It's about the size of a silver dollar and hard like a billiard ball. I must have started to wonder whether or not Zilla was panting because it was obstructing his passageway. Strangely enough, the phrase, "Don't believe everything you read on the internet." hasn't applied when it comes to canine lymphoma sarcoma. Everything has been pretty spot on with what the oncologist and the regular vet have told me about the illness, the side effects and the uncertainty. The worst thing I could have done was read about people's experiences. It started the water works.
I've been caught up in making sure Zilla's needs are met and spending quality time with him. His 11th birthday is soon and I hope he'll make it. I've been pretty certain he would. My head accepts and knows the lymphoma or something related will kill him but I'm not ready to let him go.
This morning I received the results of his Tuesday blood tests. The normal white blood cell count should be between 6,000 and 17,000. Zilla was at 800. It's expected to be low due to his chemo but they'd really like it to be higher. I could do essentially nothing or I could provide him with a drug to stimulate the growth of his neutrophils (they attack the bad stuff in our bodies) by injecting it into his skin. The catch is that a minimum of 3 doses is required and it's $500 a dose. Either vet office could do it or show me how to give it to him. I think the cost is just too much for our bank account right now. He's been put back on a second antibiotic and the usual restrictions about keeping away from parks and other places where he could be exposed to colds and infections.
The good news is that while Zilla was a little tuckered out on Tuesday he's been perking up each day. His temperature has returned to normal. I'm supposed to keep tabs on him and keep checking his temperature. The oncologist is on vacation all next week but we'll see our regular vet on Tuesday.
Thinking far far into the future... if Zilla goes into remission and has a recurrence would I be willing to do all of this again? Absolutely. I couldn't have picked a better little guy to be part of my family and whatever I can do I will.