(Please forgive the state of the grammar and spelling throughout - I just don’t care to edit today.)
I will try not to drown you in details. There are many, as we went through two weeks of unenlightening vet visits and test and whatnot to figure out what was going on with Buster. But first! He is still with us!
Buster has lymphoma.
We made many, many more trips to the vet and were finally sent to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. (Excellent institution, if you ever find yourself needing their services. Also, not nearly as expensive as you might assume.) After more ultrasounds and aspirates, the folks at CSU determined he has Stage 4b Lymphoma.
The good news, is that 95% of dogs treated for this go into remission and get another year or so of happy, healthy, comfy living.
So, we decided to go with the most aggressive treatment. It is not nearly as horrid a process as that which humans undergo. He might feel a little nauseated or have a bit of diarrhea for a day or two. He has actually tolerated chemo quite well, so far. He gets one treatment a week for three weeks, then a week off for a total of 15 treatments.
His appetite has returned, and he was getting stronger. He looks much, much happier. He is still too skinny. He hangs out with us and goes for short walks around the house. He wags his tail and suns his belly on the front lawn. He trots over to me when he hears me opening a treat bag. These are all improvements.
A. took Buster down to Fort Collins today for his third chemo treatment. Upon arrival, his vet thought his breathing was labored and admitted him into critical care. They are measuring his vitals and will likely do another chest x-ray. This completely blindsided me. I guarantee he has not had any labored breathing, at least at home. (And I watch this dog obsessively for any signs of change - of whatever sort. I have an entire binder I created to keep all his discharge papers and prescription info, and I write a daily journal entry of every damn minute detail of his behaivor. I am a pain in the ass! I am THAT PERSON!)
If they don’t think he is strong or well enough, they will postpone this chemo treatment for at least another week. While I don’t want him being treated if it could further kick his ass, I also want the cancer to be attacked! Don’t let the cancer have a week off!
You guys. We only agreed to do this because it seemed to make him feel so much better. My heart is breaking all over again. We won’t put him through treatment if it doesn’t make him feel better. That is all we want.
He is so sweet. I am not ready to let him go, dammit. But, I suppose I never will.