Tuesday, March 02, 2010

OK, I’m done freaking out….

…for now.

I wanted to write about Vida, but I just couldn't. Not when I was having such a hard time NOT worrying constantly. Writing would've been a reminder, not a catharsis.

She had a "cosmetic debulking" done on the tumor because it was getting in the way of daily fun. Literally. She'd catch a toy and make it bleed. It's called "cosmetic" because we knew it wasn't cutting away enough to be curative (more on that later). I wanted to do enough to make her comfortable again and to let me (us) regroup on treatment.

Imagine my shock when, five days after surgery, I opened her mouth to take a photo of it and it was back! Like a horror movie monster you can't kill. It wasn't nearly as big, but where the cutting had left a concave region at the front, it was convex.

Let me back up a minute.

The vet who did the surgery is the same one who did it a year and a half ago. So at this visit he read aloud from the original biopsy report, which I hadn't revisited since the first time I read it after the original surgery. It's full of doom and gloom, and not a lot of detail (turns out there isn't much info on plasmacytoma). It talks about bone removal, radiation, aggressiveness, etc, etc. He then gave me the name of a surgeon who specializes in orthopedics (read bone cutter). Basically he made me feel like there was no hope but cutting half her lower jaw off (though he consented to do what I'd asked).

So I spent a couple weeks being scared. I woke up most nights worrying about it. I gave the dog and myself lots of flower essences to deal with it. I tried to answer questions from concerned friends and customers as simply as possible, and insisted that they not feel sorry for her (she HATES that). And I felt alone because I was trying so hard not to share it with the dog that is reading my mind all the time.

I used an animal communicator because I wanted to get Vida's perspective, and that really helped clear my mind, mainly because it helped confirm my own instincts on how she was doing. I wanted to be sure she understood what was being considered (she did, and didn't like the idea). I wanted to know whether it was causing her pain now (it's not, and in the scheme of things pain isn't her biggest worry - being deformed is). It reaffirmed my belief that right now she's ok, and if we need to do more radical surgery we will, but it's not something I should rush in to.

My holistic vet wanted me to email him before our post-surgical visit two weeks after with my ideas and questions about what to do next. I wrote most of it immediately after the surgery, and rewrote some just before the appointment. He could tell.

When I walked in the first thing he said was "He scared you, didn't he?" We talked and had a good meeting. We talked supplements (next post) and surgery (going to have a consult with a dental surgeon he recommends so I have that in my pocket when needed). Vida was on the other side of the room glaring when we talked surgery, but friendly and happy when we talked supplements. When I left the last thing he said was "Remember, next time you're freaking out, call me. That's what I'm here for, that's part of the relationship." That's why he's our vet!

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