The Dreaded “L” Word


It was the dreaded “L” word I knew I would likely hear again, but was hoping it wouldn’t be for a very, very long time. But, as life would have it, I heard it again on Thursday.

To be very honest, I didn’t need any test to tell me Toby’s cancer was back. As soon as I felt his right lymphnode slightly swollen on Sunday afternoon, my gut already knew what a needle aspiration test would eventually show.

The good news is that, this time, we caught the lymphoma extremely early. So early, that the oncologist had a difficult time at first feeling the swollen lymphnode, and it hadn’t spread to any of this other ones. They believe it was just days.

At his appointment on Tuesday they gave me the option of doing either the blood test to check his numbers or the needle aspiration, or both. I decided to do both, and it’s a good thing we did. On Wednesday, Toby’s blood test came back with perfect numbers. Thursday, the results from the other test showed the cancer was back.

I held it together for about 10 minutes as our beyond wonderful oncologist started explaining options to me, before I started crying and my brain completely glazed over. I could hear words on the other end of the phone, but I couldn’t tell you what they were. Thankfully, my aunt stepped in and spoke to him. Also, thankfully, he wrote everything out and emailed it to me.

Within hours, my Dad had Toby at the oncologist’s office, and we collectively made a decision to start him on prednosoinde, as well as kick start his treatment with an Elspar shot. We are going to do another round of chemo, and are in the process of deciding the best course of that treatment.


As of last night, when this photo above was taken, his lymphnode was already less swollen, and he is acting normal. You would never know anything was wrong. He is running around, playing with Maddux and being his little Toby self. As always, with prednisone, he is a little hungrier and drinking more water, but over he seems to be doing great.

Because we caught it so early, I feel like I have to do whatever I can to give Toby the opportunity to fight this horrible disease as best he can. He did it once, and I am confident, he can do it again. I know at some point, we are not going to be able to fight the cancer anymore and the lymphoma is going to win, but that day is not today.

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