In one of life’s twists, we found out this week that Lily needs surgery to remove a cancerous lump from her face. We’d noticed it growing over her eyebrow this summer and lamented that our little 6-year-old puppy was old enough to grow fatty lumps. All dogs get fatty lumps, don’t they? And she’d already grown one on her chest that the vet said was probably nothing.
Then we noticed another lump growing in her teats, and we figured it was time to bring her in. She was due for a checkup anyway. But when the vet looked at samples of all three lumps under the microscope, she said that the one on her face was mast cell cancer. She also said that mast cell cancer has a tendency to spread to the lungs in dogs, so we should get her in for surgery as soon as possible.
Lily goes in a week from Monday to remove the cancer, which they’ll take down to the bone, and the other two lumps to play it safe. She’ll need x-rays of her chest to determine if the cancer has spread, and they’ll send away samples of all the lumps to get more information. All in all, this will cost a little more than $2000, which is about one-tenth of the tiny house budget. Oh you money dog.
There was never a question over whether or not we’d get the surgery. Lily is a part of our family, and a big part of our farm life. She’s the reason why I began thinking about a farm in the first place, when I was at my sickest with migraines and sick building syndrome, and it was all I could do to walk a mile with her across the fields of Wagon Hill park. I felt my best outside. She did too. And five years later, she became Seth’s farm buddy, trotting by his side in the fields, guarding against voles and bunnies, greeting guests as they drove in.
So here we are, facing surgery in the season of rest. We’ll figure out the money part, just like we’re figuring out the tiny house part and the farming part. In the meantime we’ll love up Lily like there’s no tomorrow. Like always, in fact. But if you could throw a little love our way, we’d like that too. Keep your fingers crossed that the surgery goes well, that the x-rays show a set of healthy lungs, and that the histopathologies come back with good news. Thanks, friends.∗