The last several days have been a bit hectic. But all the rush is behind me, and I can focus on what's in front, which is Thanksgiving and about a week of vacation!
I took Hamlet to see the surgeon last evening. Before I tell you what was decided, I want to say how very much I appreciate all of you who have taken a moment to send your best wishes for Hamlet and share your thoughts and experiences. It really does help to have them. This has been a very difficult time trying to decide the direction to take. Hamlet has been through so much. Right now he enjoys a pretty good quality of life. He's got a good appetite, his energy level and attitude are good too. The only difference is that he's uncomfortable. The tumor is huge--Bigger than both my hands put together...Dr. Walker (surgeon) agrees that it looks worse than it did originally. The open area of the tumor is about the width of my index finger and getting bigger; it's red and angry with infection...I would post a picture, but you understand...But if you're curious and would like to see it, let me know...
Having said that, we have the option of course of doing nothing. The tumor will continue to grow, and eventually Hamlet will probably lose use of his leg. There's not enough skin to heal over the open area, it'll remain open and get worse. Antibiotics aren't effective because the blood supply is very limited to the tumor (that's why it's not getting better). The risk of doing surgery is that it may not work--We have known that all along. We take the chance that de-bulking the tumor (not removing the whole thing, only part of it) may leave us with all the same problems and more as doing nothing. But then again, if it works, it buys Hamlet some more time. I think that 'luck' has been on Hamlet's side. It was a rough recovery last time, but I feel like I owe it to him to at least try. He'll have surgery on Saturday.
The rest of the dogs are doing well. I find great comfort in their company. This morning the house is filled with the smell of bread baking and a turkey breast that I cooked overnight in the crockpot. It's part of a Thanksgiving meal that I'm taking to a good friend today. There is a peaceful feeling as a few of the dogs, including Hamlet are snoozing nearby. A couple of the other dogs are in the kitchen hoping that the Food-Fairy will come and magically give them a bite of something. The silence of the morning is broken by the sound of CarrieAnne and Sam barking at something in the darkness. I always wonder what they see?