We received the good news yesterday that our Lola’s cancer is in remission! Veterinary medicine has come a long way.
In spring of 2019, Lola, our third Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with lymphoma – the “good one,” as Dr. Rosenberg explained at the Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City. Our fingers were crossed hoping the tests would not come back with the more aggressive lymphoma that would have taken Lola’s life within two weeks.
We had caught the slow-growing cancer early when Louie’s aunt felt two lumps in Lola’s throat. I had the lumps checked right away. For a year and two months, Lola was on low-dose chemo. No radiation. The once-a-day tablet required refrigeration. Made to order by a specialty pharmacy, Lola’s meds arrived on our doorstep packed in ice. She had no side effects. Her progress was observed through regular check-ups and lab tests. There’s a lot of love at the clinic. I saw it right away when Dr. Rosenberg didn’t hesitate to sit on the floor with Lola to “talk” to her.
Our pets become members of the family (we raised Lola since she was a puppy). The companionship they offer, how they learn our personalities (and we theirs), and the unconditional love they give us is immeasurable.
Our Golden Retriever before Lola, Anouk, died suddenly from cancer when she was nine years “young.” The breed is susceptible to cancer, but their loving and gentle characteristics are so irresistible. We just pray that their years will go by slowly. She sticks to Louie like glue, forever at his side (including the loo). She barks at him when he’s working too long on his computer – and she won’t relax until he closes his laptop. And I appreciate Lola’s protectiveness whenever I go inside our detached garage during the dark of night. She waits for me at the top of the steps to the house until she sees me emerge from the garage.
Lola’s 10th birthday was last August. A few months ago, she was taken off chemo because her white blood cell count was low – an expected occurrence with chemo. It will take at least six months for it to return to normal. What’s most important, the doc said, is that her tumors are getting smaller.
Sheltering at home during Covid has been less stressful thanks to Lola. She gets us out for walks, she makes sure that we don’t miss her mealtimes, she fetches her toys to remind us that it’s time to play – and she’s game to wear hats like the rest of the family.
Thank you, Lola, we owe you!