As I type this, I’m thinking about how unfair it is that we never know when our last great day will be with someone we love. Spouses, kids, friends, family, pets – how do you know when to really savor the shit out of a moment, embrace the memories and just take it all in?
I guess that’s what living life to it’s fullest is all about.
When we started this journey of cancer treatments, horrible gelatin filled cans of “urgent care” dog food, bright orange pumpkin vomit stains and constant worry we always said “as long as Louie is Louie, we’ll keep fighting”.
Today is no different, even as I try to bang out my feelings about exercising what might be our last available option to keep our snuggle pig snuggling, we (mostly Louie) is fighting. The thing is, today was the first day I realized we might not win this.
To be clear, because Louie is fighting a chronic cancer, I realized very early on that this disease would take him from us much too early, but I always thought we’d win the battles to eventually lose the war, on our terms.
In October, during one of Louie’s regular bi-monthly checkups the vet noticed his lymphnodes were swollen during his physical exam. For any “Sex and the City” fans, you’ll remember that episode where Samantha goes to finally get an HIV test and the one thing she doesn’t want to happen is to be pulled into “the room”. Well, think of Louie’s vet the same way. Check ups are easy, breezy, unless they pull you into a room.
After a teary conversation with the vet, we were told that they were going to aspirate a node and see what was up.
Fast forward another couple of weeks and some more teary conversations another biopsy and I’m googling the words “canine lymphoma”.
I’ll spare you the technical terms, because the shitty thing here is that lymphoma was the cancer we were trying to AVOID the first time around.
And just because Louie is alarmingly stubborn in everything he does, one cancer wasn’t enough.
Louie started the “Madison Wisconsin” protocol, which is a combination chemotherapy treatment, combining three drugs plus a steroid in a cycle of 25 weeks.
It’s a very common treatment (so much so that there’s limited space for available sessions at MOVEH) Louie was set up to go once a week for 8 weeks, get a week off and then start the cycle again for another 8 sessions over 16 weeks.
Session one is all Louie made it through.
When we returned last week to hit up round two, Louie’s white blood cells and platelets were too low to undergo treatment and so he was sent home with some antibiotics (to make sure nothing else befell him) to rest up.
And after another week of rest the platelets are not regenerating – and so I found myself opting for plan d of our plan b plan, hoping for a miracle.
So we find ourselves as many lymphoma patients before us and unfortunately what I think will be many after us have done: waiting and hoping and snuggling. Taking each day as they come, never giving up hope that we have more great days with Louie in our future.