No sooner did I wrap up things on my end (my enema adventure), than we switched gears to Lola’s dangerously low white blood cell count. Her lymphoma has been in remission for several months now; however, her recent check-ups have shown consistently low levels. Her wonderful doctor at Veterinary Cancer Group had previously mentioned to us that after a long period on low-dose chemo, Lola’s low white blood cell count would work its way to normal levels, but that it could take six months or so. But because Lola’s counts are moving lower rather than higher is of great concern. Could lymphoma -- or another cancer -- be lurking around? The doctor wanted to get her in for testing ASAP.
Oh, my goodness. Lola, almost 11 years old, has been going through so much medically in the last few months – her eye ulcer surgery that required four weeks of meds (now healed), then a skin infection under her chin that resulted from wearing her protective e-collar after her eye surgery, which is almost healed. Lucky for us and her doctors, Lola is a calm patient who doesn’t resist picking and probing, eye drops galore – even me dabbing ointment inside her lower eye lid. (And if there is something for which we are grateful, it’s investing in Trupanion Pet Insurance that has been a godsend for us with unexpected medical situations such as Lola’s cancer.)
We drove 45 minutes to Culver City three times in 24 hours. On Thursday, an ultrasound of her abdomen was done to look for any abnormalities. None were found. Then yesterday, we left her at the cancer clinic all day for more tests, which still showed nothing. Finally, a bone marrow aspirate was performed that required anesthesia to draw bone marrow cells from her shoulder bones in search of any cancer. But after three attempts, there were no cells to be drawn (a result of low white blood cells). Nonetheless, the samples will be sent to pathology with the hope that the pathologist’s exploration might be able to detect something. We won’t know the results until Monday or Tuesday.
After Lola finally woke up from the anesthesia, she came limping out the door with the technician. But as soon as she saw Louie, she made a limp-run to her best friend – a sight for sore eyes. And without hesitation, disregarding Lola’s weight, Louie bent down to pick up Lola to put her into the back of our SUV. “Be careful, Louie,” she’s so heavy,” I cautioned him. But like a father caring for his child, he carefully lifted his girl and placed her gently on her bed in the car. We were forewarned that Lola would probably be low energy, without an appetite, and sleepy the rest of the evening, and that she should drink only small amounts of water and eat food in small amounts.
After arriving home (around 7:30 p.m.), Louie carried Lola to the front lawn and we carefully watched her walk. Surprisingly, her limp was less so, and within a few minutes there was no limp. Perhaps she was simply happy to be home. Even her sassiness came back when she licked a small amount of water in her bowl. She stared down at the bowl as if saying, “Is that ALL….?
This morning after hearing me prepare her breakfast, Lola got up slowly and walked into the kitchen, gobbled her meal, and slurped a bowlful of water -- music to my ears.
Then, ignoring her bed, Lola plopped herself on the red flannel sheet-covered air bed in the living room.
Now we just have to wait.
This is your country, and it’s up to you to save it.” – English translation of a saying in Taiwan
Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives