Twice in the last two weeks I’ve had to take my dog Angel to the vet and leave her there. The first was two weeks ago for what started out to be a simple teeth cleaning, but she ended up having two suspicious lumps surgically removed as well. The second was this morning, to have her stitches removed and to have a chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound. It turned out her lumps were mast cell tumors, which are apparently a common cancer in dogs.
These are Angel’s second and third mast cell tumors, the first having been removed from under her chin before we adopted her at the local animal shelter. Now that she is on number three the vet is concerned, which is why they are performing the chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound today. To be sure it hasn’t spread.
Cancer? Spread? Two words you never want to hear in the same conversation. Best case scenario is we continue to watch for more lumps; worst case scenario is we have to talk to an oncologist about chemotherapy.
I watched Angel as she slept this morning, silly as she looked with the plastic cone-shaped collar around her head. I smiled at her beautiful face, her sweet mouth and her goofy, drooling jowls. Every day she gives us such joy and makes us laugh, and I began to wonder how much I would be able to put her through to keep it that way. I prayed to God that we would hear good news today.
Everyone I know has been praying for Angel and animal or not, I believe in the power of prayer. Some people believe that she’s “just a dog,” but not us. As long as she is in our lives we are charged with her care and she is part of the family. She deserves prayer as much as anyone, and I know that she is in God’s hands, no matter the outcome.