My goodness this has been a roller coaster day! We have waited since Monday for the results of the cytology done on the golf ball size lump in Aja’s neck. Dr. Gindville, our wonderful Vet at Banfield Pet Hospital called this morning to let me know the cytology came back positive. Aja has 3 malignant mass cell tumors in her neck. That diagnosis was not totally unexpected. Back in May I think it was we had a large tumor removed from her lip that Dr. Gindville said was cancer.  Now for those of you who do not know, Aja Marie Jane Young is a 10 year old boxer/pit bull mix and the most gentle loving dog you would ever want to meet. She loves everyone, although I have to admit not everyone loves her.

So tomorrow we start the “keeping her comfortable” pill routine having opted out of the surgery, chemo, radiation route. We are not made of money and the cost of that would start at about $6000 and she is really not a good candidate. I want her to be happy until the last day of her life and if that means I have to give her pills everyday then so be it. And do I mean pills! She has to take Prednisone, Pepcid and Benadryl at least once a day and the Prednisone 3 times a day. But it’s okay. I will do it for her. Why? Because I love her – and she’s not even my dog! She is actually my daughters dog but daughter is off living her life and left her dog with mom and dad.

I can do this. By the Grace of God I can do this. I’ve been here before, only with a human not a canine. Back in 2005 I became caregiver for my terminally ill father in law for the last 13 months of his life. They were some very hard times and some very good times. Do I regret any of it? No way! Would I do it again? Absolutely! But now that I am faced with doing it again with the dog I am already feeling some of the emotions I felt with my father in law. He at least could tell us when enough was enough and when he was in pain. Aja cannot so we have to judge by the way she is acting just how she is feeling and when the right time is to make that all important decision.

Is Aja in pain? No, I don’t think so. I have seen subtle changes in her since she had the tumor removed from her lip. There is a sadness in her eyes that wasn’t there before and she is tired a lot. She is also losing weight. But I have a wonderful support team at Banfield Pet Hospital who will walk this journey with us. And I have a loving God who will hold me up and get me through this. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He will be there when Aja crosses the rainbow bridge to welcome her home. Your prayers are very much appreciated and needed, both for us and Aja. I have been told this blog is a good idea so I will chronicle our journey for all to come along and help us love her to the rainbow bridge.

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