Update on the Papster
So a while back I wrote about Pappy’s cancer. It’s not something that I like to think about, let alone write about, but it is still there.
His tumor came back for a third time quite a few months ago. I didn’t publicize it, because…well, we aren’t going to do anything about it. I didn’t want to hear from all the people that think they know better than me, that we should do chemo or radiation or at least get this third tumor removed.
I recently had a lengthy conversation with our seasonal neighbors that came back into town. They had a very similar situation with their old dog Maggie. They opted for the chemo and they regretted it. They said it made her so sick and in the end, for the minimal life it can extend for an already old dog, it’s just not worth it. I was so glad to have had that talk, because it reaffirmed all our decisions on keeping Pappy comfortable in the time he has left.
This morning I had to bring Pappy in for his annual check up. I was dreading it, because I was sure they were going to tell me what a horrible dog mother I was for letting this cancer just fester in his body instead of taking some sort of action, other than the meds he is currently on. I was wrong.
I was very pleasantly surprised when the Dr. told me that she thought we were doing the right thing. She said that at almost 14 years old, he had lived a good life span and that the other vet they had there just put his dog on chemo and he doesn’t think he would do it again. She told me his dog was sick for days after every treatment and wouldn’t eat. I *knew* those doggie cancer specialist fuckers were lying to me when they said chemo doesn’t effect dogs at all like it does humans. Bastards.
The doc said that Pappy is doing AMAZING for having had this cancer as long as he has. She was shocked when I told her that he still doesn’t exhibit any signs of being sick. Just standard old slowdown. He can’t jump up into the car anymore because of his back legs so we lift him. She agreed that was a good idea, especially since his tumor gets aggravated if he bumps it. I told her he’s kind of gotten used to us babying him. She said: “He’s got the right idea! Hell, he’s gonna be 14. He needs a butler!” Heh.
So the vet visit I was dreading turned out to make me feel very good about what we are doing. He’s not hurting. He’s not suffering. He doesn’t even know he is sick! He just has a INSATIABLE hunger from the steroid and constantly things he is starving…which is good since a decline in appetite is a bad sign in this case.
She did say that she probably won’t update his rabies and the other 3 years shot that is due in January, because they don’t want to compromise his immune system with the cancer. I said that I was fine with that. If he is still with us at that point I will be so happy I won’t care about anything else.
As I write this with tears in my eyes, he is asleep in his bed on the other side of the couch. He is my love. My sweet, sweet baby boy. I am not ready to let him go, I never will be. But I’m happy that right now, he isn’t hurting and will be with us for a bit longer.
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