We started the pills last night. Chakotay acted perfectly normal – you would never know that he had been through a full day of medical tests. The rest of us – including Archer – were wrecked.
Even though the testing ended up being completed in one day, we had set up camp and had paid to camp, so we decided to stay.
We spent the morning hiking a large gorge in the campground. It was hot – newsflash – believe it or not, it was almost too hot for me!! But the trails up and then back down the gorge were in the trees and out of the blazing hot sun.
After a eating like complete SHIT and feeling horrible about my choices, it felt good to get in some physical activity.
After lunch we relaxed – well, I stewed. And then the call came.
I told you guys that the bloodwork was normal – actually there was a small abnormality in the protein level of his kidneys. Good news – the additional testing on that returned completely normal. But…
And then the bomb was dropped.
Lymphoma has two sub-types. B-cell and T-cell. B-cell is BY FAR, the most common – over 75% of canine lymphomas are B-cell. The test to determine which it was took a day.
Chakotay has T-cell. This was totally unexpected. T-cell is MUCH faster moving, more resistant to treatment, and the prognosis is much worse.
He still qualifies for the trial – nothing changes there – BUT the hope that it will make a difference? It is very very bleak.
And so it hit me. In the parking lot of Walmart in Ithaca. Chakotay is very likely going to die and it is very likely going to happen very soon.
And so I cried. And tried to explain to Marc through my tears.
So we will keep on giving him the pills and hope against hope that he defies the odds. And know that he will contribute to research that may save the lives of both humans and animals in the future.
But tonight I feel alternately numb and hopeless.