Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Heff

In my last post, I alluded to some stressful things going on at that time.  I realized now that if I don't start writing the posts that I've been meaning to write, I might as well just take the blog down, because I know I wouldn't pick it back up.  I will start by saying that I realize that I am very fortunate.  Don't get me wrong.  I have my health, I have a steady job that pays my bills (at least the anticipated ones), I have a roof over my head, and most of all, I have my wonderful dogs.  With that being said, this year has been rough.  To the point that there is going to be a very pissed off post that I plan on writing once I'm all caught up.  The universe is a bitch, and right now, it can go fuck itself.

I mentioned in a previous post that Heffner had a tumor on his back leg that had become problematic.  After a week of solidly wearing the cone of shame except while eating and while out walking or hiking, the tumor was no better.  It wasn't even really scabbing over and would very easily start to bleed again.  While I had become skilled at jerry rigging a dressing on this tricky spot, the dressing wasn't going to cut it indefinitely.  So I scheduled the appointment for Heffner to see the vet and get us all booked for the inevitable tumor removal.  The tumor removal surgery just happened to be the same day as the start of the Snowpocalypse.  It took me over an hour and a half to go the less than four miles from work to the vet clinic to pick him up after his surgery.  I'm incredibly thankful that the clinic staff were willing to stick around until I got there to pick my  poor guy up.  I'm also thankful that the route back to my house was almost completely clear and we made excellent time. 

The surgery went well.  Two tumors were removed.  One of which I had no doubt was a fatty tumor.  The other was the bothersome tumor.  Both tumors were removed with nice clean margins all the way around and were sent off to the pathologist.  Meanwhile, Heffner was having a rough time recovering from the anesthesia.  It was a full 48 hours after the surgery before he was fully recovered.  Because of the location of the tumors, he needed assistance getting up and down and couldn't walk far at all without help.  That first night, when I finally felt he was steady enough to take him outside to relieve himself, he ended up sitting in the snow to pee.  Supporting him while allowing him to pee was tricky and I hovered while he figured out how to go about it.  For numerous reasons, I hope that this is the last anesthesia that my boy will have to experience.  It was just too rough on him afterwards. 

Once the surgery was over and I had him safely at home, a little bit of my stress let up.  Now everything was out of my hands and I just needed to wait for the results to be back.  The tumor that we had thought was a fatty tumor was in fact, a fatty tumor.  Yay!  The bothersome tumor turned out to be a malignant nerve sheath tumor.  Yes, that's right, the scary malignant word.  While the tumor was cancer, it was probably the most ideal type of cancer to have.  This type of tumor does have a chance that it will come back.  However, it's just as easily removed again.  These types of tumors also don't usually metastasize.  So basically, removing the tumor potentially permanently solves the problem.  Ahhhhhhhhh!  I really love the sound of that. 

Heffner's further recovery after that went smashingly.  I actually only had to keep the cone on him for a few days after surgery.  I started giving him bouts of time without it while I was able to observe him and he didn't even lick at his sutures.  Apparently removing the tumor removed the irritation for him and I have a happy boy again. 

Now that I'm well past this, it all seems quite minor and it's hard to think that I was so stressed out about something so relatively minor that had such a great outcome.  At the time, it was wretched.  Since then, things have been put into stark contrast for me.

Two more updates to come.  For now I'm going to go sit on the couch and soak up some precious snuggle time with my pooches.  I hope this post sees everyone out there doing well.  Hug, squeeze and soak up the love that you have around you, in whatever form it may take.

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