In the back of my mind I thought maybe they'd find out it wasn't cancer at all. Just some silly scans. And a silly puffy leg. Not cancer. It could have been a bruise or maybe a sprained ankle. Dogs get those too, don't they?
She had a needle aspiration done under sedation and of course the results were positive. Osteosarcoma. Such an ugly word. For the second time in a week I find myself having a conversation with a Doctor about removing the leg of our precious Bella. This feels surreal.
I look out the window and a rabbit hops into view.
He tells me about a different clinical trial that uses radiation on the tumor, while trying to rebuild the bone mass and additionally working to boost the immune system to fight the cancer cells with antibodies. It is a limb sparing protocol that is showing promising results. I look it up online and wonder if it would be aggressive enough. The Doctor says that the outcome will likely be the same, time-wise. Either way, she might have 1-3 years. No one knows for sure. It's all a big guess how well she'll respond to treatment. My head is spinning.
I call Farmer Tom and we make a decision. Next week she goes back to start treatment. We chose the radiation therapy. It's a horrible decision to have to make, and I'm sick with the worry of What If We Are Wrong? I'm also consumed with WHY?
Why her? What is wrong with letting a perfectly good and healthy dog live out it's natural life without getting some awful disease that robs several years of productive life and breaks our hearts in the process? Why does this happen?
I know I sound bitter. I am bitter. I'm disappointed. I'm angry. It's not fair, she did not deserve this. We can't fix it for her and that upsets me more than anything. Even though we have a plan to provide robust pain management, her world has been turned upside down and she will likely suffer before it is over.