jetta presented with many of the same symptoms. Jetta also had to have fluid drained from her lungs. Jetta also started medicine with everyone eagerly hoping it'd help, only to find out that the medicine was as difficult to live with as the disease. Just like Daisy. After we started the meds, Daisy began to eat and drink less and less - just like Jetta had - and we wondered "How long does she have?"

The uncanny parallels have created what my friend Pam called a "disturbing emotional echo." Fresh, new sadness with an extra tinge of old, weathered sadness. I know Daisy's just a dog. But she's not. She's Daisy.

Not too sick to do her "prewash" duty.
After a rough weekend, we were advised to take Daisy off the anti-cancer meds and to give her different medicine to help with the nausea and diarrhea instead. Today she's rallying; eating again (and eating a lot!), barking, sniffing, licking the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. She even jumped up onto the couch!

But the cancer is still there. Doing who knows what. Only time will tell. And I have no idea how much of that we have.

We will enjoy however much of it we get.

He's her favorite.

I'm happy to be second fiddle.
Our Girls