Scarlett’s eye hasn’t gotten any better since the last time I posted about it. In fact, the lump on top of her head had gotten a bit bigger. We were worried about it, but not overly concerned since the last vet said she didn’t think it was a tumor and that she wanted us to do a wait and see approach. Then Tuesday afternoon, Drew texted me and said he was really worried. Her eye was even more distended, her nictitating membrane wasnt receding, and the whole thing was bright red. We knew it was time to go back to the vet, and this time I wanted a second opinion, so I scheduled her with a very well respected animal hospital in the area.
Her original appointment was with a general practice veterinarian and while she was nice, she was clearly concerned. She said what was happening with Scarlett was well outside of her realm of expertise, but that she didn’t believe it was head trauma like the previous vet did. In fact, she said she was 95% sure it was a baseball sized tumor that impacted so much of her head, she didn’t even know if any treatment options would be available to us. She didn’t charge us for her visit and instead scheduled us with a veterinary oncologist for that afternoon.
I cried all the way home. I cried for the family member we were potentially losing, for the feelings of guilt from not being able to do more to help her, for the ways that our financial situation impacts the options we have, for the friend my kids would be losing, for all the walks I could have taken her on but didn’t… all the awful things you shouldn’t make yourself think, but you can’t escape. We had a few hours between our first appointment and next, so while Drew went to his previously scheduled dentist appointment, I brought Scarlett up on the bed with me, cuddled & took a nap.
The oncologist was amazing and was great with Scarlett. She ran a few tests and confirmed our fears- the mass is a tumor, and it’s growing fast. She said she COULD do a CT scan and a biopsy- to see how deep the tumor goes, to see if it’s cancerous or benign, to see if it is impacting her brain or bone. But she said that even if they did (which would cost us nearly $2500), she doesn’t think any of their surgeons would be able to de-bulk it while keeping her face as it is and eye in tact- meaning there would be no lengthened quality of life. We decided together that since at this point, she does not appear to be in great pain, and she is very much herself personality-wise, we will treat her with an anti-inflammatory pain medication and keep her comfortable at home. Eventually (most likely sometime in the next month or two) she will either be in pain, or will have some type of neurological side effects (seizures, disorientation, paralysis) and then we will know it’s time for her to cross the rainbow bridge.
We are so thankful that we know what is wrong and have a plan, but especially that we were able to bring her home with us. We will start prepping the kids early next week so they know what is happening and have time to say goodbye. And then we plan on creating several Great Days for Scarlett before we have to let her go.