Monday, October 22, 2012
Update On Lucy
Recently, we noticed that our beloved little mutt, Lucy, seemed to be lethargic and she was not eating as well. Last night, Tim took Lucy for a walk. At the beginning, Lucy showed her usual enthusiasm with her dancing around and being vocal. Within minutes of walking, Lucy just laid down on the road and wouldn't get up. Tim had to carry her back home. I knew something had to be wrong, seriously wrong.
This morning, I called the vet and thankfully, there was an appointment available after I got Ben sent off to school. The first thing the vet did was to check Lucy's gums. They were very pale which indicated anemia. Bloodwork and x-rays were then performed. The first x-rays showed the spleen to be enlarged and there was also some fluid around it. The vet gave me a few possible scenarios. First, an ultrasound would have to be performed to see what was actually going on around the spleen. I left Lucy at the vet so further tests could be performed while I went to a substitute teaching job. I called Tim at work and we agreed that we would have Lucy treated aggressively if there was a chance for survival.
Lucy really is a part of our family. At age 7 years, she is still a relatively young dog. The poor thing has been through so much during her lifetime. We rescued her from a shelter when she was 10 months old. She was such an incorrigible critter and I have to admit that I often wondered if we made a mistake adopting Lucy. She was ALWAYS into trouble. However, she was and still is awesome around children and other dogs. She's quite entertaining, too. Plus, we made a commitment to provide love and a forever home for Lucy. I was not about to give up on her. As Lucy matured, she got into less trouble. Well, that is if you left doors closed and garbage cans covered or out of reach. You see, Lucy loves to eat paper towels and tissues. Crazy! Anyway, Lucy is quite the trooper. About 2 1/2 years ago, she suffered an eye injury. Initially, the vet thought that Lucy had a splinter in her eye. Since Lucy wouldn't cooperate and kept wriggling around (think about it, would you like somebody poking around your eye?), the vet decided to give Lucy a sedative so she could get a better look at Lucy's eye. It turned out that Lucy actually had somehow punctured her eye, and the aqueous humor (the fluid inside the eyeball) was oozing out. Lucy was sent home with an E-collar around her head, an eye ointment, an antibiotic, and a painkiller. It was quite the entertainment to watch Lucy maneuver around with that collar around her neck. This past year, Lucy suffered another injury, this time to her CCL (ACL in humans). After getting a couple of opinions, we opted to have Lucy's ligament surgically repaired. The vet's office will never, EVER forget that ordeal as Lucy was bound and determined to destroy every bandage, even with the E-collar on. Lucy even managed to destroy the original incision site, leaving a very bloody mess. Finally, by the 5th day the vet decided that perhaps a satellite dish-sized E-collar would work better to keep Lucy from reaching her leg. In addition, they also placed a hard splint underneath the bandage after Lucy destroyed the first 5 bandages. Lucy was also the most vocal one at the vet's which had much of the staff nearly rolling on the floor in laughter. I figure that I spent more time in the vet's office within that 10 day period than I ever spent in the last 5 years combined. Lucy has forever left an imprint on the vet's office staff. I sang the Hallelujah chorus when Lucy was finally done with that ordeal.
So, here we are today with a terminal diagnosis. I was hoping for the better outcome that the vet suggested and we were prepared to handle the expense of it. However, the news that we received this afternoon is not the news we were hoping for. Instead, the vet told us that Lucy does indeed have cancer and it has spread. Fluid is already surrounding her heart and lungs. The liver was hardly visible which indicates that there is also some liver involvement beside the spleen. Nothing can be done at this point in regard to a cure. The best advice the vet gave us was to bring Lucy home and monitor her comfort level. We will give her prednisone to help keep Lucy comfortable and to try to control whatever pain Lucy may be experiencing. We don't know how much time we will have with Lucy but the vet hinted that it won't be a long time. At. All. This is heartbreaking as Lucy really has become a beloved member of our family. She has brought joy and entertainment into our otherwise boring lives. We are going to just love on and spoil Lucy as much as we can during her last days. Even if that means allowing her the special treat of laying on the furniture. Please pray that we will know when it's time to truly say goodbye to her. Actually, my prayer is that as Lucy's body starts to shut down more, that her passing will be quick and as pain-free as possible and even maybe she can pass on in her sleep. I dread the idea of having to make the most painful decisions ever known to animal lovers.