The overall news for Sam today was unfortunately not all good. He had 8 teeth that needed to be removed. And what the vet and I thought was swelling from a root abscess because of a bad tooth and a blocked salivary gland is actually a mass, and given that he's a Golden it is probably cancer. My vet and I discussed treatment options, but I was so stunned by what she was telling me, I just couldn't make a decision. However I did decide to not do one of the options and that was to do surgery to remove the mass. Because of its size, surgery would probably entail removing a good portion of Sam's jaw and at his age (about 13) I just won't put him through that.
To be told that cancer is going to take yet another one of our dogs that has been so healthy has me feeling really defeated. When Sam needed to have his teeth cleaned and the 'bad ones' removed, something about it had me a bit uneasy. But I held onto the thought that it would all be routine and that everything would heal, and Sam would be fine. So instead of being able to put all this behind us, I'm feeling the return of a familiar ache in my heart when I think of what's ahead for Sam.