Tuesday, April 10, 2012
On Thursday we found out Connor has very advanced stage lymphoma. He's been living with my parents since the first of March because it had become difficult for him to manage the stairs at my house. Two weeks ago it became apparent something else was going on, and we had him examined and blood draw last Tuesday.
We made the decision not to do any further "treatment" because his blood work looked very bad. He's 12 years old and has spondylosis. He's had a great life and I didn't want to put him through anything painful at this point when it wouldn't even buy him much time. However, I did want to pursue some acupuncture for pain relief and appetite stimulation.
Today we met with Dr. Catherine Florence at Indiana Veterinary Alternatives. The lymphoma has progressed very rapidly. Just a week ago the only swollen lymph glands were in his face, and now every lymph gland he has his swollen. She said it wasn't good that lymph nodes in the front and back of his body (both sides of the diaphragm) were involved.
His nose and face are also swollen, and breathing through his is nose is difficult. When Dr. Florence heard how rapidly his symptoms had progressed and saw his current state, she agreed we were focused on making him comfortable.
Connor liked the acupuncture, and we could see immediate help with his nasal breathing. He has some Chinese herbs to take twice a day. His next appointment is next Tuesday. His eyelids were drooping before we left, so I think he's going to spend the rest of the day snoozing.
I thought I'd put in some photos of Connor's second agility trial hosted by the Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club in June of 2003. This was the trial where he earned his NA and NAJ. Connor is my first titled agility dog, even though I started agility in 1999 with Reece. I'm glad I have memories from this winter of Connor making up his own agility course, hopping over 4 inch bars and running through tunnels as I was trying to reset bars. His tail was going 100 mph and he had a big Golden smile on his face. I just stood and watched him play and smiled through tears. He's such a good boy!
I don't think it will be long before Connor is at the Rainbow Bridge playing with Reece. Well, actually Reece will be playing with him and bossing him around. Connor will likely be curling up with Reece and snuggling, which Reece will tolerate only if no one is watching!