Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Week In Review

I don't know what makes people think that being a stay at home mom is leisurely.  Even with 2 adult children and a 15 year old, my days are busy.  Of course, homeschooling makes a difference, but still...

Since I didn't have to work this week (thank you Spring Break!) we were able to keep up with all the school work E had.  It was a good thing too; E had his unit test for algebra, and we needed to do a lot of reviewing.  E does great when he does his lesson quizzes, typically getting 90% and above.  But when it comes time for his unit test, he gets everything jumbled up in his head and he forgets how to do the problems, getting formulas all mixed up.  This time, we reviewed everything from the unit step by step, then he did part 2 of the test first, which is the part that his teacher emails to him and he emails back.  That took longer; there were five questions, but each question had three parts to it, and he had to show all his work.  It was time consuming, but he got a 98%.  Then it came time to do part one which was multiple choice.  He wasn't looking forward to it, but once he sat down he found it only took him 20 minutes and he got 100%.  It made him feel a whole lot better once that was over.

The rest of the week went pretty smoothly.  Yesterday, however, was a stressful and distressing day.

Our dog Molly has been with us for almost four years now.  When we found her in our front yard, she was just over a year old, skinny, filthy, and scared.  We took her in, and she has been the most loving dog we've ever seen.  She is gentle, well behaved, and a great watch dog - she makes plenty of noise whenever someone comes to the door, enough to scare them away!  It's been a joy adding her to our family.

A couple of years ago we noticed a growth on her belly.  It was almost time to get her tags, so we waited to see the vet at the humane society.  She looked at it, and told us it shouldn't be a problem unless it started growing, in which case we should see a vet about it.  After a year we did notice it was getting bigger, so we took her to a local vet (the vet who had seen her before had moved out of the area).  This vet didn't even examine her; he glanced at her belly, said it was probably blood cancer, then proceeded to give us an estimate of $500 - $700 just to remove it, then it would have to be sent to a lab to find out if it really was cancer.  I was shocked and upset at this vet who didn't even take a good look at her or even touch her, so we left.  A short time later the growth popped, sort of like a pimple, and it shrunk.  We figured it was going away, and left it alone.  Over the past year it would grow and pop, grow and pop, and while we kept an eye on it, we didn't think too much of it.

The last few months, though, it has grown very large.  It's now bigger than a golf ball, and it bleeds occasionally.  Molly has been acting perfectly normal as far as her mood and appetite, but we did notice she's also limping from her right hind leg.  The growth and her limp were becoming more and more concerning, so Saturday my daughter and I took her to another vet, one who has been clipping her nails for the last year.  This vet asked lots of questions; she did a better job of examining her, though the growth is large enough that you don't have to get too close to see it.  Her diagnosis was disheartening: the growth doesn't look good.  Yes, it could be benign, but from the description she feels it most likely is cancer.  We have scheduled her surgery for a week from tomorrow, and once the growth is removed it will be biopsied.  She also told us that, while there is a chance Molly is limping simply because she's overweight (a whopping 82 lbs.), there is the possibility that the cancer has spread into her bones.  If that's the case, there is very little that can be done other than chemotherapy, and I've already made it clear to my kids (and they agree with me) that I would never put a dog through chemo.  This kind of treatment is painful, weakening, and dogs don't understand why it's happening.  I wouldn't want my sweet Molly to think she's being punished, which is what chemo must seem like to a dog.  Our prayer is that the tumor is benign, but if it isn't, we will do everything possible to keep Molly comfortable until she can no longer live, or until her time comes on its own.  It's not a pleasant thought at all, and I remember how much we suffered when our dog Tobey became ill and had to be put down, but the thought of treating her for cancer is, in my opinion, inhumane.  Those that wish to do it to their pets have the right to do so, but I just can't.  And it hurts my heart to know that either way she might suffer.  It has brought the mood in our home down low, but we trust that God will do what is right.  He brought her to us, and He will decide when she needs to leave us.

That's pretty much it.  I go back to work tomorrow, and school continues, as does life.  There are always stumbling blocks in the road; hiccups in life that we would prefer to avoid but can't.  The trials of life help make us stronger and remind us Who we need to depend on.  If you think of it, please pray for our Molly to not have cancer.  That would be the best news our vet could give us.  God bless, and good night.

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