There are not words to adequately express the abject fear that coursed through my soul when the vet used the word "cancer." All I could hear was the rushing of blood in my ears. My eyes went right to Ludo as he leaned heavily into my knees.
Cancer? Ludo is only six. He can't have cancer. He is supposed to have years of healthy days ahead of him. I don't hear most of what the vet is saying. I watch as Ludo sighs heavily and lays down slowly. He's been doing this a lot lately.
She finally gets my attention when she suggests we schedule surgery for the next morning. They want to remove the tumor as quickly as possible to determine how advanced the cancer has become. We pack Ludo into the car. He is uncharacteristically subdued - can he feel my fear and sadness? I spend the night crying, terrified of what the next day will bring.
What if surgery goes wrong? What if the cancer is advanced? What if they cannot remove it all? What if it is all over his body? Will I agree to chemotherapy? Could I make the decision to put him down? What will I do if I don't have my constant companion?
I go to work after dropping Ludo off for surgery. The vet says I will hear from her by noon. I spend the next four hours staring at my phone and checking to make sure the ringer is turned up. When she does call, I am on such edge that I nearly drop the phone.
She was able to remove all of the tumors. It does not seem advanced. It appears to be benign. I take Ludo home. He is groggy and unsure of his steps. The e-collar around his neck makes him run into almost everything. But he wags his tail fast and hard when we arrive at the front door as if to show how happy he is to be home. With me.
I love you, buddy. Don't ever scare me like that again.