Who would have thunk it?  One year ago I was rushed into emergency surgery because I had a big, honking tumor attached to my spleen (and taking up way more space than anything else in my abdominal cavity).  Big decisions had to be made.  At 5AM, mama and I had to rush out into the Philadelphia darkness, find an agreeable cab driver who would take us across the river, as well as remember to grab the credit cards and phone and haul ass to the emergency clinic.  The wonderful folks at Penn Vet laid it all out – exactly what was going on, and what would have to happen, right away, to save my fuzzy butt.

And so off into emergency surgery I went.  That pesky 10-pound (!) tumor had to go, along with my spleen.  No way to know if it was cancerous or not until it was removed.  And while they were investigating they noticed something wonky around my prostate and the boys.  So, sadly, the boys also had to go (I am still a man, damnit).  A whole lotta surgery in a short period of time.

For me it was all mostly a blur, until mama showed up that first night with my chicken soup.  I wasn’t able to really tell her how much that meant to me (other than some serious leaning and face kissing because hey, I was still seriously doped up), but damn it was good to have home cooking.

I was able to go home 2 days later to begin the healing process and the horrible waiting period to find out if I would be dealing with cancer or not.  Because Penn Vet is a teaching facility, we had agreed to be part of a study of a new drug that would have hopefully helped both me and other dogs with cancer, so I did get one dose.  And then we waited.  And I hauled my butt up and down the stairs everyday for my walkies and my “business” (the King of Terriers does NOT poop or pee in the apartment).  They said I might not be able to do stairs (they were wrong).  They said I might not pee or poop for a few days (they were wrong).  They said I wouldn’t have much of an appetite (oh boy were they wrong).  It was really hard for mama.  You could see how much she wanted me to feel better.  Even the kitties seemed to be pulling for me.

And then the call finally came.  The gigantic tumor was NOT cancerous!  I had beaten the odds!  And then another piece of news.  My boys WERE cancerous, but luckily they were removed and that usually takes care of that.  HOLY CRAPAMOLE

Friends from all over the world helped us with their love, thoughts, and donations.  If any of you are reading this right now, you need to know how much you saved all of our lives and our sanity.  Getting me (us!) through this was a definite group effort.

And now, one year later, I stand before you a big, honking Dale with a little extra padding and a lotta extra love.  And appreciation.  And gratitude.  And AIRETITUDE.



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