The C-Word

Greta close upHemangiosarcoma.



I keep repeating the word in my head. It’s especially bad when I walk Greta in the mornings. It’s kinda weird when it happens when I’m doing a power press in weights class. Luckily when my eyes water there it just looks like sweat.

It’s a particularly nasty canine cancer of the blood vessels that shows up in middle aged large breed dogs the most. Most people find out their dog has it because it’s popped like an aneurysm and their dog goes into shock or dies suddenly. I got “lucky” in that I found it while rubbing her belly and noticed the lump.

People who follow me on twitter were treated to a fine rant about how when I called up my vet to make an appointment to get it checked, I was subtly mocked for calling up to say I had found a mass in her abdomen. My husband (who ended up taking her to the first appointments because I had a major work project launching that week) said the vet was actually really impressed I had found it because most owners wouldn’t have.

I’m still debating if discovering it did her any damn good. There’s not really good treatment for this particular cancer. Most of the first page of google results are the 1-3 month survival period after discovery with organ involvement. Of course, most of these cases are from animals that had spleens involved and it’s discovered due to the extreme internal bleeding. We lucky in that there’s wasn’t any organ involvement initially and we caught it before severe bleeding happened. However, chances are very high it will recur in a very short time period. We could do chemo. We haven’t talked to the oncologists yet because we’re both kinda like, why? This isn’t a cancer where they fade away and in a lot of pain. It’s a lot like living with a known weak vein. It’s gonna kill her and soon but we don’t know when.

And of course the killer (ha) is that post surgery, she’s in great shape. We had a crap week where she was in recovery, a frustrating week where she felt a lot better but was still on restriction and then this week where she’s back to her old self. Is she putting weight on because the tumor was removed or because we’re spoiling her? No idea. Is acting slow because it’s hot and humid or is it because she’s got a slow bleed? No idea.

So we’re spoiling her rotten and she gets walks without Zille so she can sniff all the things to her heart’s content. And I keep living on knife’s edge wondering if this is going to be the day I come home and she’s gone or, worse, going poorly.

This fucking sucks.

6 thoughts to “The C-Word”

  1. I’m so sorry bb. I know there’s not really anything I can say/do to help, because losing a pet is so shitty. But I’m so sorry.

    1. <3

      And it's such a shitty way for it to happen. Like, I'm glad she's likely to not face a painful decline, but the living with a burstable bubble is hard. I mean, that's the way life really is but most of the time you can ignore it. At least she probably doesn't know. Zille has been pretty into licking her lately so maybe they know something's wrong, but it's not like having to explain cancer to a nine year old kid.

  2. Mike and i lived like that for 6 months with our Zeke. i kissed him and hugged him every morning and thanked him for staying with us another day and gave him massive amounts of treats. the day i woke up and he was having trouble breathing- that day went ten steps beyond fucking sucky. now i try to remember the six months of thankful days. i hope you and Greta get 6 months. i hope you get a year. but it won’t be enough. it is never enough. please give Greta and you and Jason a hug and kiss from Mike and I

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