How I dealt with my best-friend’s cancer diagnosis.
She truly is my lifelong best friend.
My friend Bijou’s cancer diagnosis came with a cruel untimeliness. “She is older, but still has many more good years in her!” I thought. She wants more hikes and road trips. Most of all, I know she wants more time with me- just living day to day life by my side. She truly is my lifelong best friend because of the challenges we have faced together, and the times of joy we celebrated. It is difficult for me to imagine life without her. We open our hearts to dogs knowing that we will likely someday watch them die. Although I am beyond devastated, I can say with assuredness that it is worth it.
I have so many questions. How long do we have together? What are my next steps? How do I keep her comfortable?
Bijou was diagnosed with cancer by a veterinary specialty clinic. They performed the tests (CT scan and biopsy), called me with the findings, and sent her home. I was both terribly sad and confused, which is not a good state to be in when one needs to make big decisions. I had many questions. How long do we have together? What are my next steps? How do I keep her comfortable? When should I consider euthanasia? How much is all of this going to cost? After a few days of aimlessly worrying about these questions I reached out to a pet hospice organization, AHELP, for guidance and support. It was through them that I was introduced to Dr. Jill Todd.
Holistic care for my pup that gave me hope and some peace on how to best care for Bijou.
After meeting Dr. Todd, I knew things were going to be okay with Bijou. We come together for in home acupuncture and cold laser treatments about every other week. Bijou absolutely loves her treatment sessions. She gets to lay in the sun and relax while Dr. Todd gently attends to her symptoms. She especially enjoys that we spend that time talking about her! I notice that she seems more at peace for the next few days after a treatment.
Dr. Todd has given me invaluable information on products and therapeutic techniques I can use between visits as well. She treats Bijou holistically, addressing not only her cancer, but her nutritional needs, pain, and even mental well-being. I now know what to expect from this disease and that has relieved much of my fear and worry allowing me to spend these last few months peacefully honoring Bijou. Now that I am in a better place with this process, I know that Bijou is too.