Hello all, 

I am new to this website.  I first heard about it about 10 years ago, but never have had to visit it until now.  On February 4, 2015, my entire world came crashing down.  My fur baby, my son, my heart and soul, JJ, was diagnosed with a splenic mass.  First, let me give you a bit of a background on my baby.  He is a rescue, lab/beagle mix, I've had him since he was 9 weeks old and he will be 14 on May 17th.  I have always loved animals, especially dogs.  I've had several dogs when I was younger, but NEVER have I ever been this close to a fur baby.  He has been with me through some of the most toughest times of my life and I can't even imagine life without him.  He has been a little trooper ever since I got him.  He's had problems with seizures, thyroid issues, and almost 2 years ago, he was diagnosed with mitral valve disease (CHF).  I thought that was the end of him then, but with the proper medication and diet, he still thrived.  Then, on the morning of February 4th, I noticed that while I was getting ready, he had dried blood on his back paws.  For whatever reason, something told me to wipe his penis area, and sure enough when I did, it was bright red blood.  I quickly rushed him to the vet thinking maybe it was a bad UTI or something, but unfortunately, that was not the case.  On the x-rays, they found a mass on his spleen.  At first, they thought the bleeding was not because of the mass, so they put him on 2 antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory med.  As I digested the fact that he had a mass, I was hoping that the bleeding would have been caused by a UTI, but after 2 weeks, he was still bleeding and it was getting worse.  My vet told me the only thing they could do would be to remove the spleen, but that would not guarantee the bleeding to stop, because he suspected cancer in other areas such as the bladder or prostate (he was neutered as a puppy).  The only way to find out where the bleeding was coming from was to do exploratory surgery at Auburn or UGA.  I declined, because at his age (almost 14), his CHF and seizures, I felt that he would not make it through the surgery and if he did it would have put him through unnecessary pain.  I had three different opinions from three doctors at the same practice, so I took him to another vet for a 2nd opinion.  He seems to think that JJ might have TCC (transitional cell carcinoma) on top of the splenic mass.  I took him in last Friday, the mass on his spleen has grown just a little, which leads the Dr to think that it's not a fast growing cancer, but if TCC is involved then that is possibly where the bleeding is coming from.  He bleeds non-stop, I'm constantly cleaning up after him and it's heartbreaking and makes me feel so helpless.  On top of that, his appetite is hit and miss and will only eat canned cat food (mixed in with his dry dog food), which the Dr approved, so as long as he's eating.  I've tried everything to get him to eat, chicken and rice, fish, hamburger meat, etc.  He gets bored very easily with food now, which is very unlike him.  Other than that, he's still my JJ.  My question is, has anyone experienced anything like this?  What did you do?  Anything different I should be doing?  I don't know of anyone that has gone through this (bleeding constantly)with their fur baby and I'm desperate to get some advice.  I have been so depressed since this all began and cannot seem to shake the feeling and having 2nd thoughts about surgery.  Did I make the right decision?  I'm living in constant misery now waiting on signs that this monster called cancer is going to take my baby away from me.  I have prayed and prayed and sought God's wisdom through all of this and am hoping that I will eventually be at peace with all of this.  If any of you have been through something similar, I would love to hear your story.  I hope I have communicated this to where you all can understand the misery I am going through with helplessness I am feeling.  Please pray for me and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  

Rachel Hamill
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