Get in on the conversation! To leave a comment, just click on a post title.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm sorry to ask, but I need some help.

My husband and I have 6 children: 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a baby. As you can imagine, we spend a LOT of money trying to take good care of all of them. Our pets are our family, and even though things are more challenging now that we also have our baby, they still mean the world to us. Both cats are hyperthyroid, we had a growth removed from one of our cats last year, one of our dogs has had TWO knee replacements, etc. All our pets are rescues in one form or another.

The dog with the knee surgeries, Jake, also had a cancerous tumor pop up on his front paw last August. He got surgery, and the results came back with clean margins, meaning there were no cancerous cells in the skin around the tumor that they could find. But with the tumor being right off his paw pad, it was a very tricky area to operate on, and the margins there are not as wide as they typically want with tumor removal. A chest scan showed nothing had spread, so all these things led us to believe he was in the clear.

A couple of weeks ago, it came back, and not one tumor but two. After a lot of consulting with our regular vet and two different specialists, we decided we needed to have him scanned again (chest and abdominal) to make sure it still hadn't spread. He had a swollen lymph node and one nodule show up in a scan, though everything else looked normal. We waited on pins and needles to find out if the lymph node and nodule meant anything or not. We finally got the call that the cancer has NOT spread and is localized to the paw. This is GREAT news. However, this also means that he has to have the whole arm amputated. Due to the size of the tumors, the location, and the fact that it already came back once after local surgery, that is the best way to ensure it can never come back. It sounds strange to say, but we are actually relieved that amputation is all we have to do because that means we can get rid of it and it's not anywhere else in his body. At least, that is how I am having to look at it to keep myself from falling apart over the loss of his limb. In all likelihood, the loss will be harder on us than him. He will most likely adapt quickly and be able to do most of the things he has always done (which is fortunate, because you can see he's a lab mix, which means he's still very much like a puppy). And another silver lining is that both his knees are nice and strong.

He's getting the surgery on Monday. The reason I need help: we already spent $1,000 getting all the scans and needle aspirations to make sure it hadn't spread, and the amputation itself will cost $2,000. I hate asking for money and don't think I ever really have. But we have our daughter now, and expenses are mounting. We could really use some help. I thought I'd set up a Paypal button where people could donate if they feel compelled. 

If you don't feel comfortable doing that, you could buy one of our handmade necklaces from our etsy shop, and that will go toward Jake's surgery. 

I hope I am not out of line using our blog to make this request.