Daisy's Diagnosis


Daisy's biopsy results came back this week, and the news isn't good.  She has a spindle cell cancer that isn't treatable with chemo or steroids.  Our only option would be radiation, and given the location of the tumor and Daisy's small size, radiation would almost certainly do severe damage to her spinal cord.  It might give us a few more months together, but Daisy's quality of life would be terrible.  

The vet estimates that Daisy has two to three months left, but given how tough Daisy is, the vet said we might get as long as six months together.  I am, of course, hoping for that. 

It's difficult to explain the grief that I'm feeling right now.  Daisy has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  I love her so fiercely and so completely that the thought of losing her shatters me.  Yet, at the same time, I'm conscious of the fact that I haven't lost her yet. She's still here, still enjoying walks and belly rubs and treats and visits from all my wonderful friends.  I recognize that I can't make the most of our time together if I'm crippled by grief.  So every wave of pain and sadness is accompanied by guilt for grieving her loss before she's actually gone. 

I'm handling these conflicting emotions by trying to focus on practical actions.  I've modified her diet, gotten her supplements and vitamins, started a journal to evaluate her daily quality of life, and read as much as I can on end-of-life care.  It gives me a small sense of control. 

I'd love to know how other people in the DC Dog Mom community have handled experiences like this. Our blog has a comment section, and I'm hoping that other dog owners can use this as a forum to talk to each other about how they are dealing with their dogs' illnesses.  

Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers. They mean all the more to me now.  I continue to read them to Daisy, letting her know how loved she is.