Because we had such a memorable Friday, with so many ups and downs I can’t bring myself to write about an old memory because my brain is whirling with all that is going on in the present. Friday was the day Trinity was having some friends over for her annual Gingerbread house decorating and it was also the day I was expecting to get news on Bailey’s medical status.
Thursday after the groomer showed me the tumor on Bailey’s neck, I was able to get him into the vet within 2 hours. After the doctor did his exam and I gave him my theory that he had swollen lymph-nodes not tumors, he confirmed I was partially correct. Yes, it was his lymph-nodes but not only the two on his neck were inflamed, but 9 nodes in total were swollen! His first concern was the possibility Bailey had lymphoma (cancer) which appeared to be very fast growing. I was stunned and silent for once. I really never imagined something could really be wrong with him. He just turned 6 in September had been eating well, gets the best food and gets plenty of exercise. The doctor said we needed to get a biopsy to know for sure.
The doctor took Bailey into the procedure room to stick a needle into the huge lymph-node on his neck and pull out cells to have them analyzed along with blood work. While I was waiting for him to finish I did a quick search on my phone and realized that Bailey fit every characteristic of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma. When they both returned I told the doctor about my fears and my research and he told me to stay off the computer and just pray his lymph-nodes were very reactive and could be responding to an infection. That didn’t make me feel better at all. I already knew in my heart what was wrong with Bailey. That night when I showed up at home the girls and Lou were all waiting to hear about what was wrong. I gave them the truth but tried to downplay the real possibility of him having cancer. I also didn’t tell them about my research because once I do a medical research on a topic, it is pretty rare I don’t come up with an accurate answer. When the girls were out of the the room, I told Lou the whole truth. Everyone except Tabitha seemed fine and decided not to freak out until we had all the information.
Friday, Lou kept calling me to see if I had heard from the doctor which I hadn’t because I was supposed to call him after 4pm. I spent the day with Tiara getting ready for the party and trying to keep the house in a clean state before all of Trin’s guests arrived. Seven girls arrived for the party and had a blast decorating the houses and doing the gift exchange.
I had brought in another table to give them more room and make a nice big space for Tiara to work on her house. I knew she would want to be included because she has really enjoyed decorating the houses in the past but she tends to make an obscene mess. I sat TT at the end of the table in her own little area with her house, a can of frosting and a plastic knife and let her go to town. She kept piling so much frosting on her house, it finally collapsed. She then decided to move on from decorating and eat as much frosting and candy as she could shove in her mouth before I could stop her. I finally got her up from the table and took her into the kitchen to clean her up. While she started working on demolishing the plate of sandwiches I prepared for the girls, I called the vet. Apparently he was in an emergency surgery and they took a message for him to call me back. I actually felt a little sense relief because I didn’t think he would really call me back and I decided I didn’t need to know the truth that night.
The party came to a close and after all the candy and junk Tiara had consumed she was acting a little crazy. Trinity had designed a fabulous gingerbread house and she was very proud of it. Luckily I had taken a picture of it because when Trinity and I were in the kitchen talking I noticed the house was too quiet. I walked into the living room to find Tiara sitting on the sofa with Trinity’s gingerbread house in her lap and in her mouth. She was eating the whole house.! Trinity started screaming and crying, Tiara picked up a cup of punch and threw it across the room because she was so mad that Trinity was mad at her AND AT THAT EXACT MOMENT MY PHONE RANG!. I looked over at the number and saw it was the vet’s office. I instantly got a pit in my stomach and answered the phone while leaving the huge mess and walked into the other room.
Dr.: “Mrs. Goff, I am sorry to say that the results came back positive and Bailey has lymphoma cancer. There is no cure but you can extend his life with chemotherapy for an average of up to 1 year 4 months. “
I tried to think of what I was supposed to be asking, like what were all the options and how much did chemotherapy cost? I felt really pathetic asking the cost, but I had to know.
Dr.: “Well, the first couple of months is pretty expensive. Most likely between 2,000 and 4,000$ to get started.
I finally thought of a decent question.
me: ” What stage of cancer does he have?”
dr.: ” I don’t know but I will call the lab tomorrow and ask them to run that test so we can see exactly where we are at with him because the cancer does seem to be spreading quickly.”
me: “ok, thank you.”
So I got off the phone, looked at the mess I had to clean up and was trying to figure out how I was going to break the news to Tabitha and in she walked from work. I kept cleaning and thinking while she rambled on about her day, happy as could be. She finally asked. “Did you talk to the doctor today?”
tab: “Do I want to know what he said?”
me:” Probably not.”
tab:” Then don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”
I kept cleaning and said nothing else. I have learned how Tabitha likes to be told information. She needs to hear it slowly and in bits and pieces which is not by style. Either way for once I tried to do it her way.
tab: ” Do you think I need to know what he said?”
me: “Yes, since it has to do with your dog and his future.”
tab: “Fine, he has cancer doesn’t he?”
me: “Yes, I’m so sorry.”
She walked off to her room with Bailey trailing behind her because he knew she was crying and upset. I went in a few minutes later to check on her and we cried together while Bailey sat on her bed looking at us like we had lost our minds. While crying and cleaning the dishes a while later Trinity came into the kitchen and said “Mom, why are you crying?”
me: “Because I am sad about Bailey.”
trinity: “Why Mom? I thought he had cancer.”
me: ” He does Trinity, and that means he isn’t going to live very long.”
She was so shocked and suddenly started screaming and crying in my arms.
Minutes later, Tiara walked into kitchen and sat down on the floor. She then started throwing up. I couldn’t tell if it was a seizure or the obvious answer, she had overeaten. Either way she looked like she was having a hard time breathing and both Tabitha and Trinity came to her side next to me, to make sure she was OK. She finally stopped vomiting and we guided her to the couch where she passed out for 20 minutes and woke up 20 minutes later fine.
So that was our Friday. I still have to tell you about the rest of the weekend but I am exhausted and drained so I will have to fill you in on the rest tomorrow.
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