Part two of Lily girl’s ordeal:
Lily went to the appointment with her neurologist. He performed a few tests including watching her walk and turning her feet over to see how long it took her to correct them. He did decide to do an MRI on her back. They had to heavily sedate her for the MRI so we knew the whole process would take most of the day. I sat around with a pit in my stomach waiting to get some news. I had to work that day, so Patrick took Lily to the vet. I must have called or texted ten times that day begging for some type of information. Waiting for that kind of news in emotionally draining. Finally, I received a devastating call from my husband. It was not a bulging disk, and it was not degenerative myelopathy… it was cancer. The vet found a large dark spot on the head of her femur while reading her MRI. He also found that her spinal tissue was degenerating a bit and she has hip dysplasia but these are nonissues with this form of cancer. Bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, in dogs is almost always fatal. The only decision is what measures to take to try to extend the time we have with her. We were given several options for Lily’s care. The first was to do nothing and make her as comfortable as possible which would come with a life expectancy of two months. Associated with this, we could get a chest x-ray to see if her cancer had metastasized. If it had her life expectancy would be cut in half. The next option was amputation which gave her more of a six month expectancy. Finally, we could amputate and do chemotherapy to extend her life another year or so. We decided to get a needle biopsy of the tumor to get a better idea of what we were working with and make a treatment decision based on those results. At the time, neither of us knew how to act. Lily was given very strong pain killers that left her loopy and whiney which made us even more sad for her. Patrick slept on the couch with her the first few nights. We moved a mattress upstairs to the living room so we could all lay on the floor with her while she slept. Gunner loved the new addition and thought it was a giant dog bed meant just for him, he clearly didn’t understand the real purpose of it. Then we tried to go about “normal” life. Let me tell you, normal life doesn’t exist when you know you only have a month or two with one of your best friends. You feel every minute. You watch tv for a bit and feel guilty that you aren’t sitting and petting her. You leave her alone to go to work and each hour hurts because you know it’s one of a very limited number of hours you have left. I’m sure many people don’t understand how I could feel this way about a dog. People receive devastating cancer diagnoses every day and family members have to feel the way I described I felt. But my pets are my family and struggling with the thought of losing time with one is incredibly painful. So, at this point in our crazy few weeks, we decided to wait for the biopsy and enjoy our last few months with our girl.
Don’t worry… this story is FAR from over.