Sadly, I am here to report that Guillermo has Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, a cancerous tumor behind his front canine tooth.

In the midst of the CoronaVirus, it has been extremely difficult to find anyone to treat Guillermo. But I have been informed that it is urgent and the longer we wait, the more likely that it will spread to his lymph nodes and organs, which will prove fatal. So I have been doing everything, I mean everything, I can to be seen.

Luckily, even with the PA business mandatory shutdown, a specialist outside of Pittsburgh is able to see Guillermo on Wednesday, March 25th, since it is life threatening and urgent. It is the soonest available slot, so I took it.

After reviewing Mo’s case via email, a different surgeon on the other side of PA informed me that Guillermo will need a bilateral rostral mandibulectomy. That’s a fancy way to say that Guillermo will need the front half of his bottom jaw removed.

This is also what I am expecting the vet to tell us on Wednesday as well, due to some extensive google researching.

Needless to say, I was shocked. I am shocked, by all of it.

Mo after his biopsy.

I am fearful that this will be hard on Guillermo and his quality of life will greatly suffer.

Suddenly I am thrown into a situation where I will have a very difficult decision to make… Remove 1/2 of Mo’s jaw, which has the best survival rate for this type of cancer, or take my chances with radiation, which does not have a long survival time. Taking into consideration his quality of life, I feel extremely horrified that it is up to me to make this sort of call.

I found a blog called Beamer’s Corner which detailed Beamer’s partial jaw removal, and although the process sounds hard and painful, it gave me hope that Guillermo could still have a full life after this surgery.

While I am still hoping that the vet we’ll be seeing Wednesday may have alternate ideas, it has become clear after some research that this is most likely the best option for long term survival.

Because Guillermo is 4 years old, I am hoping he will be able to recover from this.

I am not ready to lose my child.

I am doing my best to be strong for Guillermo, but it has been exceedingly difficult to keep my sh*t together.

Between us friends…

And this might be TMI, but I really feel like I need to vent…

All last week, between the time Mo had his biopsy and when we got the results, I prayed to god for benign results. I mean the good old fashion hands together prayed to god. I was raised catholic, and even though my entire life was spent fighting religion because I didn’t fully believe in it, I was feeling so lost and hopeless that the small part of me that was open to the idea, reached out. I am not above trying anything to help save my boy. And on top of that, part of me would love to believe there’s a higher power or something to believe in.

Obviously, my prayers were not returned.

Everything seems very out of my control, and it’s true… it really is. I just need to keep waiting, and keep loving him, and hope for the best.

The world feels very cruel. It has only been one year since Artemis was taken from me at 5 years old, and to have something this serious and life threatening happening to Guillermo so soon feels f*cking cruel.

I am as angry as I am sad.

I am sick every day with fear and dread.

And on top of all of that, I feel hopeless, abandoned, and alone.

The coronavirus isn’t making any of that any easier, obviously.

Every day feels like a nightmare right now, and I know it’s only going to get harder before it possibly gets better.

I’m doing my best to keep strong for Guillermo, but every now and then I look into his eyes and just uncontrollably sob. He has no idea what’s happening to him, and he needs me and believes in me, and it’s up to me to do what’s best for him.

I wish my love could single handedly keep Guillermo safe and healthy, and if that was the way the world worked, he would be with me until the end of time.

Thank you for reading and for being here for me.

I’ll keep you posted on how things progress. At this point, because of how much waiting we’ve been doing, I am just hoping the cancer hasn’t spread any other part of his body.

Xoxo,

Ande

3 thoughts

  1. Oh, Ande, I am so sorry this is happening to Guillermo and to you.
    It’s important Mo senses your hope. They are good at that. They sense when you are sad, upset, angry; but often they can’t understand why. I’ve sensed this with my Apollo (more on this another time).
    Please do let us know how Wednesday turns out.
    Don’t blame yourself for a religious quandary. Theologians have made a profession of discussing assumptions and convictions. In the end, it comes down to what you feel in your heart.
    Hug Mo and tell him you love him, and have hope in your heart when you do so. Believe in miracles despite not being sure who makes them happen. Sometimes, an initial diagnosis can be flawed. But, in the worst of cases, show Mo you’ll be by his side no matter what; just like he is by your side.
    For what it’s worth, I’ll say a prayer for you both, though I don’t have much stock up there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Dan. They especially mean a lot right now. He did have his jaw surgery on Wednesday, so we’re waiting to hear back about the biopsy they’re doing on the piece of jaw removed. Hoping that all of the cancer was successfully removed… just loving him and doing my best to stay as strong as possible although it’s obviously very difficult. But it is easier to have people like you with such supportive words, so I sincerely thank you. Dogs can really feel your emotions, id like to hear about Apollo sometime.

      Like

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