Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's this about? 

My dog, Milo, was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. For those of you who know him and have seen him, it's truly hard to believe. He is an energetic wild man who bounds through the apartment, yard and dog park any chance he gets. I've had Milo for 2 1/2 years and he has brought immeasurable joy to my life. I find myself rambling on about him to strangers, quick to pull out a picture or share a cute story, whether people want to hear or not. He makes me smile and laugh out loud, which is quite a feat considering he can't talk and surely does not consider himself funny.

We are connected in way that sounds ridiculous in words, but most dog lovers and owners understand. At the dog park, he's free to romp and run, but fearful of losing me, is constantly checking in, making eye contact before dashing off to hunt squirrels. At home, he's independent- loves to sit in his chair and gaze out the window, but again, comes often for just a quick pet before running off to the important business of bone chomping.

When I took Milo to the vet on Saturday, March 1st, the idea that there could be anything wrong truly never crossed my mind. He's full of boundless energy, eats well and is generally happy. As soon as Dr. O'Donnell said his lymph nodes were enlarged and that it could be lymphoma, I knew it was. There was no doubt or question. It was confirmed on Monday, March 3rd-- Milo has an "aggressive" lymphoma. Without treatment, my otherwise healthy and happy 6 year old dog will live only 4 to 6 more weeks. It's so shocking to imagine because he really is still full of life and shows no sign of sickness.

Milo's treatment option is chemotherapy, which unlike chemo in humans, generally is well tolerated with few side effects. With treatment, Milo's prognosis is good, per Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Silver, his oncologist. This treatment can extend his life for a year or more. This life will be lived the same way it is now, with lots of energy and life- not full of sickness, as one may imagine. Of course, everything comes at a cost and the cost for this one is fairly steep. The estimated cost of care is around $3,000.

Milo is the love of my life, my sunshine, my bunny and my beautiful stinky boy. It's not his time. I know it's not.
Posted by Kristen @ 3:54 PM