Spring is on its way to Laramie. A couple weeks ago we saw over a foot of snow over the course of several dreary days. Thankfully with this “warmer” weather, the snow doesn’t stick around for very long. Since we’ve had some rain, which is wonderful. I’d forgotten about the lovely persistent sound the rain makes on our skylights and against the window pane, which is kind of inevitable with this Wyoming wind.
Most of the local deciduous trees and bushes, aspen and cottonwood, lilac and crabapple, are still leafless, though you can see a hint toward leaves in the emerging buds. My tulip buds (which I can’t claim to have planted) have fully emerged but have yet to bloom, likely put off by the recent snow.
The week before last, Matt and I learned that Abe, our sweet dog, has cancer. He had a large tumor removed from his right side, along the ribcage, which came back as soft tissue sarcoma grade I. The grade scale is somewhat similar to the stage scale you hear people discuss, as in, “He has stage three lung cancer,” except that there are only three grades for dogs. The first level means there is no metastasis, so the cancer, at this grade, will not spread to other areas of the body. Soft tissue sarcoma is a fairly common cancer in dogs, so we are just monitoring the site of the previous tumor for future growth, as the biopsy indicated the veterinarian did not remove the entirety of the cancer.
Abe endured fairly invasive surgery (the tumor was located below a layer of muscle), was sealed up with over 30 staples, and has been recovering with the assistance of his Thundershirt, painkillers, multiple t-shirts, a cleanup crew (there’s been lots of leaking fluid), and many, many treats.
He has been a little slower than usual which, if you know Abe, is quite slow, but he seems to be in good spirits generally. Matt and I are optimistic and hope we can remove any future growth in its entirety via a second surgery, before the cancer advances to any further grades. Matt’s family sent us an adorable “sick as a dog” get-well card which, of course, I read aloud to Abe. He licked it, which I take to be a sign of approval.
I don’t want to gross out anyone with pictures of, as the veterinarian described it, “Franken-Abe,” so here’s a picture of Matt visiting Abe shortly after his surgery; he had to spend the night after his surgery at the vet, so we stopped by to bother the staff/visit him before nightfall.
Poor Abe obviously doesn’t understand what is happening to him, or why he has to wear a ridiculous layer of shirts and velcro to keep pressure on his wound, but he is so sweet, as ever, and ready to shed his clothing as well as winter fur. Please keep Abe in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers from this surgery and, likely, prepares for the next one.
Love to all.