We often talk about how brave a person may or may not be when confronted with terrible odds.
I’ve had some arms-length experience of this, with close family members falling ill. I’ve also had experience of this myself, which I won’t talk about other than to say I can’t comment on whether I was brave or not, as I certainly didn’t feel brave at the time!
My regular readers will know that our dog Fitz has lymphoma. Milo also has had a mast cell tumour removed, but the good news is that his prostate biopsy was negative, so he’s back to fighting fit, i.e. as much of a pain in the you-know-what as ever!
Fitz initially responded very well to the chemo, but to cut a long story short, his remission was short, and the tumours in his neck (but not elsewhere) have grown again. So although the cancer is currently on hold, it’s not getting better.
Despite all that, Fitz remains the same playful dog as ever. He loves his toys, and his treats, and his little games, and the only clue that he’s not well is the puffiness from the steroids, and occasional fatigue. He always wants to go out with us for a walk, and is still very much capable of striking fear in hikers if he barks at them! And when we’re ready to pick olives in a week, I know he will be right there at our side, ‘helping’ in his own special way, right along with Milo.
He is the gentlest giant you’d ever have the pleasure of knowing, and Ana the vet is amazed at his acceptance of treatment. When it’s time for her to put the little IV in for the chemo, he holds his leg out to her – no need for a tranquilizer for this dog! I hope if I’m ever in Fitz’ position, I’m half as brave as he is.
As long as he wants to fight, and as long as he is feeling good and wants to run and play, we’ll be brave right along with him – but I can tell you, it’s not easy.