When Rachel came to me with a grim and vague diagnosis of cancer, I was hoping the first vet had been wrong. Apart from her mild incontinence, she looked so well. After a battery of tests, the second vet confirmed an advanced cancer that wasn’t apparent and would require more in-depth testing to figure where it was located. Having made the decision of not submitting her to a lengthy chemo-therapy that might or might not buy her a little time, the vet prescribed prednazone to keep her appetite and energy up. She was given a couple of months.
It’s been four – months filled with walks, lovely prepared meals when store-bought food wasn’t enticing enough, getting to know each other and for Ottie and Portia to figure this new addition out. Rachel’s zest for life and the way she has embraced the ways of the household have been humbling.
There have been setbacks – she stopped eating for a while until my home concoctions brought her back, then a rapid growing and foul-smelling tumour appeared on her lower lip, only to naturally fall off a few days later, after the vet told me it was inoperable. Through it all, she still loves it when I get home, she trots around house, watches me intently while I brush my teeth or make the bed. Every time she hears the door of the pantry open, she runs in, hoping for a treat and she still fights for a spot on the couch.
In the last few days, though, we might be coming closer to the end of the road. Her appetite is waning again, her hind legs have become a bit unstable and her energy level has taken a dive. But she and I are stubborn females – she will still drag herself down the driveway while I take the trash out and I won’t give up on the food. So, twice a day, I sit on the floor and feed her from my hand – spoiled princess that she is, she just can’t resist being hand fed but will not go anywhere near the bowl otherwise. I wonder if she likes to feel special.
As long as she is not in pain, I am determined not to give up. And, apparently, neither is she. Even if it’s only for one more day of greeting each other first thing in the morning or one more trash duty.