For the past couple weeks we have noticed Lola's health seeming to deteriorate a little bit. She will be 11 on St Patricks Day, so she isn't a spring chicken anymore. But some days she has lots of pip in her, and other days she seems to sleep the day away.
We have joked that she is just a cranky old lady now. This past Monday we saw a decline in her eating habits. We also felt a small bump in her tummy (not on the outside, but inside like in her belly) Neither of us wanted to think what that could be or mean. I know we both just wanted to pretend neither of us knew about it.
Wednesday morning (like 2am) I noticed her breathing was forced and she sounded like she was wincing with every breath. I hardly slept and petted her throughout the entire night into the early am hours. Instead of driving into work, I stayed home to work and called the vet as soon as they opened. We were able to get in at 9am and off we went.
I got there and started listing off all her ailments we had been noticing, the main concern being her lack of appetite and that bump we had felt over the weekend. From the weekend to Wednesday morning that bump had gone from a small hard bump maybe the size of a quarter to this massive cyst that is like the size of a plum?
She was carted off for xrays and when he cam back with her..I knew it wasn't good. My vet is awesome. Completely and totally awesome. I love them there. He started off by saying "Honey, I'm really sorry. This completely sucks" He put up the xray and in the middle of her lungs was a large mass. He also then has found a bunch of swelling lymph nodes all over her body. Under her chin, the socket of her shoulder, her neck, her back leg, and then the ones in her belly. There were now two in her belly. Not just the one that had rapidly grown, but now also a small one on the other side as well.
You may be reading this and think, "oh my god! How did they not see this or not know!?" Here is the thing with Lola. 1. she has crazy hair! Her hair sticks out in every direction you can imagine. So its not the same as seeing a lump on a smoothed hair dog where you can see everything. Even when he had me feel some of them - you still can't visually see them on her, except now the one on her tummy. But again..her hair even covers that up with her "skirt". So unless you make her stand up, you wouldn't ever see it. 2. There are certain places she has always hated being touched - anywhere on her face and her belly. She's never liked either being touched or petted. She's a quirky pup =)
So, what does this all mean? This means I was just told that my baby has lymphoma. What this means..is this purely sucks.
Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers seen in dogs. Although there are breeds that appear
to be at increased risk for this disease, lymphoma can affect any dog of any breed at any age. It
accounts for 10-20% of all cancers in dogs.
Lymphoma (lymphosarcoma or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) is a malignant cancer that involves the
lymphoid system. In a healthy dog, the lymphoid system is an important part of the body's immune
system defense against infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria. Lymphoid tissue normally is
found in many different parts of the body including lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract
and skin. Lymphosarcoma is classified according to the location in the body in which the cancer begins
We have decided to not force her into chemo treatments and being poked and prodded every other day or week. Instead they put her on prednisone. She will remain on that for the rest of her life and she will be seen back in two weeks to see if the steroid has shrunk any of her lymph nodes at all. They have said that they have seen some good results just being on the steroid, it will give her back her appetite and make her feel more comfortable. I love my baby so much and can't imagine my life without her. We've had her since she was eight weeks old. The thought of loosing her is torture. But for now all we can do is hope that this treatment works and gives her at least another year with us. We can only hope.
I went back and forth if I was going to share this news or not. But she is my furry child, some of you know her personally and know how much of a sweetheart she is. With her being this big in my life, and owning this much of my heart. How could I not share it? So...yeah, that's all I have to say. A bit of me died when I heard those words come out of his mouth. The tears formed and welled up so quickly. I just stood there speechless. My baby.... here's to you sweetheart and the time we have remaining.