My worst Christmas – Dog Lymphoma
I’ve just had the worst Christmas and New Year. Why? I hear you ask. A week before the big day my gorgeous little dog, Bella, was diagnosed with cancer. She has a lymphoma, and the tumour was growing by the day. Panic set in.
Without treatment, dogs have 6-8 weeks to live, and with treatment 1-2 years. But even though we had the diagnosis, we couldn’t start chemotherapy until more tests had been completed. A test that normally would take 1 day took a week, due to the holidays, so whilst everyone else was enjoying the festivities, I was watching poor little Bella grow weaker and weaker, and praying that her cancer didn’t reach the point of no return.
It’s an absolutely horrid disease, and my deepest sympathy goes out to anyone who has had cancer, or experienced it through a family member. What I found the mot difficult was not being able to see what was going on, as the symptoms are not always that obvious. In Bella’s case, she had a fever and a tumour, but that was all. How fast was it spreading? Had it spread to her other organs? Had it reached the bone marrow? There is no way of knowing except via tests, and if you let it, it will destroy you mentally.
My advice is focus on something else, anything. Unless worrying leads you to asking someone a relevant question, or helps solve a problem, it serves no purpose.
I’m lucky, I am a member of a tennis club, and play, on average, three times a week. I have many wonderful friends, and whilst I choose not to use them as a sounding board, I do use them as a distraction. I think this is essential for anyone suffering similarly.
Get out and distract yourself.
So, back to Bella. By the first week of January we had an appointment with an oncologist, and despite her cancer being one of the most aggressive, the prognosis seemed reasonable. Finally, I could start to relax. She had her first treatment, Vincristine, and she responded very well. After five days, the tumour had gone and all of her lymph nodes were back to normal size. I was elated.
Could it possibly run smoothly? Week 2 proved to be a nightmare.