Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Emotional Week

If you're friends with me IRL, or follow me on Instagram, then you know that a week ago today, Otto was diagnosed with a huge tumor on his spine that was pressing down on his spinal cord. What you may not know is how quickly we got to this point. Exactly 4 weeks ago, Otto came in the house and I noticed that the entire back half of his body was trembling. I turned on the fireplace, but a half hour later, he was still shaking.

We took him to Tremont Animal Clinic the next day, and we started treating Otto for what we believed (and hoped) was a strained back. Failing to respond to meds, he was back a week later to start on steroids. Sadly that didn't work either, and along with our vets, we made the decision to go see a neurologist at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital. A few hours and an MRI later--we had a diagnosis. A huge tumor on his spine.

Nick and I made the decision to schedule surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible the following Monday. We carefully considered the risks of surgery (paralysis or even death) and then began one of the hardest weekends of our lives. We started to tell friends and family, and the response from everyone was so overwhelming (in a wonderful way). Say what you will about social media, but I cannot even begin to describe what it meant to hear from people that I haven't heard from for a long time. We spoiled Otto rotten, did lots of fun things together, and his favorite people came to visit.

Everything seemed to be going well, and then suddenly on Sunday, Otto couldn't sit or stand. We rushed him down to the ER, where they amped up his pain meds and kept him overnight. To say we were distraught would be an understatement. Even poor Clair was upset-- walking around the house looking for Otto.

Surgery happened on Monday, and then things really started to look up. Not only did the surgery go well, but Otto got to come home on Tuesday, a whole day ahead of schedule! 

As of this writing, he's been home a full two days, and he's doing SO well! He definitely feels more comfortable-- he's supposed to be on bed rest, but he keeps wanting to walk around and play-- I've had to resort to bribing him with treats to lay down!  I'm convinced that it was everyone's thoughts, prayers and energy that are causing his recovery. 

We are still waiting on the results of the biopsy-- I suppose we could have a miracle and it may not be confirmed cancer, but even I am not that optimistic. What I am optimistic about is that Otto is a strong pup, and that the cancer is slow growing (fingers crossed), and that Nick and I (and Clair) are going to make amazing memories with him, for as long as that may be. We are starting a new journey together, and we will carry each other through it. In the mean time, Otto is being Otto-- barking at unauthorized people (the mailman, UPS lady), showing an excessive interest in our food, trying to sneak in licking the dishes as we load the dishwasher -- being the big goofball we know and love. 

So in closing, I just want to thank you for all your love, support and wishes over the past week. I will certainly continue to update you on Otto's condition via social media and you will probably see a few more posts about Otto on this blog. 


Cheryl Leahy said...

LOVE you, your family, fur or otherwise, and your amazing attitude. He's a fighter, and we are all here to support you in this tough time.

Crystal @EatDrinkCLE said...

I've been thinking about you guys do much. Otto is in good hands and I knew you'll make the most of every day with him. Please give him an extra treat from us. XOXO