Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bad News from the Vet

Two days ago, I took Cayenne to the vet to have her staples removed.  Well, the ones she hadn't already removed herself, that is.  She apparently spent the weekend Isaac and I were out of town removing as many staples as possible from her belly.  Since she had about two dozen of them, and they are apparently not easy to remove herself, she only got about half of them out.  She suggested we skip the trip to the vet and she would remove the rest herself, but I disagreed.

Most of her incision has healed well.  Unfortunately, near the bottom of the incision, where it's hard to see because unless you spread her legs wide, it's kind of hidden in the creases of her skin, there is an infection brewing.  Nasty green smelly stuff oozing and all that.  I felt terrible for not noticing it myself.  I didn't inspect her belly real carefully.  She does not like to lie on her back spread-eagled.  The part of the incision I could see easily looked good to me.  But I should have looked more carefully.

She is now on antibiotics but I should have taken her to the vet last week for antibiotics, or whenever the infection first started, rather than waiting until now.  I should have been watching her more closely.  She seemed to be feeling well, she was eating well and seemed more active than usual, so I assumed things were good.

I was really, really angry with myself when I left the vet's office.  I felt like I had failed her in a way.  I hadn't done a good job taking care of her and I tried, I try so hard, and it isn't easy taking care of her, but the things I've done have not been enough.  All I needed to do was examine her belly carefully.  And I didn't.

She had two tumors removed and one is already starting to grow back.  You can't see it by looking at her belly, not yet, but the vet was able to feel it when he was pushing on her belly.  In just two weeks, it's already starting to grow back.  I knew this was just a temporary fix, but I thought it would take longer than two weeks for the damn things to start growing back.

What did we do surgery for, then?  Two weeks later and one of the tumors is already growing back and she has an infected wound on her belly.  So we got, what, less than two weeks without infection and tumors?  I mean, I realize it's not nearly as bad right now as it was before surgery, but it sure doesn't seem like much of a reprieve.  I know there was no guarantee about any of it, but I was hoping, believing, that it would take months to get back to where we were before surgery.  Now I'm thinking we'll be right back there in no time.

So I'm disappointed and I'm wondering if I made the wrong decision after all.  Maybe I shouldn't have put her through the surgery. 

And I know I won't do it again.  So when we do get back to that point, where the tumors are big and there are big gaping infected holes in her belly, the only thing left will be to euthanize her.  And suddenly it seems like that time will be here much sooner than I though it would. 

Last summer, I didn't think Cayenne would make it through the year.  I was sure last summer would be her last.   And then, after she'd made it through the year and we decided to do the surgery and she seemed to be recovering so well, I was thinking, well, she'll make it through the summer, maybe she'll see next summer, even.  And now I'm thinking we may be very close to the end.  It's like a roller coaster that is making me nauseous.  I was prepared for the end, it didn't come, now I'm not prepared and I think it's coming.

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