We have a beloved yellow Labrador named Gede (Balinese for “first born”) who’s been with us for 5 years. She is the smartest, kindest, most soulful dog you could imagine. And while she’s usually in robust health, she does have her moments. I joke with my wife that she costs us $1,000 per year in a single medical emergency every year. This week, we got our latest $1,000 shock for the year.
I like to have a petting session with my dog once a day where we commune together and she gets some good attention (with a 4 year old and two newborn twins, Gede isn’t getting as much undivided attention as she did when we had no children–other than her of course!). I discovered a small lump on her side (this was the second such lump I’d discovered–the first was a benign fatty cyst). I marked it with magic marker and a few days later called the vet.
I brought her in for an exam on Monday. Dr. Don Canfield aspirated and later examined it under a microscope and determined it was a malignant tumor. The next day, a pathologist confirmed his diagnosis. Tomorrow, she goes in for surgery to remove the tumor. Dr. Canfield says that there are three classes for this type of tumor and they can’t know which class it is until they remove the tumor and can compare it to the healthy tissue growing around it. But he also said there is a 95% survival rate over three years for this type of tumor. That’s good, but I sure would’ve like an even higher rate. I don’t want to face any chance that we’ll lose her.
We already almost lost her two years ago when I stupidly placed toxic snail bait in our garden and my lustfully hungry Lab ate it up like it was kibble. The pain and agony I went through that day, not knowing if she’d pull through was unbearable.
We’re trying not to worry needlessly before we have to and planning for the best outcome possible.