Guest Blogger: Danelle Bobrick
May 28th is a date I will never forget. My vivacious, playful, and sweet boy was extremely sick. Throwing up, not eating, and diarrhea. Prior to the 28th, I had taken Bubba to the lake in which he swam, drank lake water, and played his heart out. I thought, of course, he had Giardia. After running many tests including blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, and sedation, the vet concluded Bubba not only had Giardia, he had a baseball-sized tumor in his small intestine and was needed for emergency surgery. After an agonizing evening, not sleeping, and shedding many tears, I received a call the next morning at 8:00 AM that the surgery was over and that they had removed over a foot of the small intestine, along with the tumor and sent it off to the lab for further testing. The vet stated the testing could take up to 14 days to receive results.
In the meantime, on May 31st, I was able to bring Bubba home. Although he was fragile, had an eight-inch scar on his abdomen, and a long road of recovery ahead, he was thriving. He was, what seemed to be, back to his normal self. I brought him to work with me for the following three weeks. He was precious. He would play with his “babies,” throw them up in the air, squeak his squeaky toys, pick up his leash and take himself on walks. He would go home from a full day and still have energy to play with his sissy, Pennie, and run back and forth with the neighbor dogs through the fence. I started to feel a little more at ease.
After 14 days of waiting, I finally got the test results back regarding the mass. It turned out that my sweet, four-year-old boy has cancer. They determined this is a type of cancer called round cell neoplasm or large granular lymphoma. Along with the test results, it has been noted that although the mass tumor was removed, the cancer has spread through his blood to his lymph nodes and they are concerned that the cancer has metastasized, meaning the cancer has spread throughout his body. To find out if this has spread, they referred me to Dr. Oberthaler, an Oncologist in Boulder, specializing in this type of high-grade cancer.
I try not to let my feelings get in the way of too much because I truly am so lost. I am heartbroken. I am devastated. I have spent all of my time and energy focused on my sweet Bubbie and I am now at the point where I am sincerely asking for a helping hand. After taking many days off of work, exhausting all of my credit cards, as well as receiving financial help from my mom and dad, I have no other way to afford Bubba’s treatment. Currently, I have spent over $6,000 just on surgery and trying to figure out what is going on; I will need further financial assistance moving forward to provide the much-needed post-surgical care. I am hopeful that with the ability to bring Bubba to the oncologist, they will provide treatments to keep Bubba comfortable with medications as well as further testing to provide more answers. I have not completely ruled out chemotherapy if he has a significant chance of beating cancer and thriving.
Fast forward to mid-June, Bubba has not been eating. Even after cooking his favorite meals, steak, chicken, ground turkey, and fish. He has continuous bouts of diarrhea and has zero energy. I took Bubba back to the vet this morning for further blood work and x-rays to make sure his insides have healed well but they insist that I take him to the oncologist ASAP. They noticed his lymph nodes, liver, and intestines were extremely enlarged and the only way he could survive is to move forward with the oncologist as they have run out of options since they are an emergency hospital.
After leaving the emergency vet hospital, I called Dr. Oberthaler immediately. We both shed some tears and she went over a long diagnosis, possible chemotherapy treatments, as well as further blood tests and care. She stated that the chemotherapy is an oral pill and more than 85% of dogs have no side effects other than being a little fatigued. I felt at ease knowing there is a way that my sweet, gentle giant would have a chance at life. After drawing up an estimate, he will need about eight rounds of chemotherapy and each session is around $600. I knew at that moment, I had to reach out for financial assistance.
I applied for funding through KarmaSue and after an easy application, I had Bubba’s oncologist send over the estimates, diagnosis, treatments, etc. I spoke to Britton with KarmaSue and immediately felt relieved after hearing about all of the resources they have available for me and my boy. After less than a week, I was approved for funding which will cover almost two treatments. To say that I am grateful would be an understatement. The staff at KarmaSue truly knows how awful it is to go through this and they are willing to fund Bubba’s treatment. My heart is so full. This would not have been made possible without the help and support of these incredible people.