My friend Ellen and I had a long talk on the phone last night. For a couple of weeks now, we have known that her senior whippet Cisco was experiencing some health issues, and Ellen had already been given the heads up that the news might be bad.
On Monday night she received confirmation of what we both feared. Cisco, the whippet that melted my heart and stole hers completely, has been diagnosed with lymphoma - the same horrible cancer that stole my Caleb.
And now Ellen is going through the overwhelming task of weeding through research, making decisions, trying various treatments to keep Cisco comfortable and to help his last days or weeks or months - or possibly even years - to be as precious to Cisco as Cisco is to Ellen.
Just as I made the decision that chemotherapy was not an appropriate route for Caleb, Ellen has decided it is not the right choice for Cisco. And so now begins the process of researching and considering the best choices among dietary changes, herbal remedies and homeopathic treatments, conventional pharmaceuticals like prednisone, and so on. The goal, as always, is to provide Cisco with a treatment plan that is right for him, that will give him the best quality of life for whatever time he has left.
Cisco is twelve, and Ellen adopted him just over a year ago when his not-so-great family decided they no longer wanted him and took him to the vet to be euthanized. Thank goodness the vet they chose talked them into surrendering him, and phoned Ellen to see if she could offer him a home. Thank goodness that Ellen said yes. Thank goodness that Cisco has been blessed to experience her loving care, the company of his young whippet brother Kinley, runs on the dikes and rides in the car, sleeping on the bed (under the covers, yet!) and curling up with the cat. It is the type of life I wish all dogs could live. And, oh how I pray that he will have many, many more nights curled under those blankets and many, many more days racing along those dikes.
Please keep Cisco and Ellen in your thoughts and prayers as they make this difficult journey together.
((((((Hugs))))) Ellen. We are here for you both.