I wanted to make Dylan's last chemo treatment a Big Thing. It was 5 months -- almost to the day!-- since his amputation, and the next "big step" in our journey through osteosarcoma. But the truth is...I was tired. And feeling superstitious. We already had one chemo treatment delayed due to low white blood cell count (it happens), and I had this feeling that it would happen again if I invited his support group to celebrate with cake and party hats. (Also, he's not a big fan of party hats, but that's a minor point.)
And though we're now done with chemotherapy, we're not actually done. He's got chest x-rays in 3 weeks, and if they're clear...another round of chest x-rays in 3 months. And if those are clear, another round in 3 months. And so on and so forth.
"Treatment" is over. Now we're in the "wait and see" mode. How fun. Will he carry on Ellie's legacy -- an amazing cancer survivor who lived to a ripe old age? Or will his story more closely represent the "typical" tale of canine osteosarcoma?
In the meantime, his fan club is growing, which helps me deal with the stress. So many people are rooting for him -- he's sweet, he's approachable, and he's amazingly soft. ("Also, I'm 'The Dylan,'" he'd add...) He's not loving "life as a shop dog" -- car trips are stressful and it takes a while for him to settle. But I think it's important for people to see a dog living, and living well, with cancer. Maybe it'll help him be a better donation dog at this year's Chase Away 5K.
Oooh -- was that a note of optimism creeping in?! He was a winner on the track, let's see if he can win the fight against cancer.
[This post originally ran in February 2020]