Around 4:30 a.m. this morning I heard music to my ears. Lola was in the kitchen slurping water like a horse.
Just recently, following numerous tests and procedures to learn why Lola’s white blood cell count has been dangerously low, an aggressive lymphoma was discovered. Dr. Wiles, her veterinary oncologist, couldn’t tell if it was from the low-grade lymphoma Lola was diagnosed with two years ago, which has been in remission, or if it is a new cancer. In any case, it wasn’t good news, and it was necessary to move quickly.
Last Friday, we took Lola to Dr. Wiles’ office in Culver City to receive a one-time injection (L-spar) that could encourage Lola’s white blood cell growth. In a few days, I will start giving Lola prednisone orally to help boost her energy and maintain an appetite. This first step will be followed in a week with CHOP chemotherapy.
But all day yesterday, our hearts sank to see no energy in Lola. She needed help to get up to eat and go outside to take care of personal business. When we got her up on all fours, she moved like a little old lady, shuffling ever-so-hesitantly with every step. I cried to see her so disengaged and not her sassy self that makes Lola “Lola.”
At times we would see Lola attempt to get up, but she didn’t have strength in her front legs to prop herself up. So, she plopped herself back down on her bed. Together, Louie and I lifted her with the help of her harness handle and a sling under her belly. We guided her down the dog ramp to the front lawn. There, she would just stand stoic for minutes as if knowing just one step would take all her might.
But carefully, one step at a time, she worked her way to the corner of the lawn where she pees and took care of business. Then, like clockwork, she slowly moved to the spot where she likes to poop. Afterwards, she again stood still for minutes before inching her way back to the ramp.
She laid all day on her bed, rarely moving or lifting her head. We would bring her water bowl to her so that she could drink. Fortunately, she has not lost her appetite – always a good sign.
Still, her lack of strength to walk, to the point that she looked worse than she was before the injection, has had us extremely worried.
So, hearing Lola drinking this morning like there’s no tomorrow made me spring out of bed to see her wagging her tail in the dark. I quickly put my coat on to take her to go potty, wondering if she could make the walk by herself to the front door. Sure enough, she followed me with a somewhat fluid gait. She walked down the ramp on her own. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She wandered to her same spots where she did #1, then #2 – and by herself walked up the ramp to go inside the house.
It’s 7:45 a.m. and she’s still sleeping. Let’s see if she has the same energy when she wakes up for breakfast. We will take it one hour at a time.