Wednesday, November 30, 2016


This post is not for people who have issues with anxiety, like I do.  As a matter of fact, I probably shouldn't write this post, because I am dealing with anxiety right now.  My stomach is tied up in knots and I'm feeling nervous.  My mouth is dry.  My bowels are in overdrive.  Yesterday, I had a crying jag.  The sad thing is, my problems aren't really so bad.  But I am feeling the fight or flight response right now.

Most of my issues are related to worrying about my dogs, Zane and Arran.  I probably shouldn't be as upset as I am about Zane's mast cell tumor, except I have found a couple more masses that may also be tumors.  He's such a sweet, delightful, adorable dog.  And he's only eight years old...

On the negative side, there are these bumps coming up.  They have been causing some symptoms for awhile that I chalked up to issues he's always had.  For instance, he's always been a picky eater with a sensitive stomach.  I didn't link the lump on his side to the gas he's had in the morning and his lack of appetite.  He always seems to feel better after he eats, but getting him to eat can be a challenge.  Now I know that mast cell tumors excrete histamine, which can end up in the stomach and cause nausea and indigestion.  He's also very itchy.  He's always been itchy, but it seems worse now.

On the positive side, I started him on Benadryl and Tagamet over the past week.  I have noticed that his appetite is much better.  He has less gas in the morning.  He seems to feel a lot better and has more energy.  The Tagamet, in particular, seems to be helping him a lot.  It also has anti-cancer properties.

On the negative side, the gold standard of care for dogs with mast cell tumors is having them removed surgically.  Every time a dog has surgery for these tumors, there is a risk that not all of the cells will be removed.  They could end up spreading.  There's also the issue of recovery and the secondary issues that come from being cut open.  I like our German vet, but I'm not sure she's as aggressive as she needs to be.

On the positive side, at least we can afford the treatment.  We have more money than we've ever had and German vet care is much less expensive than American vet care.  I also have access to good information about mast cell cancer.  I have books and Facebook groups, as well as many Web sites to read.  I have seen a lot of pictures of mast cell tumors, many of which are much uglier and scarier than what Zane has at this point.  He seems to be basically healthy at this point, but I really don't know what lurks beneath the surface.

It's a good thing I never wanted to be a doctor or a nurse.  I hate to see suffering.  That's not to say doctors and nurses like to see suffering, just that for me, it's especially heartbreaking.  I have taken care of three dogs that came before Zane and Arran that got very sick and died somewhat quickly.  I'm not sure Zane's issue will kill him immediately, but it's going to cause me a lot of stress and worry.  I'm going to be constantly looking for bumps and obsessing over them.  

I should probably learn to meditate.  I should recite the Serenity Prayer over and over again and realize that there are things beyond my control.  In the meantime, though, my stomach is tied in knots and I feel nervous, scared, and sad.  

And I still don't know what caused Arran to have his "spell" the other day.  He hasn't had another one that I know of, but it was still very disturbing and scary.


  1. I know there's nothing anything I can say to help. There's probably not much of anything anyone can say or do to help other than the Lt. Col. being extra nice to you.

    I'm really sorry you're going through this.


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