Everything kind of fell into place after a quick roller coaster ride as follows:
- Monday afternoon: find out dog has osteosarcoma (via bone biopsy performed the previous Thur). Vet says she'll be in terrible pain and dead in under 6 months if we do nothing. (OK, he doesn't say "dead" - he uses one of the euphemisms like "won't make it," like she's a contestant trying out for American Idol or something.) Says he'll talk to the oncologist and call back Tuesday with survival odds for surgery/chemo route. Mood: very black.
- Tuesday: find out odds are not great, but misunderstand odds and think they are better than they really are. Mood: charcoal gray.
- Wed morning: dog gets chest xrayed at vet. No sign of cancer in the lungs! Great news as the lungs are the first place the disease metastasizes. Mood: pale gray. Feeling some hope.
- Wed morning, late: call for consultation with oncologist. Can't get me in until Wed, Nov 3. Mood: darkening. Worrying about aggressive cancer being given one more week to attack my dog. Call back to ask if I can be on a cancellation list. She says it's not really an option, since the doc will be out of the office the next four days for one reason or another.
- Wed early afternoon: call vet, worried about one week delay. He says it's not ideal. Also explains how stats are more grim than we thought. Mood: heading to black again
- Wed mid-afternoon: while looking for an alternative oncologist, the office calls - there's a cancellation! Rush over with the dog. Oncologist is super nice, knowledgeable, answers all my questions before I can even ask them. Abby hugs and kisses him. Repeatedly. He says her xrays look really good and we seem to have caught it early. Seconds the recommendation for amputation/chemo. He explains we may have caught it early due to the location. Most cases are in apparently in the radius bone - the bigger weight bearing bone of the front leg. Hers is in the ulna - the smaller bone that runs alongside. He explains it's such a thin bone, the lump was obvious early on. Just to fully explain our options, he said we could also do a "limb sparing" procedure. Her leg would have been saved - but it would mean 8 weeks of total rest. 8 weeks! For a puppy! He said some surgeons even suggest 8 weeks in a crate. No way would we consider doing that to her. In contrast, most dogs recover well and adjust quickly to becoming a tripawd. And as soon as she recovers from the surgery - hopefully in the 10ish days range - she will be 100% pain free. This is huge, as she is in a lot of pain right now. So, amputation to relieve the pain, plus chemo to hopefully extend her life. Mood: MUCH improved. Feeling kinda hopeful.
- Wed late afternoon: call vet to get info on last piece of the puzzle, the estimate/scheduling for the update-Abby-to-a-tripawd procedure. He says he'll likely call back Thur as he has to call the surgeon. Calls back within the hour and says the surgeon (usually booked 3 weeks out) has had a cancellation. She can come in Friday. Mood: almost giddy. Everything's falling into place to get on this quickly!
- Wed night: we make the GO decision. Commence freaking out. Mood: panicked. What the hell are we doing, willingly cutting off our dog's leg?? Friends and family weigh in and scrape me off the ceiling.
I am envisioning a future post that will be entitled: Fiesta Island!! (Mood: hopeful. And maybe still just a little bit panicked.)