Wow! The support of this community never fails to overwhelm me with such warm emotion! As Shakespeare once wrote: "I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."
Cody continues to be on the mend. Sorry we haven't been on in a while. This whole situation has, as I'm sure you can imagine, been quite draining and time consuming. Not much energy left in the tank at the end of the day to get on the net.
To get you up to speed, the news earlier this week was that the pathology came back on his brain tumor and the mass taken from his shoulder. Both results were what we expected (which was actually good news compared to what they could have been). The brain tumor is meningioma, and the shoulder mass was a benign bone mass that is now gone and is not expect to return or leave any lasting effects. So, the best possible outcome that we could expect is what we got (finally some good news!!)
We did have quite a scare yesterday as his shoulder incision started to (what we thought was) bleed. Our regular vet, Dr. Sheridan at Don Mills Vet Practice (who is the GREATEST vet EVER, in my humble opinion) is an hour away from us, so I ran Cody to a vet's here in town. Cody's never been there before to see a vet, but it's where we get his prescription diet (Science Diet, WD). Long story short, the vet barely looked at Cody, said the shoulder issue was an infection, and gave us antibiotics and a cone (he's been starting to scratch at his head a little). Not happy with the vet's examination, I called our neurologist and our regular vet, who both agreed that the shoulder issue sounded more like seroma (simply put, a pocket of fluid that can build up after surgery). Bad news was the vet we had seen earlier in the day had totally misdiagnosed the problem (at the cost of $140), and that having Cody wear a cone was bad for his head incision. Also, it was completely unnecessary for Cody to add antibiotics to the long list of meds he's already on. The good news was that seromas are not a big threat and are relatively easy to resolve. Even better news is that there is no chance of the seroma affecting his head incision. More info on seroma here: Seromas in dogs: Causes, symptoms, and treatments - by Frank Will - Helium
, if you're interested. As for the cone, the neurologist said to take it off immediately and only put it back on if Cody starts pawing at his head and we can't make him stop.
Heading in to our regular vets today (Saturday) to confirm and treat the seroma (our vet and the neurologist continue to be confident that that's what it is). Then Cody goes back to his neurologist on Wednesday for a follow up and to have all his sutures removed (yeah!).
One funny story I have to share is that when we were at the vet's yesterday, the receptionist came in to ask if it was ok to sell us a $13 cone for Cody to wear. I broke out in uncontrollable laughter. After $12,000 in vet bills this past month, it just struck me as hysterical that she was concerned about charging me $13.
Going through this whole ordeal has at least taught me the importance of laughing at every opportunity.
On another note, the day before Cody's surgery, I had a professional photographer take photos of him. I'm attaching some to this post for you as you deserve to see more of the little guy you're lavishing all this affection on!! Hope the quality is ok as I had to compress the images quite a bit to attach them on here.
Finally, I came across an excerpt from Gene Hill's "Tears & Laughter" that I thought was really beautiful and wanted to share with you all (fair warning, it may get you a little teary). Here it is:
"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
Thanks again, my friends! We wouldn't be getting through this without you!!
Christopher, Chris & Cody.