The Waiting is the Hardest Part
It's been two weeks since an MRI confirmed that Daisy has cancer in one of her vertebrae, and a week and a half since she had a biopsy done on her spine. The results are due any day now and I'm jumping every time the phone rings. We already know it's cancer, but the biopsy will tell us the type of cancer, which determines the treatments available.
The biopsy was tough. Thankfully, Daisy is tougher. She came home with a large rectangle shaved off her back, with a five-inch incision running down the middle, closed by seven surgical staples. She looks like Frankendog. Her first night home, her back legs gave out a few times. She was weak and unsteady and had to be carried outside to pee and then carried back in. When she woke up at 3 am, whining to get in bed with me (a usual trick, and one that normally works), I started sobbing, knowing I couldn't cuddle her without hurting her. Daisy just gave me a head tilt, looking at me like she was wondering why I was so upset.
As a dog owner, you have a tremendous responsibility. Your pet can't tell you if they're in pain, or where it hurts, or whether surgery is worth it to them. What's more, you can't explain a procedure to them. You can't reassure them that this will only hurt for a little while and it will get better soon. Dogs, unlike us, live almost entirely in the present moment. As their dog moms (and dog dads), our job is to make that moment as good as possible.
The good news is that Daisy is recovering from the biopsy like a champ. She was supposed to be on "crate rest" for two weeks, only walking as much as absolutely necessary because her hind legs would be weak. Daisy is having none of that. On Monday, she was hunting for food and tipped over my recycling bin - a little trick that requires her to stand on her hind legs. Yesterday I came home to find that she had jumped on to my couch and snuggled up while I was gone. Today she demanded four walks. She's happy, energetic, and nearly fully recovered from the surgery.
Just thinking of her trying to get to a pizza box in my recycling bin makes me smile. So while I wait on the results, I'm trying not to worry about what's next, but to focus on these small joys instead. In other words, I'm trying to live a little bit more like Daisy does.