Nighthawk and I took a half day today to take JessieDog to an oncologist. There, we confirmed what our vet had already suspected; JessDog has lymphoma. Cancer of the lymph nodes.
Were Jessie a young dog, we’d fight for her life with every fiber of our being. But she’s an old dog – graying before we adopted her at the SPCA six years ago, and now well into the aches and pains and problems that happen when you’re old. She’s got cloudy eyes and her hearing’s not all that great. She’s got two molars left and they don’t chew hard stuff so well. She hasn’t been able to jump onto the sofa for years, and lately she’s not even been very comfortable climbing the little sofa steps we bought her.
So when faced with the choice to spend thousands of dollars on chemotherapy treatments that would significantly decrease the quality of the life we were trying to extend and perhaps extend her life by 10 months or a year, or doing everything possible to make her comfortable and happy with the two to three months we have left, we’ve opted to try to make her a happy dog.
Jess isn’t in any pain, though I’m sure that time will come. Outside of the fact that she gets uncomfortable trying to decide where to rest on her chin (seeing as her lymph nodes are the size of large marbles) she doesn’t seem to be aware that anything’s wrong. Both vets have assured us that when things get worse, we’ll know — and we’ll know when it’s time to say goodbye.
Today is not that day, and for that I am thankful.