The ‘Trace’ of My Heart: Part V

Well, it is surgery day. A lot has happened and that’s why I’m late getting to this. This has been one of the shittiest days to say the least! I don’t think I’ve cried and laughed altogether in one day as much as today.

Long story short, I took Trace in to the surgeon and they did the initial consult with us. Of course, they asked the long list of questions and then the surgeon took him out briefly for an initial inspection. He came back to inform me that the tumor needed to come out because it was big enough that it concerned him if we left it in. He also said that there was no other way to take it out surgically unless they castrated him as well. Sooooooo, it looks like I will officially be the only man in the house!

Then the scarier news came. He was concerned about it spreading and there was no way to tell unless they did some x-rays, blood work, and an ultrasound. If it had spread, we would be looking at a terminal illness which he predicted would not have a good prognosis. That put a damper on the situation. I ran through waves of emotion, thinking there’s hope one minute to thinking I’d have to put him down the next minute, back to thinking again maybe there was hope. Not mention, the cost. Crap.

So I had some time to sit there and process all of this. The tumor is huge and it irritates the hell out of him. On top of that, he’s gonna have to lose his manhood – which apparently they do surgeries like that all the time and 99% of the male dogs adjust to it very quickly. It is merely a “rechanneling” of his urethra. Nonetheless, there was still this gut-wrenching feeling: there’s a chance the cancer has spread. What to do? What to do? What to do?

I came to the conclusion that I had to do what was best for Trace, regardless of what was going on in my heart and head. I began to sob. At that point, I needed it because I needed a release. So I opted to have them do the screening first to see if it had spread because that would be a determining factor, as least, at that point in time. The surgeon agreed to do that and would call me with the test results before we proceeded with surgery. He left he room and I placed hands on Trace and prayed to God for a miracle, that His will be done no matter what that was, and that I accepted it.

I drove away from the hospital wondering if this would be a “bad day.” I got home around noon and called my wife and explained the situation. We both agreed surgery was critical. About an hour later my phone rings and its the surgeon. He tells me that we have moved the momentum back in the other direction: Trace’s screening came back clean and clear – no spread! So I went over some options with him about post-surgery biopsy: we want to kick this tumor in the ass and make sure we do what we can by making sure the best in the business do it. So, I called, of all places, Michigan State University (I’m a die-hard University of Michigan fan) to their Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (a friend referred me). At MSU, they have one of the leading diagnostic centers in the country (if not, the world), in particular with doing analyses on mast cell tumors. So, I forwarded the surgeons the information to have the tumor sent there.

Trace was being prepped for surgery about 30 minutes ago. Poor guy is gonna have a recovery. But I have faith. One step at a time.

Oh, and that whole thing on acceptance and being at peace with situations: it comes in chunks. I’m hoping for the best and prepared for the worst. We’ll see how it turns out…

© 2011 – 2014 by Scott Hamilton and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author.

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