This is a column I’d hoped I wouldn’t be writing about Buzz.
The test results show that he does, indeed, have mast cell cancer. But don’t tell him that. He’s never shown any discomfort while the mass was there, and thanks to modern pharmaceuticals post surgery, he still seems oblivious.
If there can be good news with his cancer diagnosis, it’s that in dog terms, his cancer is level 2 of 3. And although this might sound bad, it’s really not a quick death sentence. If all goes as we hope, he should have years ahead.
Dr. Margaret Lane’s surgery successfully removed the mass with clean margins and although the option of follow up with chemo was on the table, I’ve chosen not to put Buzz through that. We’ll keep an eye on the site and on his lymph nodes and he’ll go back for another check in a month. If everything continues to look good, he’ll have a recheck every three months after that.
Since this cancer thrives on histamine flairs, for the rest of his life, Buzz’ll be given Benadryl morning and night to keep those flairs at bay. And a little dollop of Skippy creamy peanut butter helps the medicine go down.
He’s now had his stitches removed and we were given the green light to resume “normal life,” and that’s just what we shall do. We’ll continue to train in Rally and show for as long as Buzz deems it fun. I’ll know when he’s no longer excited about training and/or showing since we’re such a bonded team. And at that point, we’ll retire.
In the meantime, I’m doing all I can to mask any concerns about his health as after 10 years together, he can read me like a good book. And now that I’ve had time to process this news, his stitches are out, and we can move onto the next stage – I will follow Buzz’s lead for a change.
After his long medical mandated quiet time, Buzz is more than ready to strut his stuff again. He and Aidan have begun to play together – although Buzz would prefer that Aidan stick to his own lane and not try to snuggle up next to him.
So although this is not the news I’d hoped it would be following surgery, we shall enjoy each moment, each hour, each day, each month that the three of us have together.
Team Buzz all the way.