Happy thankful Thursday, everyone! It’s been about six weeks since we first found out our beloved German Shepherd, Ares, has lymphoma. Lymphoma is cancer which causes the lymph-nodes all over the body to swell up. Without treatment they eventually swell up until they’re too large for the dog to handle and have to be put down.
We first discovered Ares’ swollen lymph-nodes about a week before Thanksgiving. He was lying around the house, which he hardly ever does during the day, and was drooling a lot, which he never does, period. I noticed his neck looked extremely large and when I felt his neck his lymph nodes were about the size of tennis balls. Yes, they were that large. We rushed him to his veterinarian, Dr. Newman, at Associated Vets, where they ran blood work and tests, in addition to giving us an antibiotic to bring down the swelling. When his test results came back we were referred to another veterinarian in town, Dr. Mike Norton, at Best Friends Animal Hospital, who specializes in lymphoma treatment. The staff at both vet hospitals couldn’t be better if we tried. (I’m so thankful they are the people treating Ares through this process)
Dr. Norton is who officially diagnosed Ares with lymphoma. To say we were crushed is an understatement. I cried so much trying to figure how and why a dog who is only 3-years-old could have cancer? I also cried because we had no idea how we were going to pay for his chemotherapy treatment considering most people I spoke to whose dogs dealt with the same cancer were quoting us around $5,000. We simply didn’t have that kind of money lying around to pay for his chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy will only put him into remission for an average of 16 months, it’s 16 more months we could spend with him, and he’s too young to not do whatever it takes to keep him healthy and alive.
December 9th, 2016, we reached out to our family and friends on Facebook to ask for donations of any sort to be made to Ares’ chemotherapy treatment. We even specifically asked people to call the vet directly to make their donation so they knew exactly where their money was going. As always, our loved ones showed up in full force. Even people who are struggling themselves donated to Ares’ account. To date we have received over $600 in donations to put towards his, what will be a close to a, $3,000 vet bill for his chemotherapy treatment. (Thankfully living in Montana and going to Best Friends Animal Hospital means less than a $5,000 bill!)
Ares has officially completed the first month of chemotherapy and medicines, and we are extremely happy to say he is handling it all like a champ! He is back to his usual, playful, nature and we couldn’t be happier. I believe the happiest person in our little family would be Ares’ little two-year old, side kick, sister named, Jordyn, who couldn’t love him more if she tried. I took these pictures of them playing the other day. How could I not be the happiest Mama seeing so much love between the two of them?
I’m sharing this post to thank each and every one of you who donated to help save our handsome, Ares. Your help in our time of need means more than you will ever know. We also now know for future reference to get insurance on any future dogs so we don’t run into this problem again.
The Jamieson family loves all of you for your kind and unselfish hearts. Once he is done with his treatment we will do our best to send pictures of Ares and a hand written thank you note to all of you. On this thankful Thursday we are oh so thankful for all of you. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and long weekend.
Love the Jamieson Family: Kris, Brie, Jordyn, and Ares!