I have sat in front of my computer for an hour now, just staring at the screen wondering how I start a post I never wanted to write. The past week has felt like a blur in so many ways. Our sweet, 6-year-old Bill has cancer. Specifically, B-cell lymphoma.
Over Labor Day weekend, I noticed that Bill had developed a cough. Dane was battling a horrible case of COVID-19, so we both assumed our boy had contracted some form of the virus.
We expected to take him to the vet, get some cough medicine and be on our way. Out of an abundance of caution, our vet (Clarendon Animal Care-North if you’re in NOVA) took an aspirate of his lymph nodes.
We never expected the results to show lymphoma. We were immediately referred to an oncologist at VCA Southpaws and she is absolutely wonderful. Our initial appointment was slated for the end of September, because specialists get booked up very quickly, but a cancellation led us to getting in sooner and starting chemo even sooner than we anticipated.
I can’t explain what our dogs mean to us. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you might have a pretty good idea of how big of a role our dogs play in our life. That said, when you find out you can’t have human children, their importance is magnified to a level I fail to be able to articulate.
If someone had told us two years ago, we would face the loss of 4 human babies, drinking jet fuel from contaminated water, emergency pet surgeries, a cross-country move, sick grandparents, the death of two grandmothers, a best friend committing suicide, missed promotions, a horrible case of COVID for Dane, a slipped disc and sepsis for me, and all of the other “normal” things life throws – I would have laughed and laughed. I would never believe it if I wasn’t living it.
Through it all, our dogs have carried us. They have been our constant and our home.
So many people have reached out to me asking how they can help us and help Bill, so I set up a GoFundMe account. Half of everything raised will go directly to Bill’s care, and the other half will be donated to family who needs help paying their own veterinary oncology bills.
Bill turns 7 next week and had his first chemo appointment yesterday (he did great!). We are hopeful for many more happy years ahead. After all, where you invest your love, you invest your life.