The Rest of the Story

I had a nagging sense there was something subtly different on Zoey's right side - just a wee bit of fullness or bulge. In addition, Zoey had twice pooped in an inappropriate place at the Specialty -- not diarrhea but just as if she was having a normal potty break in a not normal place. Zoey doesn't do things like that.

Except for a propensity to stand on kitchen tables, Zoey just doesn't do inapproriate things -- and now that I think about it, a nearly nine year old berner that can jump on a table should be celebrated so never mind -- she is basically perfect and therefore the abnormal potty spots were odd and therefore, concerning.

So I took my perfectly fine dog -- not acting sick in any way -- to the vet last Thursday and said, "We both know I am paranoid and especially after Sydney, and so this could be totally in my head BUT..."

Blood work normal but abdominal ultrasound was not. Zoey had surgery the next day.

The "structure" turned out to be not anything that could be removed. It is attached to her pancreas and mesentery, but the actual organs looked normal. A biopsy was done and the waiting and worrying began.

An inoperable benign tumor in that place would likely kill her because it would eventually impact bile ducts and other critical things, and so that wasn't a desired thing.

Pancreatic cancer in dogs is a quick death sentence with no treatment -- clearly we did not want Door #2 either.

The vet could see it was not something consistent with a hemangiosarcoma -- thank you, Universe.

Histio in any dog is terrible but I especially do not want to see it in a dog that has been bred so I was hoping not to hear that.

Given that IT was a thing, the best diagnosis was Lymphoma -- preferably b-cell. This is a disease responsive to an established and effective chemotherapy protocol that dogs typically handle well. Therefore, when the vet called yesterday and told me the biopsy showed very early evidence of lymphoma, I was THRILLED. 

Isn't that the strangest thing -- that someone would be happy her dog has Lymphoma? But I am -- because the choice of whether to have something or not have something wasn't on the menu of options, and Lymphoma was the Best of the Bad. 

I will write more about Lymphoma and related ideas in the coming weeks, but for now I wanted to share that news, which feels pretty darn good to me, all things considered. And I wanted you to know that Zoey is perfectly fine -- you would never know there was anything wrong with her. As evidence, check out this three generation photo from yesterday -- Zoey and Sparkle hard at work teaching Claire the ropes in the family business.

 While it is never a good idea to tell someone else, "it could have been worse" in the face of Bad News, it is okay when we know that Truth ourselves. Rather than railing against this diagnosis (because what good would that do?!), I am choosing to be grateful for the blessing of Hope that comes with a Lymphoma diagnosis. 

Thank you for your concern and your support.


by Kathy L on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 06:17

I am so sorry to hear about Zoey. May she respond as Joy did and have at least five more years. Sending soldiers and lots of hope.

by Tony on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 10:03

Yes, five more years like Kathy said. Sending you and Zoey lots of strength and love.

by Kathy L on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 06:18

Those are six very dirty feet.

by Mary-Ann on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:06

And can I just say how happy I am that Zoey feels well enough to get that dirty?! :)

by Sue N on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 06:55

I am so sorry to hear that Zoey and you are dealing with any health issues at all, but I am glad that for all the possible options the one that it turns out to be is the best of the bad. Good luck with however you decide to manage this.

Thinking of you and sending good, strong, healing thoughts to you all.

by Mary-Ann on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:07

Ill health and death are not optional in this lifetime and so yes -- Best of Bad is worth celebrating! Thank you :)

by Lisa K on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:02

Relieved to hear that if it was going to be poopy, it was less poopy than it could have been. Weird, yes, but relief is welcomed! Go Zoey!

by Mary-Ann on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:07

I would have preferred a car behind Door #4 but I guess we are playing the wrong game for that ;)

by Lisa K on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 08:15

Well, I would have preferred Bon Jovi. But, well, you know. ;-)

by Lori S. on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:04

While I am so sorry that Zoey has any diagnosis at all, I have faith that she will handle her treatments well and achieve an extended remission. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Love and hugs to all of you.

by Dianne on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 07:54

Thrilled is not a typical response to a lymphoma diagnosis but I get it. As Lori says Zoey is such an over achiever she will continue to shine for many more years. She has to keep up with the family landscaping and table surfing business after all. Hugs to you and Gma Zoey.

by Deb S. on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 09:09

but....yes to lymphoma! I never in a million years say that I'm relieved your dog has lymphoma, but here it is.

Glad she has something treatable and that you were on top of it right away.

by BarbZ on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 13:29

Holding you and Zoey in my thoughts. She is what is important. I am sure you two will continue to share all the joy of being together. Love, hugs and soldiers to you both.

by Mari on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:32

Is that an oxymoron? Perhaps. But I think we Berner folks can truly understand you being happy over Zoey's diagnosis. In the list of possible Bads, some are not as bad - as you stated so well. Sending strength and positive thoughts for the journey ahead!

by CA Heidi :-) on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:44

I am someone who just NEEDS to know -- for better or for worse, I need know. The waiting is agony. And since this is the better of the worst, I will now turn my thoughts to sending all the love and healing I can to Superstar Zoey. She has many tables left to tap-dance on, and hopefully her treatments keep her in top form for years to come.



by Jennifer Z on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 18:26

All of my best wishes for Zoey that things go as you hope, and she can be here for FIVE more years!

by Carmen K. on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 22:45

Zoey is fortunate you are paranoid and listened to your gut feeling! Sending hugs and luck to you both.

by Terri on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 08:49

I'm sorry to read there has to be any diagnosis. Peach and I send our positive thoughts to Zoey that it will be a pain free and very slow progression. Five years at least.

by keli on Sat, 05/13/2017 - 11:02

...including the muddy paws. so sorry about the lymphoma, but I get what you are saying. have my girl stolen from me suddenly with complications from hemangio ... I would have traded options if I could. Sending best wishes.

by education on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:56

What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how on the topic of unexpected emotions.

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