I’ll be Henry’s Service Person

Henry Christmas 2016 

Early this morning I took Henry in for his ultrasound. I had the privilege to be in the room the entire time. I even got to hold Henry in place as the doctor did the test. I’ll call him Dr. Kindheart, since he was very welcoming and  communicative. He explained everything as he explored Henry’s abdomen, and although I can’t recall all the formal, technical terms he used (and explained), I’ll do my best to repeat what he said in layman’s terms.

Henry’s little belly was shaved, he was given a shot to make him sleepy, then he was placed on the table, sandwiched in between two foam pillowy things. I held him still at the shoulders and hips as Dr. Kindheart squirted some alcohol, then some clear jelly stuff on Henry’s belly, and manipulated his handheld doohickey to get images of his insides. The black and white squiggly lines appeared on the little screen in front of Dr. K. He started with the stomach area. The first thing he saw was a growth in(on?) the spleen. First big surprise. I thought we were going to look at the intestines, but I didn’t want to interrupt him so I stayed quiet. Next, he showed me a growth in Henry’s stomach. Second big surprise. The x-rays from two days ago didn’t show these! I thought the problem was in his intestines.

Dr. K then moved his wand down to Henry’s intestines, which, he was happy to say, showed no abnormalities. What? Third big surprise. I wanted to burst out crying, but I couldn’t lose it yet. I was responsible for holding Henry in position.

Dr. K explained that the growths in the stomach and spleen may or may not be related to each other, and they may or may not be CANCER. I could tell he wanted to make sure I understood the grim possibilities, but his tone sounded hopeful. He thinks the odds of the growths being benign are 50%. The glass is half FULL, right?

Since Henry was still sedated, Dr. K took some needle biopsies from one of the lymph nodes and one other place I didn’t understand. He said these would tell us if there were cancer cells in there. He also said that they could come back as nothing, but that didn’t mean there was no cancer. Got that?

When the doctor was done he gave Henry another shot, which reversed the effect of the sedative, and within 60 seconds he was perky again. All I could think about was getting Henry home so I could cry my eyes out.

The next step is to meet with the surgeon at the specialty hospital to figure out when and how they can remove the evil masses from Henry’s belly. Things have gone from horrible to really horrible, but we’re going to do what we can to help Henry feel better. Today Henry seems like himself again, which gives me hope.

From now on I will be Henry’s Service Person.



16 thoughts on “I’ll be Henry’s Service Person

  1. Hugs hugs hugs and more hugs — to be thinking ahead – sounds like maybe this is something that can be fixed — fingers crossed .. Is this the Animal Speciality Group near the zoo?

    • Thanks Linda. I know that Henry has a chance. We’ll do the surgery to give him relief, and hopefully buy him some time.
      Yes, ASG is right there on Edenhurst, off Colorado. Out dog Dixie has had 3 very difficult, but successful surgeries there.
      The surgeons are good. I’m just so shocked that he has such a major problem. He’s been healthy otherwise.

  2. Good and healthy thoughts from me to you and Henry. Here’s to hoping the tests are negative and that once the masses are removed, Henry is back to his old perky and playful self. And that you are just as cheerful as Henry is always is. Positive thoughts only for Henry’s speedy recovery.

    • Thank you Nancy. We’re hoping to give Henry some tummy relief and give him a few more years on earth. He’s pretty
      healthy otherwise and only 8 years old. We meet with the surgeon on Sunday at ASG. We were glad to be able to have
      a consultation so soon. Henry says thank you too.

    • Thanks Nancy. Henry had a good night and seems like himself today. We’re waiting on cytology from some needle biopsies the radiologist took yesterday, but the surgeon at ASG will be able to get us started on a plan tomorrow. I spoke with the vet this morning, here at Highland Park Animal hospital, where I help out, and he said there are many possibilities of what is going on inside Henry. I have to trust that we will know what is best.

  3. Martha, I KNOW this is a really rough patch for you. Just hope the results come back benign. It is heartbreaking to know a much loved dog has medical problems. But as you said, THE GLASS IS HALF FULL, AND HOPEFULLY TOTALLY FULL WITH GOOD NEWS!!!!!!

    • Thank you. In the next two days we’ll find out if it’s a cancer that requires surgery, or if it can be treated with chemo. There are many possibilities. I just keep reminding myself that plenty of illnesses are treatable, and we will do whatever we can to keep Henry comfortable. Most days he seems pretty well, except for the occasional upset tummy. I let you know what comes next.

  4. Martha, I’ve been without internet/land-line/wi-fi/tv since Fathers’ Day….and that’s why I’m late to the news about Henry’s exam. ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) to all of you! With love and best wishes!

    • Oh no! Not having a connection must have been frustrating. Thank you for reading the blog about Henry. I just learned that the cytology report didn’t show much, but he probably doesn’t have lymphoma. Tomorrow I’ll speak with the surgeon again about removing the mass from his stomach. It could be malignant or benign, but we won’t know until after surgery, which will be mid July probably. For now, Henry is having more good days than bad, but we don’t know what’s going on inside him.

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