Good-Bye to 2018. An okay year for me. Not a great one. Not the worst. But sadly, it’s ending on a very down note.
After exhibiting weird symptoms over the past few months — such as facial swelling that looked like a reaction to a bee sting or spider bite, but wasn’t — my sweet dog, Sorcia, has been diagnosed with an advanced case of lymphoma. The mysterious swelling, as it turns out, was an auto-immune response related to the cancer. Although blood tests in September showed no signs of an elevated white blood cell count, x-rays taken two days ago indicate a large tumorous mass in her chest and other small masses spread throughout her organs.
Sorcia is 11 years old. The disease is greatly advanced. We have elected not to put her through traumatic surgeries and chemo therapy in the hopes of dragging this out for months. Instead, she’s under sedation, and we’re saying a gentle good-bye.
Until this past week, Sorcia suffered no pain. There was that weird facial swelling, but it bothered us more than it did her.
Until this past week, Sorcia engaged in mischievous romping around the house, chasing the cat — and letting the cat taunt her into the chase.
She romped in the dog park.
She rejoiced in a new ball discovered in her Christmas stocking and squeaked it until it could squeak no more.
She occasionally stole the cat’s food.
She barked at package deliveries. (It’s mind-boggling how much she hates the UPS truck.)
She didn’t know she had cancer. She still doesn’t know.
The sedatives have made her woozy, and she threw up one of her many small meals today. We were heartened that, dog-like, she considered re-eating the vomit. (We intervened.)
She watches the cat rampage, but doesn’t participate.
She observes us closely and lifts her ears when we say her name. We hope that the end will be swift and sudden and painless, and I’ve mapped the quickest routes to all the 24-hour veterinary hospitals.
We are saying good-bye to our sweet girl — and good-bye to 2018 — and hoping for joy in the new year.
Best wishes to everyone.