After my beloved Golden Retriever Eloise died I vowed I would never get another dog. It felt like losing a child. I got her through 2 years of End Stage Renal Disease giving her IV fluids daily. You can see there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my babies. After about a year and a half I was looking on Petfinder just because. I put in xtra large dogs and guess who popped up? A 7 year old Female Alaskan Malamute. I fell in love immediately and decided to “foster” her even though I knew I would adopt all 120 pounds of her. My husband on the other hand was not too keen, but once she got in the house we all fell in love. She was aloof at first, but then got wicked pancreatitis / colitis from a bone she ingested. We have been best buds ever since. She is such an integral part of our family and goes everywhere with us. We surprised my son in November when we took her to Fort Jackson for his Army BCT graduation. She has brought us nothing but joy since we adopted her.
This past spring when COVID was in full swing I was working many hours in our ICU. I am an RN and it was horrendous. I noticed a lump under TJ’s chin, however, no one else in the family noticed. I was exhausted all the time and did not think much more about it. (Which I seriously regret). By the end of April beginning of May I could definitely tell there was something going on with her mouth. I took her to the vet for her regular checkup and asked the doctor to examine her mouth. When she came back out with TJ I was not prepared for the diagnosis. She felt it was Osteosarcoma and would need a biopsy. While waiting for results I researched the heck out of Osteosarcoma of the mandible and found PetCure Oncology. They have been a Godsend and incredible to work with. The cost took my breath away, but I decided I would make it work somehow. My husband on the other hand was practically having a nervous breakdown. They found it was isolated to her mandible, not metastatic so I decided to go for it. Of course, this is when I decided to have a diverticulitis flareup and ended up in the hospital for several days. I did make sure TJ would start the process the day after I was discharged. PetCure Oncology gave a list of different resources that could possibly assist with cost .
Thats how I found the Zeus Oncology Fund. I did not feel hopeful to be honest, but reached out anyway. To say they were responsive would be an understatement. Within several hours they replied and started this process rolling. I started on 5/24 and by 5/26 they informed me that they approved a grant. I burst into tears because the stress of all this has been awful and for a group of people to be that helpful and compassionate was a Godsend . Her tumor was growing so fast that I had to start the process immediately whether they could help or not. They have been the most amazing group of people who I am forever grateful. I will support them as long as I am alive.
A cancer diagnosis has been one of the worst things to receive from my mom on down to my brother in law who passed away at the start of this process. I never dreamed my dog would get cancer too and when I saw the cost for treatment, I was very disheartened. For myself, and all the other people going through this particularly during an economic downturn. TJ still has to follow up with a medical oncologist just for safety. Her tumor stopped growing and was destroyed. She might need surgery to remove what is left, but not a big deal all things considered. I am forever grateful for Zeus Oncology Fund.
Elizabeth C., 2020