How’s your pandemic going?
Ours has been bad, epically bad. The worst thing that happened is that we lost Mia in May, but it wasn’t unexpected. We were so so lucky to have her in our lives as long as we did. I actually went to a pet loss support group in February, thinking we were close to having to make the hard decision.
When the world locked down, having Mia in our home for those first couple of months meant everything. Caring for an elderly dog is much easier when you can be home with her all the time.
In April, seemingly out of nowhere, I found out I had ovarian cancer. I had three chemotherapy infusions and then surgery in June. The chemotherapy didn’t work on the cancer, but the surgery did. I have a rare type called low-grade serous ovarian cancer, which did not respond to chemo, but at this time, I have no evidence of disease.
In September, twelve weeks to the day from my ovarian cancer surgery, I stumbled over my own stupid feet and fractured my ankle in three places. The injury is called a trimalleolar fracture, and the surgery to fix it is called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). That experience was worse than having cancer. I spent a miserable night in the emergency room in Seattle, and then I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg for six weeks. However, once the cast came off, I progressed very quickly from walking with two crutches, to one crutch to no crutches.
So I had two really terrible medical experiences within a six-month period. Neither hurt as much as losing Mia.
While all this was going on, Leo started having seizures more frequently. He’s been on anti-convulsants since his second seizure a little more than a year ago. In July, he had an MRI that confirmed what I suspected: he has a brain tumor. He also has intervertebral disk disease. In August, he had three treatments of stereotactic radiation, which we hoped would give him up to a year and a half to live. He’s 10 years old now, so that sounded like a good deal.
But he had increasing mobility problems with his hind end, and continued having breakthrough seizures. A follow-up MRI in November showed that not only had the radiation not shrunk his brain tumor and his IVDD was worse, but that he ALSO has two tumors in his abdomen.
Remember in E.T. when Elliott and E.T. were so linked that they seemed to be dying at the same time? That’s me and Leo. I had three tumors. He has three tumors. In October, neither of us could walk.
Then the psychic link was broken and Elliott got better and E.T. didn’t?
My tumors were removed and my ankle got better. Leo has three inoperable tumors and can’t walk.
But he’s still here. And for that, I’m thankful.