Monday, May 18, 2009


Lydia & Lucy The Boxador

My dog Lucy has been very sick since the beginning of the year. She vomits and stops eating for days and gets very lethargic. Plus she's lost a lot of weight.

The vet has gone down the line testing for various illnesses. Finally she's figured out the culprit is cancer or lymphoma but doesn't know where it is occurring in Lucy's body. The only thing that shows up in blood work is that she has very high calcium levels and each time we test her, they're higher and higher.

As a temporary fix for her symptoms, Lucy is on daily Prednisone, gets occasional steroid injections, and even takes a pill to stimulate appetite. She also has to be given occasional Pepcid pills for her upset stomach.

This week, Lucy's appetite and personality has returned with a force thanks to upping the dosage of Prednisone and the steroids.

A few days ago the vet told me Lucy has anywhere from a couple weeks to six months to live. The calcium will shut down her kidneys eventually.

But in the meantime, the vet is going to try a new injectable cancer drug on Lucy to see if it can bring the calcium levels down - the very thing that is making her so sick. If the drug works, maybe I'll have Lucy around a little longer.

Whether that will her snap out of this illness or not remains to be seen. I'm trying to deal with acceptance - that Lucy is probably not going to be around a very long time. She's only 3 and I've only had her in my life for a year and a half. That's what makes this so hard. It just isn't how life should be. Every other dog I've had in my life has lived to be 12 or 13. That's a long time to enjoy their company and love. I don't want to let go of Lucy yet, but I will if she starts to suffer.

Right now, I'm enjoying her personality and quirks and special Lucyness for as long as the shots and meds allow. Because I'm the one always taking photos of everyone else, I realized that I really did not have a good photo of me and Lucy. So I asked Jon, one of my closest friends, to come over today and shoot some shots of me and Lucy. Jon isn't a photographer, but I'm comfortable with him and Lucy adores him, so I figured with a little direction, he'd get a great shot. This one is my favorite.

Photo by J. Herbert
Photographed May 18, 2009 in Encino, CA

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