A year or more ago we found some lumps in her tummy area. He checked them out and they were simply cysts, nothing to worry about. Over the last few weeks I've noticed more of them appearing. I began to wonder, but they didn't seem any different, so I just watched them.
Then last week they began to look red and on Friday night I noticed that they felt hot. I decided to take her this morning and have them checked, and as if her little body knew that, there were some drops of blood coming from the area early today.
It turns out that she has developed some tumors, and now that he showed me, they are different than the cysts. She has mammary cancer, just like her mommy-dog did. I felt bad about waiting, but he told me not to worry or blame myself. Knowing it earlier probably would not change the course of treatment, because he would be very reluctant to do surgery due to the Cushing's Disease. Her liver is already compromised to a degree, and her autoimmune system is not functioning at optimal levels. At her age, 15 in seven weeks, he said he would be afraid of her not being able to survive the surgery and her healing would be greatly extended. She might not recover to be herself. I don't want that.
China Doll (on the right) with her sissy, Mai Tai
The blood is coming from an abscess of one of the tumors. She is now on an antibiotic, and we will likely have to repeat this treatment periodically as he believes it will continue to form abscesses. Otherwise, unless she shows signs of pain, we just let her be the sweetness that is China.
She shows no signs whatsoever of any discomfort. She was prancing around in the office, as spunky as you wish. He said she may alright for weeks or even months possibly. We don't know that the tumors are malignant, and I opted to not have a biopsy. I won't put her through anything I don't have to, and I won't worry so much if I don't know. And in case you're wondering, I wouldn't be much relieved if I know it is benign. You see, with the Cushing's, she is on borrowed time anyway, so it doesn't matter. I'll just spend whatever time there is loving her and enjoying what a delight she is.
The doc said that he has been fond of her since we began coming in, because of her sweet nature, her perky prancing, and her obvious determination. You see, China has had epilepsy since she was just six months old. She was a miracle puppy in some ways. I knew I couldn't let her go. I just had a gut feeling that I shouldn't sell her. And she has been a little bit of a special needs dog with the care for the seizures and keeping her from overheating as it tended to make her more likely to have a seizure. She needed to be with me. Then the Cushing's diagnosis made sense to me about why she gained weight. I felt guilty about that, too, for a couple years and until I understood that Cushing's makes her metabolism not work right, and her appetite is skewed by it. I don't know for sure, but I question that someone else would have had the patience, and even the love, to care for her as I have. She is absolutely my baby, no question about it.
So I'm a little blue today. I've been expecting health failure from either of my kiddos for a while now. Recently I've seen deterioration and slowing down in Ali, but China has seemed relatively stable, just a small bit of muscle loss in one leg, another part of the Cushing's. So I was kinda-sorta ready for this, and I'm not in tears, but my mood is low. No matter how I'm prepared, it still hurts when it actually comes to pass. I'm gonna say it again ... our four-legged family members should live exactly as long as we do. Exactly.