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Slice of Life Sundays: 11-23-14


Hope you’re having a great weekend friends. This weekend is much better than last weekend for me. My beagle Zoe was not feeling well for three weeks. She wasn’t wanting to eat and was lethargic. After one week of not feeling good we took her to the vet. They didn’t see anything that indicated why she felt bad so they sent us home with antibiotics and special diet wet food to entice her to eat. There were days when she seemed like she was improving but last weekend she just didn’t seem right so we took her back to the vet. They hospitalized her and gave her IV fluids and anti nausea meds. They asked us if there was anything that she could have ingested. We couldn’t really think of anything. Seeing your dog this way and not knowing the cause is very hard. All you want to do is help her feel better.

By Tuesday we got a diagnosis that floored us. We were told that she had either lymphoma or leukemia. It was like someone pulled the seat out from under me. Our baby is only six years old and before this she showed no signs of being sick. This literally came on overnight. She was perfectly fine on a Sunday acting and eating normal and then on a Monday she just didn’t want to eat. In three weeks she lost a lot of weight. We knew she was really sick but never thought cancer. We thought they were going to say that they found a blockage in her intestine or something like that. We were referred to an oncologist. 

This past Thursday we went to the oncologist and they confirmed that it could be either lymphoma or leukemia. They both resemble each other especially if lymphoma has spread into the bone marrow. We were given the option to treat her with chemo. Her blood has gone out for further testing to find out exactly what she has but the doctor feels that it is stage 5 lymphoma. I know most people would just put their dog down because of the expense but we just can’t do that until we try the chemo first and see if it helps at all. My husband and I have no children. Our dogs are our children. It’s equivalent to someone being told their child has cancer. You just don’t give up on them.

Of course we will always observe her and look for signs of pain or unhappiness. We would never want to put her through something that causes her any kind of discomfort or suffering. They immediately started her on chemo & steroids Thursday and when we picked her up that evening her tail was wagging and she was smiling. She gobbled up all her dinner. It’s now Sunday and she is back to acting like her normal self. Energy level is great and she is eating very well. Basically she is our old dog again. At this point I’m sure it’s the steroids that are causing this more than the chemo treatment but the vet said that beagles tend to handle chemo very well and also tend to respond to it well. I would pay a million dollars to see her like she is right now happy and full of energy. When she was at her worst it was the most painful thing to see. I’ve never had to deal with these kind of emotions before. It’s been pretty tough and I’m struggling to get the things done that I need to for my blog and my stencil business I’m trying to open up. Right now she’s all I can focus on.

The goal is to get her into remission but as with anything in life there are no guarantees. All we can do is take it one treatment at a time. See how she responds and feels. Like I said we would never put her through anything that hurts her. She qualified for a study of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines that tests whether dogs benefit from them during chemo treatment. We felt like her life would have meaning if she could help future dogs going through the same thing. Like I said there are no guarantees and if she gets into remission there is no telling how long it will last. All I know is that every extra day that I get with her is a blessing. With my birthday coming up on Tuesday and the holidays approaching I just wasn’t ready to let her go. It’s selfish but when you love someone so much you fight for them.

So that my friends is what’s been going on in my life right now. I have good days and then I have horrible days. Even though I see that she has improved I feel this sense of urgency to keep her this way. It’s an uneasy feeling like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m trying to stay strong and keep faith during the process but it’s not always easy. My husband & I need time to process everything and come to terms with it much like we did with our other dog’s kidney disease diagnosis. She has outlived what they said she would and everyday she’s here is a blessing. We’ve had time to accept her diagnosis and know that she will not be around forever. Zoe’s diagnosis is too fresh right now and we’re trying to get to that place mentally where we’ve accepted it.

I hope you have a good week and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  1. I am so sorry you are going through this now. Sending prayers for you and for Zoe. Praying she comes through this stronger and healthier. Fight for you baby girl…she needs you! Hugs!
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  1. […] reason. So if you’d like to read about what is going on with our dog Zoe you can read that here. Quick update on her. She had her second chemo treatment this week and did well. She’s still […]

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