Thankful For Bad News

A few weeks ago I posted the story of my dog Myra and the pineapple piece that was wedged in her bowel, resulting in emergency surgery. At the time of surgery, I found a stricture in the bowel that I thought was secondary to the pineapple causing damage. I left the stricture in place because the bowel lumen was still open and allowing passage of food, as long as no large chunks were fed. Myra did great after surgery for the first two weeks and I thought we were in the clear. But on day 14, Myra started vomiting again. Of course, it was Labor Day weekend.

I called our local specialty clinic and asked if a board certified surgeon was available over the weekend. I didn't have the heart to perform surgery on my own little girl again. (It's hard when it's your own kid.) The surgeon was very gracious and agreed to come in and perform surgery. Surgery went without a hitch. Myra had about six inches of bowel removed, including the stricture. The surgeon asked if I wanted the area to be biopsied, even though we both agreed the pineapple was probably the offending culprit. I agreed, figuring we would get results that showed inflammation and scar tissue.

Fast forward to this week. Myra has recovered well and is playful and eating her homemade rabbit soup with no issues. But I received that phone call that no one wants to get: the biopsy revealed transmural lymphoma. CANCER. The tumor was in the bowel wall, had caused the rupture and the stricture, and that's why the pineapple got stuck. I went through the usual feelings: grief, anger, depression. But I ended up at THANKFUL. I am thankful because:

  1. The pineapple got stuck which alerted me to a problem.
  2. I was a wimp and didn't re-sect the stricture at the first surgery. If I had re-sected it, I would not have biopsied it and we would not have known of the underlying problem.
  3. The surgeon recommended the biopsy, even though he didn't think we would find anything.
  4. I said yes to the biopsy, even though I didn't think we would find anything.
  5. Myra is strong and appears to be the picture of health. I think she can handle this as we move forward for treatment.

Myra is the fourth dog in our house dealing with a cancer diagnosis. 14-year-old Freckles had a mammary carcinoma removed in March, 10-year-old Abby had a mammary carcinoma removed in January, and 14-year-old Scout had a toe with squamous cell carcinoma removed last fall. All three dogs are on herbal and diet therapy. I never considered chemo for any of them. Myra is different. She is only 8. I'm not sure how I will approach this. I will be consulting with the oncologist Monday to hear the options. I am looking into ketogenic diets. I am adding supplements and cancer fighting foods to her regimen. I just ordered twenty more pounds of rabbit and rabbit organs (she has severe food allergies and rabbit is what she tolerates best). Nothing processed for her.

For now, Myra is happy and appears perfectly normal. She is back to being her "clown" self, entertaining everyone with her antics. She loves to play fetch with her dinosaur toys, so I'll take her a few new ones today. She loves riding in the convertible, so I think we'll take a drive this weekend. I can let her make a bucket list, but I plan to have her around for a long time, so hopefully she has years to fulfill the list. Hug your kids.

And always say "yes" to the biopsy.

Back to blog