Saturday, January 7, 2012

Round 2: Elvis in the Ring

It came back. Just three weeks after Dr. Arnott excised a walnut-sized cancerous tumor from my beloved dog's throat, the damn thing came back. In spite of the operation. In spite of chemo. In spite of a tumor-fighting anti-inflammatory. Larger, uglier and nastier than its predecessor.

It came back.

And practically overnight, it seemed. Up until last Tuesday, Elvis hasn't just been doing okay--he's been thriving. Thriving! Prancing around the house like a pup with his favorite toy clenched between his teeth, trotting on two-mile walks with a renewed vigor I haven't seen in months, and eating like a horse. I've been over-the-top ecstatic to see my lovely boy doing so great.

Until Wednesday.

Without warning, Elvis started coughing. Hocking. Hacking. He didn't eat his dinner and had a restless night. The following day, Dr. Arnott consulted with UC Davis Oncology and they suggested removing the second tumor and trying a different chemo.

Put Elvis through another surgery? I looked at my gasping, choking dog, in obvious distress, and considered how beautifully he recovered from his last operation six weeks ago. How well he's been, how playful and exuberant. It was either take the advice of UC Davis or...say goodbye to my beautiful boy. Now. I was crying. The entire staff was teary-eyed. I just couldn't do it, not yet.

And so, Elvis had a second surgery yesterday. Afterwards, Dr. Arnott told me that this tumor was more invasive than the last. This one was determined, angry and vicious, entwined with arteries and threaded among muscle.

This morning, as I watched Elvis sleep, I kissed his knobby head and cringed at the brutal scar ripped across his throat. Did I do the right thing? All along I've known that this particular cancer can't be cured. I'm doing what I can only to provide Elvis with a quality life before his time comes. And that's what I've witnessed this past six weeks--the Elvis I knew when he was young, vibrant and healthy.

Just a little more time. Please. That's all I ask. Just a little more time with my very special boy.

1 comment:

Richard A. Gylgayton said...

What a brave and splendid dog he is!

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