Do you believe in miracles?

Friday, November 14, 2008

We do. And you should.

As it turns out, we have had a bit of a miracle occur in our lives.

This morning, I received the dreaded phone call from our vet's office, with the dreaded results from Tessa's biopsy last Friday. My heart sank and I physically braced myself. And then the doctor said:

"It's good news."

I immediately turned into a shaking, blubbering, crying mess, and said, "What?! It's good news??"

Amazingly, incredibly, fantastically, unbelievably...

Tessa does not have cancer.

The doctor explained that the biopsy came back negative. The pathologist said that the results show severely inflamed lymph nodes, but it is NOT CANCER. Instead, it is some harmless inflammatory disease/disorder that will go away on its own.

Can you believe it? We don't even have to do anything. It will just go away with time.

I probably asked at least twice if they were sure, or whether this could still be lymphoma, just in a developmental stage. She said no, there is nothing to worry about. Nothing to worry about.

After that, I don't know that I heard anything at all. I just cried. And cried.

She's going to be OK.

I hung up the phone and found myself just so completely overwhelmed by it all. Not only the emotion of it, but by what this means for us.

This changes everything.

In the same way that the bad news of the initial diagnosis knocked us off of our feet and seemingly changed our lives forever, the good news has picked us back up and changed our lives forever.

I had started to try to come to terms with the fact that most likely, Tessa wouldn't be around next spring or summer. She wouldn't be around when we have kids. I wondered if we would still be able to take our planned trip to Vegas in February. We had discussions about what we might be willing to spend on her potential treatment, and what we would give up in order to pay for it.

And now, magically, that has all disappeared. A huge weight off of our shoulders.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty hellish. And I am so grateful that we are now in the light at the end of the tunnel, and things aren't at all what we originally thought.

As for Tess, she is our little miracle girl. When I picked up that phone today, I never expected to hear good news. I won't lie, I had allowed myself to hope just a little that maybe, just maybe it wasn't cancer. The doctors seemed almost positive that it was lymphoma, and so I believed them, but I still found myself thinking, "But what if it's not?"

And lo and behold... it's not.

I think the doctors are even surprised. They thought it was cancer. They told us it was, and they watched us break down and cry over it. She did say they weren't 100%, but they did seem sure. Sure enough, anyway.

Our next step is to take Tess into the vet on Monday for her appointment to remove her sutures. At that point, the doctor is going to check out her lymph nodes, show us where to periodically check for her other ones (to make sure they don't swell), and tell us more about this condition that she has. To be honest, I don't even know/remember the name of it. She said it on the phone, but at that moment, I was so deliriously happy that I just didn't care. The name was long and complicated, and the only important information for me was IT'S NOT CANCER. (I honestly don't think I can say that enough times. IT'S NOT CANCER!!)

But that's Monday. First things first: A celebration.

Tonight, we are busting out the bottle of champagne that has been sitting in the back of our fridge. Up until this morning, we didn't think we would have anything to celebrate for a really long time. But we do.

And tomorrow night? We are having my family over for dinner. We made the plans and asked them before we knew the results. We haven't been together in a while and I figured it'd be a good opportunity for everyone to get to spend time with and visit Tess. Now, it's going to turn into an all out celebration.

I can't thank everybody enough. All of our family, friends, readers, and strangers who sent us well wishes. Who hoped for us, or prayed for us. I told Michael and my mom this morning that I feel horrible for worrying everybody. I feel bad that everyone thought our dog had cancer. Everyone was so nice, so sympathetic, so sad for us. And it turned out to be nothing. So for that, I am sorry. And I thank you.

She's a little dog, but she means a lot to us--clearly.

Even now that we have a positive outcome, I can say that I hate that we had to go through all of this. All of the worry, the sorrow, the not-knowing, the depression. I wouldn't wish it on anybody else. The last three weeks sucked; they really did.

But I can also see it for what it was: a lesson. A lesson in love, hope, strength, and courage.

A lesson that life is precious. Life is good.


Linda November 14, 2008 at 3:47 PM  

Wow! That's amazing. I'm so happy for all of you. Have a fantastic weekend!

Kimberly,  November 14, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

I'm so happy for all of you!!! Have a wonderful time celebrating this weekend!

Sarah November 14, 2008 at 3:59 PM  

What a great thing to hear on Friday. Miracles do happen.

Anonymous,  November 14, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

That is great news! I am so happy for you and Mike! Yay for Tessa!!!

Best Wishes!

S November 14, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

Okay, I've never commented before but I just have to say how happy I am to hear this. A pup that has such wonderful parents deserves a much longer life!

