Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stupid Melanoma

So on the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2010, after a greak week off at home with the dogs, Wyatt my 5 year old Jack Russell started sniffing Hannah's mouth. He wouldn't stop and normally bug her like that. I checked her mouth - and found what I thought was an abscessed tooth on the upper right gum line. I was upset after finding this, and was dreading putting a 15-year old dog under anesthetic to deal with the tooth.

Hannah at work with me that day,
eyeing the Chic-fil-a sandwich on my desk

The next morning I called my vet, Pharr Road Animal Hospital, and got her in the same day for an appointment. Luckily I am allowed to occasionally bring my dogs with me to work - and had brought Hannah with me that day.
.So the vet took one look in her mouth - and said "hrrrmmm" and everything changed from that moment.
 The vet asked me about symptoms, bleeding, discomfort - and I said there were none. She told me that with an abscess, I would probably see some of those symptoms, and that this might be Melanoma.

Hannah with her brother
Wyatt, who "found" the cancer

So Hannah HATES going to the vet. She will dive in the ocean off St Simons Island after a dead "something" floating in the water, kill mice in one bite that fall out of live traps onto our feet, but turns into a shaking mess when she goes to the vet.

I worked as a vet clinic for several years a long time ago - and was lucky enough to able to stay with Hannah through any procedures that she needed.
A few years ago when she was about 12 I took her to Stone Mountain Park. She was running after a ball so hard she broke her toe. I did leave her at the vet for awhile on her own that time when they splinted it...

Anyway - so I am in the exam room hearing the words "melanoma", "biopsy", and was totally unprepared. I think if she would have had a lump or bump anywhere on her body besides her mouth - I would have been more wary. Hannah hasn't exactly been easy on her mouth. Her teeth are flat like a hippo because until she was about 9 years old, she was never without a tennis ball in her mouth. So I thought yeah - another bumped tooth and an absess - what a PAIN. But never thought cancer.