in which i ride an emotional roller coaster and get off at the top

Short version: Tala has had surgery and has a very good chance of remaining cancer-free. Whoo-hoo!

It's been a crazy couple of days. Monday afternoon we hear the biopsy results. Tuesday morning we have X-rays done. Our vet recommends a top surgeon who is in the area. She has a cancellation, that very afternoon!

I cancel plans at work, and we rush over. The surgeon is amazing, explaining everything clearly and in great detail. Tala has already been fasted for the X-rays, so even though the surgeon still has another emergency to take care of, she's going to work on Tala that day anyway.

The staff at this clinic couldn't be nicer, calling us with updates, assuring us we can call at any time, even sending us photos of Tala in recovery!

I work Tuesday nights, and by 7:00 Allan has called to say the surgery is over and Tala is recuperating nicely. The doctor said it turned out to be not as extensive as she had thought, based on the external tumour. Statistically, there's a 75% chance it will not return. In this doctor's personal experience, of 21 surgeries on this type of tumour, there has been only one recurrence. Gotta like the odds.

I feel incredibly fortunate. I have a huge credit card bill to pay off - I had that before this happened! - but I feel very fortunate to be able to say that, too.

Here's our little girl in the recovery room.


johngoldfine said...

When Boca had to have back surgery, I found the DVMs and animal hospital to be much much more supportive than any MDs or human hospitals I've ever dealt with: as you say, clear information, updates, obvious concern and reassurance.

Even the hammer, the description ahead of time of what the surgery would cost, was dropped tactfully. After a very detailed laying out of what would be done and the associated dollar figures and likely total, the intake person said, 'Is that something you'd want to do today?'

Of course, it was, but I could see how that formula allowed someone a face-saving exit, if that was what the person needed.

The doctor told me, 'We think it will go well.' He hesitated.

I said, 'But she might not be a forever chum?' Which was as close as I could come to saying, 'She might die?' And I'm not ordinarily a fancier of euphemisms.

The doctor nodded, but, six years later, here's Boca still annoyed and whining as I type because I won't let her race into the barn to steal the cat's food.

I hope it works out as well for Tala as it did for Boca.

Amy said...

Such good news. Give her kisses!

laura k said...

Thanks, guys.

John, our experience with specialist vets have been amazing. We have had occasion to see many of them over the years, partly because stuff happens, dogs get old (damnit!), partly from adopting dogs with special needs. Each one has combined the expertise of a specialist with the warmth, compassion, and understanding of a gifted nurse, for both canines and the humans who love them.

'Is that something you'd want to do today?'

This surgeon said, "Do you need 5 minutes to talk it over?"

We did not.