When last we met, Tango had urgent surgery to remove his spleen and an unwelcome growth on said spleen.
Since then, we’ve had very few “up” days and a whole lotta “down” days, including a panicked trip (a week ago now!) to my regular vet and a trip later that same evening to the emergency veterinarian where I had to <gasp> leave Tango for the night.
Tango has been diagnosed with cancer, but the pathology results confound the pathologists and oncologists.
Originally, there were three contenders for the type of cancer — all round cell cancers (don’t ask me what that means, it’s just something I heard the veterinarians say). Which meant, I think, that we’d treat the cancer the same way, but that the prognosis could be vastly different depending on which round cell cancer.
We ordered special stains that would identify which of those three possibilities Tango really had.
It takes 10 unimaginably long days to get results. The results added three new potential diagnoses to the mix. So now, 25 pathologists from the laboratory will meet at the end of the week and review Tango’s case. The oncologist said that some of the new possibilities are less scary than the ones already in the mix, so keep your fingers crossed for the least scary of the bunch.
About a week ago, Tango developed an incision-site infection.
He had a fever and was trembling uncontrollably which is how we ended up panicked at my veterinarian’s office. At the time, I didn’t know it was “just” an infection, I was worried it might be cancer-related. I was certain this was it for him, he was so miserable and I hated seeing him that way.
I spent the better part of the day at my regular veterinarian (who fit me in, mercifully) getting Tango’s fever under control and making him comfortable.
When we left the office at about 2:30p, Tango was looking better. I wasn’t worried at all when I had to leave him just a couple hours later to teach back-to-back good manners dog training classes.
Imagine my shock when my husband called me during class (which never happens) and said urgently “Where do I take this dog – we need an emergency vet. Now.” Tango had begun trembling again, was unable to lift his head, and was leaking all kinds of fluid from the incision site (serous fluid, I later learned — what an education I’m getting!).
I really do have the best clients in the world.
They were understanding, even encouraging me to stop class and get my husband the information he needed. Which I did. Which also involved a couple of extra calls to my veterinarian for some in-the-moment advice. Through it all, they were the best — supportive and understanding.
To make a long story short, my husband met me at my class location (which had since finished) and together we took Tango to an emergency veterinary hospital.
Tango had to stay the night <gasp!>. It was the first time I ever had to leave him behind. It was horrible on both of us. I was able to pick him up the next day and things started to get back to normal.
A week later (fingers crossed!) and we’re returning to somewhat normal around here.
Tango is again waking me up in the morning (too early!). He’s eating Kongs. He’s wagging his tail. He’s going out to meet my husband at the gate when he hears him come in the driveway. It’s the little things.
We have a meeting with the oncologist on Monday to see what the passel of pathologists have come up with regarding Tango’s cancer. And we’ll move forward from there. Who’d have ever thought I’d be happy to move forward with the “normal stuff” like cancer treatment. It’s all perspective, I guess.
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