Did you know a dog could develop breast cancer? Yeah, me either, but that's exactly what our vet diagnosed Macy with almost three weeks ago. From what I gather breast cancer is fairly common in female dogs who have not been fixed, and although Macy was spayed before we adopted her it wasn't until after she'd had at least one litter of puppies, making it much more likely for her to develop breast cancer than if she'd been spayed at a young age.
So what do we do? Well, she goes in for her first of two surgeries tomorrow in which she will receive the equivalent of a doggy mastectomy on her left side. It will be a one to two month recovery time and then she goes in for the second surgery to have the right side done. If all goes as planned she'll be fully recovered right around the time that, well, the baby gets here, and then we turn her world upside down and inside out by bringing yet another little life into the house that she'll feel responsible for keeping track of at all times. Needless to say, life is about to get very interesting, provided that she survives.
Wait. That sounds really dark, doesn't it? Provided that she survives? Fortunately, the vet doesn't seem the slightest bit worried that she'll pull through the two surgeries, the healing process, and the stress of bringing the baby home all in a three month span, but of course Jon and I have our concerns. We don't know how old she is--she was a rescue--and we don't know her past history with illness other than she was severely emaciated when she and her son were discovered in an abandoned home. We don't know for sure that she's got what it takes to get through the next few months, but we do know that she's not acting like a dog who's ready to call it quits, and the vet believes we'll be buying her another four to five years of active life if we go through with these surgeries, so we're doing it. We're going through with the surgeries and we're hoping for the best. We're hoping to not only give her a longer life, which is what we feel we promised her by signing the adoption papers, but we're also hoping to have the same animated, hard-headed, and loving dog we've come to know in the last three years.
I'll be the first to admit that I've been a hard judge of character where Macy is concerned. I'm extremely guilty of playing favorites between her and Jack--my first baby--but when I stop and look at what her life has brought her through and the fact that she still loves me and protects me as if there is nothing more important in the world, my heart aches for her, and I can't imagine life without her.