Friday, June 26, 2009

All Clear!

Just got back from the oncologist, and Nova's lungs were all clear! The x-rays didn't show any visible signs of tumors in the lungs. He said that her panting was likely due to the hot weather. And the swelling in the neck was nothing to worry about. Lymph nodes felt good. I am so happy.

We stopped at the park on the way home to take some "celebration" pictures:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Worried This Week

It has been over a month since I last posted. It's mostly been because of all the busy-ness that comes at the end of the school year, and preparing for a family vacation to the Carolinas, which we just now returned from. Nova and Emmy were in the kennel for 10 days (really broke my heart to leave them there). They seemed to do great, although were glad to be home. They went straight for the leather couch.

Nova has adapted incredibly to being a blind dog. She finds her way around the house and outside to her "spot" without any assistance whatsoever. It's so funny, she appears to use her tail as a blind dog "cane", wagging it in a wide arc so she can feel the walls. She has really sharpened all of her senses. She can tell if anyone is approaching her when she has her favorite stuffy in front of her, and she will rush to grab it and let out a "watch it" bark. It's so funny because Nova was always really lax when Emmy would steal her stuff, she'd just give in and back off. Not anymore! Last night, she even stole Emmy's dinner.

Nova was scheduled to have new chest x-rays at the oncologist early this month. After a lot of waffling, I rescheduled the appointment to later in the month (tomorrow in fact). I had kind of a selfish reason for doing so, but I did it anyway. I was nervous that we might get bad news, and I didn't want it to ruin our vacation. Plus, if I heard bad news I don't think I could have left her in the kennel, but I couldn't find any other options. So I thought it would be best to wait until we got back.

I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. A few days before we left, I noticed a strange swelling in Nova's neck. It was not something I could feel at all, just something I could see under her skin when she turned her neck a certain way. But every time I think I see it (looks golf ball like), I grab her and feel her neck area all over. But I can't seem to find any type of mass, and it is all soft, there is nothing hard in there other than bone, that I could find. I thought that they might be swollen lymph nodes, but I thought if that would be the case they would feel hard. I decided that it could wait until the oncologist appointment.

Another strange thing is that since she has come home from the kennel she has been panting a lot. Now, it has been in the 90s this week, so it might be from the heat. And it might be pain from her glaucoma, although I took her to the opthomologist earlier this week and her eye pressures were fine. I am concerned that panting is a sign that the cancer has spread to the lungs. I am trying to remain positive, although I know metastises (sp?) are inevitable. We are going to have to deal with them sooner or later.

She doesn't pant when she is laying down, only when she gets up to move around. It is quite warm in my house (we don't like to turn the air on much), but I have tried fans, and turning the air on to see if it makes a difference and it doesn't seem to. But it is so hot and humid, it's been uncomfortable for me too. I think if I was a dog I would be panting too.

I want to know, but I don't want to know. You know? The whole diagnosis, amputation experience, treatments, x-rays, and then all the glaucoma problems with ensuing blindness. It has me just totally drained. Getting the x-rays tomorrow will be a big expense, and if it shows that there are tumors elsewhere, I will probably just lose it. I have done so much to care for this dog, and I don't want the cancer to win. If I find out it spread it is going to be so hard to know when to say when. I think that's the part I dread the most. I don't want her to hurt or suffer.

Oh well, I am trying to remain positive and hoping that the panting is just from the heat. Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.