Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 1598

Dash appears to be getting depressed. He is lethargic and spends most of the day sleeping under my desk. He isn't even interested in taking his walks anymore. I called the cancer center to explain what was going on and as expected, they told me that this was normal for the final stages of radiation treatment. They said I should put him back on Tramadol, because a lot of this behavior could be explained by pain. "Dogs don't always react to pain the same way we do," the nurse told me. This made me feel bad, because just two days ago I was convinced that his odd behavior was actually caused by the pain medication. It doesn't really help that we were warned about everything that is happening now. It is still very unsettling.

When I went to see my hepatologist today, I kind of expected some sort of graduation ceremony. Hey, I was finished, wasn't I? Instead, I just received another blood test and an appointment to come back again in three months. After the three month test, I will come back for yet another test six months after that, and then once a year for the foreseeable future. "You guys are being pretty cautious," I told the hepatologist. "Does this disease ever come back again?" "Very rarely," she said, "but it does happen."

My doctors and veterinarians have been able to accomplish some amazing things, but they are still very cautious about making promises. I guess they have good reason to be cautious. Life is complex and full of surprises. When I think of what happened with my parents as they got older and the outcomes of past illnesses and injuries, I'll have to admit that I was seldom prepared for what actually happened. Sometimes the results were much better than I expected, and other times they were worse. What doctors really offer is hope. There are no guarantees in life.

At least Dash only has two more radiation treatments to go. There is one tomorrow and the final treatment is on Monday. The oncologist and the entire team at the cancer center love Dash. They also thing he is doing extremely well, despite the discomfort he is experiencing now. This should be reassuring, but I'll just be glad when this long journey is over. If Dash could talk, I'll sure he would agree.

Work was very, very busy today. There was nothing to get excited about, but nothing that could be ignored either. Janet is even busier than I am. She leaves before sunrise and returns long after sunset. I think we both thought we would be taking it easy by now, but like I mentioned earlier, life is full of surprises and there are no guarantees. You've just got to take things one day at a time. Our dogs are still with us and a lot of hard work allows us to take care of them properly. I guess that's a fair bargain.

Betsy is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day