Anonymous,  November 14, 2008 at 4:25 PM  

I've been reading your blog since you got married and I'm so happy for you that Tess is ok!! Our dog had a cancerous tumor removed from his stomach, but is doing great now. I'm so happy your story turned out so well.

Lady Lewy November 14, 2008 at 4:25 PM  

I don't know you, I found your blog through my sister-in-law. But I have a dog named Tess and could feel your broken heart. I prayed and prayed for you and for her recovery. I am so happy that you have reason to celebrate! Congrats to Tess & cheers to many more memories with your little girl!

Eric's Mommy,  November 14, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

I read your blog but have never commented.
I know exactly how you feel, we have 2 dogs, one of them is a 180lb Neapolitan Mastiff. A couple months ago we had a major scare with him and it happened over night. That whole day our family was a mess, we thought for sure when we brought him to the vet's later that day he would have to be put down. That whole day and night before were miserable, we were pretty much preparing ourselves for what was going to happen. When we took him to the vets she gave me some shots of penicillin to give him for 5 days and his problem went away, now he is back to his old self. It is amazing how things can change like that.

Hooray for Tessa!!!!

Jules November 14, 2008 at 4:34 PM  

I'm so happy to hear that Tessa is alright. Reading some of your posts over the last few weeks literally brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad that she is going to be okay. She is such a cute dog and I can tell how much she means to you. Enjoy the celebration!

Abbie November 14, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

I'm so glad to hear the good news. It may sound weird, but I just KNEW she didn't have it. I don't know why I had that feeling, but I'm glad your worries are behind you!

Cara,  November 14, 2008 at 5:07 PM  

I'm SOOO happy for you! That's great news. Have a great weekend!

Melissa November 14, 2008 at 5:12 PM  

This has literally made my day. Im so glad to hear the good news!

Lesley Rae November 14, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

Heather - jeez....what can I say - other than what I said in my email to you earlier, but I just HAD to say it again - SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS. Michael must be a puddle on the floor. Little Tessa is meant to be with you until she grows old and gray. She will continue to love/growl/chew/throw/snuggle with her Bobos and dig in my purse for more treats. *sigh of relief*

Vanessa November 14, 2008 at 5:29 PM  

SUCH good news! Tess is such a lovely dog and I am so happy that she will be in your family for a long long time. The thought of her suffering and not understanding was so so sad! Hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with Tess hugs!

SouthwestNYer November 14, 2008 at 5:58 PM  

Woohoo! I am soooooo relieved for you! What great news to start the weekend.

Sandy November 14, 2008 at 6:19 PM  

That is GREAT news about your little pup! Your post is a beautiful reminder how fragile life is and to be thankful everyday for our health...and to never stop believing that miracles do happen. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating!

Jen November 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM  

I'm so relieved for you!! That is fantastic news!! Our God is an AWESOME God!! :)

erica November 14, 2008 at 8:44 PM  

that is amazing! so happy for you guys. i have been thinking about your little dog ever since you posted about her being sick and had this funny feeling like she was going to be ok - not sure why. (i'm usually not 'psychic' or anyway, great news! :)

Michael K,  November 14, 2008 at 11:01 PM  

I am amazed by how people have thought of Tessa and us during the last couple of weeks. Thank you so much.

tab890 November 14, 2008 at 11:19 PM  

congratulations! that is amazing news, i've periodically been checking your blog for an update this week and I am so happy to hear the good news. Yay for Tessa!!!

Anonymous,  November 15, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

Oh my gosh, I am so happy. I have been checking back several times a day, hoping to hear that everyone was okay :)

Nikki,  November 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM  

That is amazing news! I'm so very happy for you and Tessa! Enjoy your celebration!

Alison November 16, 2008 at 12:09 AM  

Yay!!! Such fantastic news!!!

Jen November 16, 2008 at 12:12 AM  

What a truly wonderful post! I am so happy for you, Tessa and your family :)

Anonymous,  November 16, 2008 at 7:58 PM  

I'm so excited for you, your family and Tess! Who says miracles never happen? :-)

Anonymous,  November 17, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

That's GREAT!!! I'm so happy for all of you! What a relief.

swedish fishie November 17, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

I've been following your blogs on and off since before either of us got married. I took a little time off from reading and when I read the news about Tess last week I was devastated. I kept checking back, waiting you to post about the call from the doctor praying for good news. I am so happy for all of you!

Heather November 17, 2008 at 11:15 AM  

I am so glad that everything worked out for you guys!

My Dream Ring November 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM  

OMG!! That is so great! All the prayers and good vibes seemed to have worked!

Yay Tessa!

Jen November 17, 2008 at 1:20 PM  

I'm thrilled for all of you! What a blessing.

craftybitch November 20, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

YAY little dog! I'm SO SO happy for the three of you. She is adorable. :)--Bethie

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