Even when you know it's a possibility — even when you know it's a probability — it's still devastating to get the news. So, yes, Dingo's osteosarcoma diagnosis was shocking.
But I had a plan. "Let's replicate what we did for Ellie," I thought, "what could go wrong?" Except Dingo wasn't Ellie and cancer doesn't care what you know or that you had a 4-year cancer survivor who beat all the odds and died of old age. Cancer... just sucks.
Because of his arthritic neck, Dingo was not a candidate for amputation. That said, we were lucky (if you can use that word when talking about cancer): His tumor was in his right ulna, a non-weight bearing bone. After a bit of research and many vet consults, we opted for limb-sparing surgery — removing only what we needed to. He did well. He did great. Until the cancer came back less than a year later. Because, again, he wasn't Ellie.
By this point, our options were limited and money was tight. But Dingo was such a love — he deserved the absolute best. And he wasn't yet ready to go. So we applied for funding assistance through Emma's Foundation for Canine Cancer. The application was easy and they asked for little in return (and something we would have gladly done even without them asking): A few volunteer hours.
With the Foundation's help, we didn't have to stress over how to cover Dingo's x-rays (which were starting to get expensive) or his palladia (which was already expensive). We took him to his vet appointments, and everything else was just...handled. We had an expanded support network, people wishing and hoping for the best almost as much as we were. And people crying with us when the inevitable day finally came.
In my mind, Emma's Foundation for Canine Cancer and Chase Away K9 Cancer are two sides of the same coin. One raises money to fund a cure for canine cancer. One raises money to fund your canine's cancer treatment. Both have my heart — and support — for as long as I am able.
[This post originally ran in December 2021]