Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Promises to keep

I was expecting it but . . . well, maybe not.

Tank's out of remission. I kinda-sorta thought that might be what's been going on but . . . well, maybe not. Even after all this time I really don't know what I'm doing. Probably never will. Then again I've learned a few things along the way. Some of it I'm aware of. Other things . . .

But since I really don't know what I'm doing I felt fairly confident that I was wrong that the lymph nodes in Tank's neck felt enlarged. I don't have educated fingers and hadn't realized that when I'd give him scritches there now, I'd been unconsciously checking for them. And, they just felt . . . bigger.

He's been acting a little funky, too. Not sick just . . . off. Nothing specific. Just off.

So when I took him in today for his next dose of chemo, I was kinda-sorta expecting it. But maybe not really.

Because of the holidays it's been three weeks since his last, and the last one was Vincristine. Which he's off of for good now. He's had some lymph node re-enlargement after it every single time before, but this is the worst yet. This is also the longest he's gone without any chemo since this all began. So, no more Vincristine. But if "Vink" hasn't been working, then it's really five weeks since he had chemo that does.

So, more refining of Tank's regimen narrowing down what works and what doesn't, and how long each might last.

The hard news today was that while the chemo has beaten back Tank's canine lymphoma, it hasn't beaten it and probably won't. Probably? That's the qualifier Janet used trying to break the news to me as easily as she could.

While Tank's been in remission, he's never been in HARD remission. Meaning it's only the regular chemo that has put and kept him there.

Instead of reaching the end of this regimen and then waiting to see how long before IT reappears — which odds are it would sooner (6 months) or later (18 months) — we now know. There's no free fall waiting until we get slapped upside the head ‘cause "it's back."

No, no really. It's not back. It's here. It's been here. It never left and it ain't leaving. All we can do is fight that bastard until Tank says it's time to stop. And Tank's no where close to telling me that but when he does . . . we'll keep the promise we made to him.

I'm not happy but I can handle this far better than the "free fall" of knowing sooner or later I'm gonna get smacked in the face again. This we can handle. At least that's what I'm telling myself as I remind myself that every day he's happy is a good one.

Meanwhile, I realized this past weekend that while I know how to and have taken the temperature of humans from infant through adult size AND horses, too, while I know what the readings should be I really don't know the right and proper way of shoving a thermometer up a dog's butt.

Not that I may ever have to do it, but now know how to do it.

Janet: Watch. Do this and that and then . . .

Tank: glare

Janet: Now you do it.

Tank: GLARE

Janet: This is where you take Tank's pulse. Do you feel it?

Me: No.

Tank: GLARE . . . oh, okay. Just stay away from my butt.

Previously:

Things I've learned along the way
Every day is a good one
Invisible dog food
Week Five
Week Four
Week Three
Week Two -- Part Three.
Week Two -- Part Two (We begin).
Week Two -- Part One.
Week One.

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