The beginning

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:29 pm by Administrator

Friday morning, as I sat down to work, Ginger jumped into my lap – as usual.  Sweet little girl loves to sit with me while I work on the computer.  That day was no different.  I started petting her head and neck and as my hands went down her neck, my heart sank.  I felt hugely swollen lymph glands on both sides of her neck.

I know what that can mean – lymphosarcoma – a common cancer in dogs.  For several minutes, I couldn’t breath, I just hugged her and started to cry.  I got on the phone immediately to my vet and told them I’d be there in 45 minutes.

The vet took a needle aspirate, in which they extract tissue from the lymph nodes and examine them under the microscope.  Although he could not say definitively that it was lymphosarcoma, he said he did find a number of abnormal looking cells.  And nothing to indicate that this was just an infection. 

This news hit me like a brick wall.  Ginger is only nine years old.  I’ve had her for seven – since she was picked up running as a pregnant, heartworm positive stray on the southwest freeway.  I took her through whelping seven healthy puppies, through heartworm treatment during which she crashed twice, through a ton of obedience training since she was dog aggressive, through serious surgery on her jaw when she and Nena got into a fight and she snapped her upper jaw.  Through all of this, she was the sweetest dog.

She is one of the few lhasa apsos that are not aloof.  She loves to sit with me in the chair.  She snuggles next to  me in the bed.  She’s beautiful and has a beautiful personality.

Ginger’s lab tests went out Friday afternoon and I won’t hear back until Sunday or Monday.

In the meantime, of course, I cannot get this off my mind.  Last year, in December, I had the same scare with Cupid, her daughter, but turned out that she only has weird abnormal lymph node cells, nothing cancerous.  I keep telling myself that it will turn out the same with Ginger, but I know better.  Not only are both her neck lymph nodes very swollen, I can feel one on her right shoulder as well.

My vet has assured me that if it is lymphosarcoma, we have caught it very, very early and that there is a good prognosis for her if she goes through chemotheraphy.