Quinta goes for a check-up.

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Today — August 18 — is exactly a month since Quinta’s surgery. So much has happened and Quinta and I went through so many ups and downs during the past month that it feels a lot longer. Quinta has aged visibly during this period. The grey hair on his face is more prominent and, while he is still the same, handsome, smiling Quinta, from time to time I can spot signs of fatigue. It’s just the summer heat (quite severe here in Japan this year), I keep telling myself.

Quita sleeping.
Quita sleeping.

Yesterday, we went to the hospital for a check-up — x-ray, ultrasound and blood test. At the time of his discharge from hospital, we knew that Quinta’s tumor had spread to his lymph nodes. Yesterday, we confirmed that the tumor has spread to his liver and his lungs. His blood test showed that Quinta is severely anemic, notwithstanding his healthy appetite and the various supplements he has been taking. The vet believes that the anemia is causing him to pant, especially at night, because there is insufficient oxygen in Quinta’s blood. None of this was a surprise because we knew that histiocytic sarcoma is a very aggressive form of cancer, but it was a shock nevertheless.

Before we went to the hospital, I kept praying that we would somehow get a break this time. Quinta has had two major surgeries in the past two months, and he has just gotten adjusted to his new life as a tripawd. During the past few weeks, Quinta seemed to be getting better, hopping around the house and even going down the stairs on his own. He has been enjoying visits from his many friends and going outside in his new buggy was a major step forward for us. Quinta was happy to be at home, and seeing him happy almost made me forget that he is ill.

Quinta is tired.
Quinta is tired.

After deciding to forego chemotherapy, I focused on a range of alternative therapies from accupuncture to Chinese medicine to light therapy, all of which seemed to be helping Quinta feel better. So I hoped that this time, we would get a reprieve, however brief, and allow time to stand still if only for a few days or a few weeks. That would allow us to make it, somehow, until next spring, when we promised to go see the cherry blossoms together.

Quinta dreaming of cherry blossoms.
Quinta dreaming of cherry blossoms.

My darling Quinta. What a brave dog you are. You embrace your life and bring such joy and happiness to those you touch. Your heart is a fountain of love and compassion, for which we humans can only seek to strive. Even now, through his illness, Quinta teaches me how to be more loving and more compassionate.

Quinta with his little sister Jam.
Quinta with his little sister Jam.

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2 thoughts on “Quinta goes for a check-up.”

  1. Qunta is indeed, an incredibly handsome boy. The gray doesn’t really show up that much in tne photos. He just looks like a very charming blonde!

    The check-up isn’t what you wanted to hear. Still, you have taken away Qunta’s bone pain and he seems to be very content and happy. And all that equals enjoying quality time with you…..and that seems to be quite abundant!

    Remember, Quinta doesn’t know about any check-up results and doesn’t care. He is just thoroughly enjoying all the loving and spoiling that’s being bestowed upon him! And, make no mistake avout it, and almost all tripawd parents will tell you this, the heat DOES zap their energy…does make them more lethargic…and certainly pantng more with or without anemia!

    This check-up doesn’t mean that you still can’t slow things down. You are doing an incredible job with Quinta’s care and surrounding him with so much healing love and strategies that do, indeed, make a difference. The kind of difference that isn’t necessarily factored i to “statistics”.

    You still have every reason to firmly believe you have a lot more quality time with Quinta…..there is no expiratin date stamped on that boy’s head!! He’s enjoying his life and has no intention of going anywhere anytime soon! He’s having too much fun being pushed around in his buggy!! And enjoying eating and sleeping with Jam!!

    We soooo enjoy the pictures of your sweet Quinta…..keep ’em coming!

    Now, go do someting to make Quinta’s tail wag…….not a little wag….a big wag!!! ‘Bet it was food related! Maybe?

    Hugs to you both! You keep hangin tough! Brave Quinta is one tough pup!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  2. Quinta’s photographs are always so touching, every time I see your boy I can’t help but smile.

    I’m sorry you got such lousy news. It does break your heart and just when you think you’ve got cancer outsmarted it comes back in another disguise. I’m really, really sorry. All I can say is that Quinta doesn’t know any different. He can’t read reports and he doesn’t care what the statistics say. Yes, he probably has aged a bit, after all this is a big challenge for him but I can tell it’s nothing he can’t overcome. (By the way it’s common for many Tripawds to age a bit like that after surgery, try not to worry).

    Quinta’s generous heart and his unconditional love will show you how to live each day to the fullest. Follow his example and you can get through anything.


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