Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet Emma

Well, we've had quite the week with Emma. On Monday, she went in for her annual exam which included routine blood work. When her tests came back, they showed a dangerously high level of liver enzymes (should normally be below 100, but they were at 4,300). We took her back in to the vet on Friday so they could do a liver ultrasound. We were so sad to hear that her liver is very diseased - it looks "moth-eaten" on both sides and is filled with large cysts. She maybe has one-third of her liver still functioning. Her official diagnosis is liver cancer.

The surprising thing about all this news is that she has never seemed sick and it has never crossed our mind that something might be wrong with her. She is getting old (10.5 years) and slowing down, but no signs of sickness. So, there's nothing we can do to treat this, which is a blessing in a way that we don't have to struggle over treatment options and possible surgery/recovery one week before our baby boy is due.

The vet said that Emma's health could deteriorate quickly, or she might remain well for a while longer. It's really impossible to know. Of course, Matt and I are so sad at this news, but the thing that breaks our hearts is to think about how much Noah loves his dog. Noah spent the entire day on Friday asking, "Where's Emma?" and he kept saying, "Daddy bring Emma home" because he was looking forward to them both pulling up in Daddy's car.

Now that we know her diagnosis, we're petting her more and giving her more hugs and even a few table scraps. She's a good dog, and we know we do have some more good days with her, so we're just going to enjoy them.