Life With Canine Cancer – The New Normal
Canine Cancer Foundation: We Are the Cure – Help Join the Fight!
It’s nine o’clock on Tuesday evening. I don’t know what to do with myself. The dishes are done, the dogs are fed. They are quite relaxed for Border Collies; they romped for hours in the warm spring air.
I don’t want to sleep. Tomorrow everything will change. But right now my two B&W companions are snoozing happily next me on the bed. I want to hold this moment still for as long as possible. I want it to stretch out and wrap its memories around me forever. Right now, this moment, all is right with the world.
Tomorrow at 8AM, I drop Daisy off for her chemotherapy treatment. This is our “normal.” She has cancer; we live with it. We treat it; we won’t be able to cure it. We play a lot of Frisbee and are still amazed at how much weight we are both gaining.
Tomorrow at 11AM, I take Daisy’s sibling Duncan in to see her internist/oncologist. We have him checked yearly for signs of the same type of cancer that Daisy has as it can be genetic. But that’s not the reason for this visit.
Duncan, aka Lad of the Lumps, has nine lipomas. When I found out that one in ten lipomas are malignant, I joked with his veterinarian that he has one more to go. I know it doesn’t work that way, but when you’re dealing with cancer on a regular basis, sometimes a warped sense of humor seeps out.
This past Sunday, I found the tenth growth. It is huge, almost baseball-sized, and located in an area that doesn’t seem typical for lipomas. I can’t believe that I’ve somehow missed this growth. I had just checked him on Saturday as he has an upcoming visit with his holistic veterinarian and I was searching for new lumps so they could be checked and aspirated during the visit.
I didn’t feel the growth on his shoulder then. How did I miss it? How long have I missed it?
About six months ago Duncan had his regular check up with the chiropractor. He’s a wild boy and has of late been getting a little creaky. His chiropractor examined him thoroughly, made a few minor adjustments and proclaimed him good to go for another six months or so.
Since then, I’ve noticed him limping slightly on his right front leg. Not enough to inhibit his all-out ball chasing, but just enough that I could see it ever so slightly. And then there was the overall stiffness during the evenings after these rambunctious games of fetch. It wasn’t consistent; it would come and go. But something about it kept nagging at me. So I made an appointment with his holistic vet to start the diagnostic process. That appointment is scheduled for this coming Saturday.
I’ve gotten really good over the past year at not anticipating diagnostics. Long-term cancer treatment has that effect I guess. Besides, the clinical reality and the dog reality can be two different things. I look to my girl to tell me how she is doing. I watch her play chase and inhale her food. I watch her snarfle in the pillows and wrestle with her brother. All is good.
It’s not that I forget she has cancer. It’s just that sometimes I don’t remember. And in between chemo treatments and ultrasounds and blood tests, I’ve learned not to worry about the next set of results. There’s nothing I can do about it. Besides, I think she’ll tell me long before a test will.
In this moment, everything is still okay. I cherish it. I want to drench myself in it like a favorite perfume with the scent lingering for days. I watch their deep synchronized breaths, their occasional sighs and stretches. They are happy, content, relaxed. They are not thinking about tomorrow. I really wish I could say the same. — Barbara Dobbins
Related: Canine Cancer Awareness
September 28, 2011 - Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | cancer, Canine Cancer, Canine Cancer Foundation, pet illness
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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