Part 4 of “The Elephant in the room” mini series
Now, after surgery, banging around the house with a Cone Of Shame, doxie Doodle’s eyes are a little less glisteny. The indignity!
But, cone is good – it helps protect those eight angry black stitches on Doodle’s head. Those pesky, annoying, scratchy itchy stitches…
Wieners are thin-skinned anyway, with tiny, pointy faces. They’re almost all nose and some eyes and there’s not a lot of hair or skin (or maybe even excess brains) left for a comb-over for the hole she cut.
Our lady vet must have run out of room. Some of his charismatic doxie forehead wrinkles got removed in the process.
It was a face-lift, like his eyebrows were raised all the time, exclaiming “WHASSUP, DUDE?!”
Normally, aren’t we all up for a little face-lift in middle age?
But it’s really weird on a middle-aged doxie.
I didn’t shoot a lot of photos during this time of our lives.
I waited until emancipation day – the day the cone came off – to resume my normal hundred-plus--dog-pictures-per-week habit.
It was the right thing to do.
We have a dog blog but the cone of indignity was plenty to deal with. You know, doggie HIPPA and all.
His head zipper slowly melted, from angry raised red skin, to flat, bald scalp.
I clipped the stitches out myself with tools from my own personal disasters.
Doodle was a rather patient patient, which is so unlike the humans of my family.
Another eight stitches swam beneath the surface of his little forehead, and they’d dissolve on their own in another month, vet lady said.
I can’t breathe until biopsy results come back.
I can’t breathe, just thinking about it.
The elephant on his head.
In the room.
How quickly things can change.
The Big C.
Phone call, please don't take me back to last year when my old blind dog, Dude, got sick and never recovered.
I miss my Dude, surfing life, and surfing waves with our Surf Dog Diaries family.
Even after losing one eye, then two.
Surfing with glaucoma. Cancer. And Alzheimer’s.
I miss my Elvis, proud basset nose rider on my surfboard. Seeing Eye dog for his blind brother. And me.
Since that crappy year of dog disasters, we’re still trying to find our Mojo, Doodle and I.
Trying to act like the house isn’t painfully empty of another 40 toes, tap dancing when the food bowl calls.
Surfing with one dog, not three.
But after the adjustment period, the grieving and the trying-to-act-normal-again, I think Doodle is secretly happy to earn the top dog spot.
He lived in the shadow of the basset boys.
He has now expanded to fill the void.
He shows me the way through grief – without blinking a stitched-up eye.
Now, no more fast-growing tumor that threatened to take over his head, and our lives, secretly ruining Christmas.
No more elephants.
His or mine.
Doodle’s only seven and a half - 49 in dog years. Too young for cancer.
The dreaded vet call came today.
Heart in throat moments until the vet spoke….
“A sebaceous adenoma, nothing to worry about. Should not recur or grow back. It’s all good news!”
But I read up on it –
“Adenomas are a cutaneous condition characterized by a slow-growing tumor usually presenting as a pink, flesh-colored, or yellow nodule”.
Hmm, that’s weird, I thought the elephant on his head was grey….
And Doodle’s tumor grew from zero to one-half-inch in less than a month, which is both fast and huge on a four-inch doxie brain.
His tumor was also not slow growing. What does that mean?
Google said, “Adenomas are not significant on their own, however may be associated with a genetic condition that predisposes individuals to cancer and particularly colorectal cancer.”
Which begs the question; do they do doxie colonoscopies these days?
OK. So we’re back to fake normal. Totally inappropriate thoughts.
A couple of years ago, the biopsy wasn’t so rosy for my blind dog Dude.
He had bad cancer that spread.
Still, we cheated death until the very end.
He never stopped living.
We stole another two years out of his cancer’s life.
THE MORAL OF OUR STORY IS THIS:
NO MATTER WHAT THE DIAGNOSIS –
WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER.
DON’T LET FEAR STOP LIFE.
OR DRIVE LIFE.
SURF THAT BIOPSY INSTEAD.