Buster Beat CancerPosted: August 22, 2012
My dog Buster had surgery a few weeks ago to remove a cancerous tumor from his right hind leg.
He’s eleven and a half years old and considering he’s a black lab-retriever mix he’s not exactly a young pup anymore.
Buster’s vision, hips and ears have seen better days but you’d never guess he’s almost 12. When we found out about the cancer my husband and I didn’t flinch or hesitate, the question was not ‘Should we pay for the surgery?’ the question was ‘When can we get him in to have the surgery?’
My husband scheduled the procedure for the following Tuesday and not once did we question whether we were crazy to spend a nice chunk of our savings on our old fella. I brought him to the vet the morning of the surgery after a sleepless night and dropped him off. When I got home I watched some of the Olympics, cleaned, and did pretty much anything to keep Buster off my mind. As I was vacuuming like a fiend I missed a call from the vet. It had only been a few hours so I assumed the worst and frantically called him back.
The tumor had been removed, everything went well and Buster was out of surgery. They were going to wake him now and we could pick him up after 3. I was elated. I physically felt the heavy weight of worry being lifted off my shoulders. It’s amazing how light relief makes you feel when it rushes over you.
Then I went to my bedroom because I knew something odd was happening. Tears started forming but not because I was upset…
I felt sheer, overwhelming gratitude on a scale I’d ever felt before. How lucky was I to find a husband that not only let me spend a small fortune on an old dog, but also agrees that that’s exactly how our money should be spent? And how lucky am I that despite his age, Buster made it through surgery like a champ? The feeling was overwhelming, I felt like a gold medalist.
Over the past few weeks Buster’s recovery has been borderline miraculous for a dog his age. He’s like a 5 year old again. His energy is amazing, his appetite is veracious and he’s a whole new boy. It’s like Buster’s showing us that we made the right decision, not that it matters, we would have made the same decision 100 times over. But this is the outcome we were hoping for when we decided Buster should have surgery.
Even though money’s tight and will be for a while, I keep reminding myself of that sheer joy I felt after we got the all clear from the vet and how silly it is for me to quantify such moments by my bank account.