Going Down the Last Chemo Treatment Rabbit Hole

Toby’s last chemo treatment is Thursday. I am a wreck. A 100 percent wreck.

Lets look at the facts. Since his first treatment Toby has been doing great. I went from them telling me that they weren’t sure how long I would have with him, to the oncologist telling me how you couldn’t ask for anything more from a dog with lymphoma, because he was responding so well.

After each treatment I have watched Toby feel and look better than he did. Physically, I saw his lymphnodes go down, his energy come back and his bold personality shine through. It wasn’t just some doctor, or test results, telling me Toby was doing well, it was him showing me he was fighting and kicking cancer’s butt.

I should be happy. Ecstatic, actually. Instead, I am crying constantly. The tears are triggered every time I look at him, he wags his tail, begs to go out, heck, even while I am writing this post. My mind feels like a river of rapid emotions.

– “Awesome! He is better and I have more time with him and he doing great!”

– “Holy shit, last chemo treatment means that the drugs will no longer be fighting the cancer and it’s going to come back.”

– “All those things you wanted to do with Toby. The trips you wanted to take. The places you wanted to write about with him. The books you wanted to write with him. Go do it.”

– “What if it comes back? How am I going to pay for more treatments? Fuck.”

–  “You have two to three weeks after he finishes his last treatment until he can go places again. Plan a short trip and see how he does. Take him back to Maine. Let him go visit people, and have fun. You can freelance from anywhere and look for jobs from anywhere there is an internet connection. Hell you did your last job from sitting in a hotel room in Italy! Your biggest regret when he got diagnosed in April was that you didn’t take him the places you said you were. Just go do it. You can always make more money.”

– “What if I feel the lymphnodes swelling again?”

– “What if Maddux gets sick? What if when he turns 8 years old he gets lymphoma, or some other cancer?”

– “Her dog went through an even more aggressive treatment than Toby and it came back after four months.”

– “If it does come back, since we picked the middle protocol, there are still more drugs that can be used to fight another round of it.”

– “Everyone/thing I love, leaves me before they are supposed to. He has a lifespan of 16 years! This is why I didn’t get the golden retriever I always wanted as my first dog. They are so prone to cancer, that I couldn’t deal with the thought of losing them at such a young age.”

Then, there is guilt and sadness …

“Why did Toby respond so well? And, while there isn’t cure, I got extra time when they couldn’t do anything for my friend’s dog who got cancer. She only got a few weeks with him after his diagnosis.”

Followed by completely unreasonable thoughts …

“Toby has always been my happy button. He has been with me through good and bad. He has comforted me and never let me down. He can tell when I’m upset, sometimes even before I can, and he glues himself to me. He lets me just snuggle him and cry or just be sad. In the past month I’ve been laid off, he has been the most comforting. If I get past all this, start to feel less depressed and happy again, his job will be done, and then he will feel like it’s okay to leave my life.”

Crazy, right?

You would think out of all the doctors’ visits since Toby was diagnosed in April, this visit would be the one I was looking forward to the most. But, I’m not. It’s the one that is giving me the most anxiety, worry and upset.


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