Maggie had a big day yesterday as she returned to the vet for her followup visit and to get her stitches out. When Dr. Nairn came in the room, the first thing he said to me was "I need to talk to you. I think you need to keep Maggie". I laughed and told him the thought had crossed my mind as I feel pretty attached to her at this point- having gone through 2 big surgeries and everything else, I do feel attached. He sees her as a special girl who is clearly attached to me, and he wants to see her in the best environment for her senior years. Not sure it should be me, but well, that's a whole other issue.
We talked about her surgery and the results. When I got Maggie, she had 2 lumps. By the time she went for the second surgery, she had 4. They removed all 4 the second round, in an attempt to get clean margins. It's been a rough recovery, and while her stitches are out, she still is bleeding and not healed under her arm put at this point. (surgery was two weeks ago today). All 4 lumps, even the one he thought was a skin tag turned out to be either a Grade 1 or a Grade 2 Mast Cell tumor. And, she has a new one, this week. I showed it to Dr. Nairn last night, and while we don't know 100% that it's cancer, based on what we've seen so far, it is likely that it is another Mast Cell.
I am devastated. I can't put this dog through more surgery. New Hope doesn't want to put her through another surgery for her sake and the sake of our wallets- she's cost us upwards of $3500.00 as of yesterday. So, I contacted the powers that be and we have made a plan.
As of today, Maggie will live with me. Mags will live out whatever she has left in my home and be kept as comfortable as possible, until I don't think we can keep her happy anymore. She isn't appearing to be sick at this point, but the cancer is spreading, seemingly quite rapidly. I am treating her with Benadryl and Pepcid in an effort to keep the cancer at bay, but it doesn't seem to be helping at this point. So, the decision is made: Maggie will come off Petfinder and remain a New Hope dog- but essentially mine.
I am happy to give Maggie as comfortable a home as possible, for whatever time we have- it could be weeks, it could be years. I am being realistic, and I think we have weeks to months together. In any case, if she starts to appear to be feeling worse or the cancer spreads more, I'll have lots of say in determining when enough is enough, and for that I am grateful. And, it just seems like the right thing to do, to see her through to whatever her end will be. She's a lovely dog, and I feel blessed to have been able to rescue her (ironically, after her owner died of cancer) and to take care of her this far- she's showed her quirky, spoiled rotten, only dog mentality to me through this whole time. But, she's also showed me a gentle, wants desperately to be loved side that is endearing. So, there it is. Maggie is home.