And they had great news: Lucy’s once unreadable platelet count was now a healthy 400. It was actually on the high end of normal. But like most things these days, there was an ‘on the other hand’ qualifier.
Lucy dropped 4 pounds in 3 days – which, while she needed to loose some weight, is not a healthy amount of weight in such a short amount of time for a dog. The vet also noticed that Lucy’s abdomen was still tender and distended. On a physical exam the vet found evidence that Lucy’s abdomen has free fluid hanging out. Based on all of this the vet is fairly confident that Lucy has cancer.
For now the plan is to decrease her prednisone and see how her platelet count holds up. If the vet is wrong and she doesn’t have cancer, the platelet count should hold steady and we should continue to see her improve. If the vet is right, we will continue to play with the prednisone dose until we find a dose that maximizes the benefits of the medication while minimizing the side effects.
We will continue to watch her and manage the condition while we can and enjoy her company as long as she continues to have an over all happy attitude and is able to do normal functions like eat and go out when she needs to potty.
While we are overjoyed and celebrating the wins, we are also saddened by and are preparing for the ‘on the other hand’ news. We are extremely grateful for the extra time to spoil her and say our good-byes. Hopefully we will have months or years, but we will celebrate what time we have.
In the back of my mind is the question of what to tell our almost 2 year old. She knows enough to call Lucy and ask where she is if she isn’t at home. What do you say to help her understand without lying or risking making her fearful. How do you help her understand that Lucy isn’t coming home any more without making her afraid that when mom and dad leave they won’t come home?
This will be a parenting first while we are saying good-bye to the first pet we have had as a family.