Sunday, March 9, 2008

The diagnosis 

After leaving the vet on Saturday, I had to wait two days to find out the test results. I tried to put it in the back of my mind and go about life. But, at 8:59am on Monday, I was dialing the number to the vet. At 9:30 the receptionist told me that they had not gotten a fax, but they would call me as soon as they did. I called again at 10:30a and she told me the same thing. At 11a, the vet called me. Not the one we had seen, but one in the practice. She came right out with it.

"Milo has an aggressive form of lymphoma."

I know I said "Ok," and beyond that I barely remember the conversation. I started sobbing and a co-worker came and closed my door. I remember a few words "6 months" "advanced" and again, "aggressive." She also told me that another dog being treated had spent $600 since January treating their dog. Yeah, this was going to be expensive.

She said my vet would call the next day to go over the details.

I sat at my desk and cried for about 20 min. Cried and sobbed and cried for my beautiful black bunny who seemed so healthy. People came in and out of my office trying to console me, but I was near inconsolable. I made it through the day, but it was the last conversation I had on my way home that put me over the edge. My friend Elizabeth was the first to speak of him as though he was truly going to die. She spoke of making his last few weeks happy ones and talking to him and making him comfortable and it was too much. I rushed in my backdoor, ran to my bedroom and literally fell on my floor sobbing.

I am not a crier. It's just not my nature. I ended an engagement with no more tears than one would have for the death of a distant and far-removed cousin that you've only met twice. But that day I cried. I cried for all the happiness Milo and I have brought each other. The laughs, the snuggles, the pure joy. I cried for the life Milo had before me and how I had not yet made up for it. I cried for the years he was still supposed to be next to me. I cried for every sacrifice I had made for him. I cried for his beautiful face. I cried because the thought of losing the very best friend I'd ever had was more than I could bear.

I spent that night gazing at him and tearing up. He was especially loving and snuggly because my behavior was so out of the norm.

The next day, Dr. O'Donnell called to discuss the diagnosis. She told me that she thought I should treat him and that he had a good prognosis. She said that if I did not treat him, he would likely only live another 4-6 weeks. That's 28 to 42 days. That's all I would have with him. That's nothing.

Her office contacted the oncologist whose office called me later that day. It was Tuesday and I asked for an appointment the following Monday. The receptionist said his file was marked "URGENT" and that I should not wait that long. I took a Thursday appointment and hoped he would not die before then.

I had a hard choice in front of me and really, truly did not know what I was going to do.
Posted by Kristen @ 7:52 PM