Posted by: Kathy | March 5, 2014

Cancer Sucks

For years, I’ve been writing about the loss of my mom to pancreatic cancer. My feelings. My journey through grief and eventually healing. Since my mom died, other people I’ve known have been diagnosed with various types of cancer. Some have died, and others have fortunately lived.

Cancer once again has entered my life on a personal level. My 8-year-old Black Lab-Bluetick Coonhound mix, Kodi, has been diagnosed with lymphoma. It is incurable. Some people may say, it’s just a dog. But to me, my pets are like 4-legged kids. This diagnosis sucks and it hurts.

Kodi in 2012

Kodi in 2012

I will not put Kodi through chemotherapy. I have seen what chemotherapy does to both people and dogs. I would rather Kodi have quality of life for as long as we have left with him than put him through hell for possibly a few more months with him. The cancer is affecting multiple lymph nodes all over his body. He started prednisone treatment yesterday, which can help with the quality of his life. At this moment, Kodi is doing ok. But I fear what the next few weeks/months may bring. I look into Kodi’s eyes and can see that he knows something is wrong.

Our vet has no idea how long Kodi has or just how widespread the cancer is without further extensive testing. So I will make the best of whatever time we have left with him. I pray for minimal side effects from the prednisone and to know when enough is enough. I love my dog and I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want him to suffer either.

As I wrote in a previous post, cancer is a four letter word to me. I hate it. I wish there was a cure for cancer and that people, and pets, didn’t have to suffer from this disease.



  1. what a great looking pooch! i have an 8-year old black lab/coon-hound mix too, i love that stupid mutt more than i care to admit. they have a way of working their way into our hearts. best wishes to you both, from me & tessie (woof!)

    • Thanks – he’s a cutie. This is the second black lab-coonhound mix I’ve had. Toby was a black lab-black and tan coonhound mix I picked up in college. I met his mom when I got him – he was a farm puppy. I was fortunate to have him for 14 years. I believe Kodi is black lab-bluetick coonhound. I don’t know of anyone else who owns a black lab-coonhound mix. I would love to see pics of Tessie. As I wrote in previous replies to comments, Kodi was doing really well and responding to the medicine. But yesterday I noticed that his lymph nodes are swollen again, after only 9 days on the prednisone. I vet isn’t happy with these results and said this could be the beginning of the end for Kodi. I had hope, but now I just don’t know. One day at a time. Thanks for the best wishes. Take care.

  2. I am so sorry. Cancer is horrible and I hate it. I watched my mom battle it 3 times in her life and then battle the side effects of all the chemo and other treatments. My heart goes out to you. Extra love to your adorable 4 legged baby,

    • Thank you so much. Cancer is horrible, but I think the chemo would be even worse for Kodi. He hates going to the vet in the first place, can’t be with males he doesn’t know, and has to be muzzled because he was mistreated by a male vet when he was very young. It would be so confusing for him, plus all the side effects. As I said to Denise, he is responding well to the prednisone. So that’s good news. Take care.

  3. oh, I am so very sorry. What a tragedy. We lost our lovely Lady 2 years ago to cancer also. Your Kodi looks much like Lady. I think Lady will welcome Kodi to heaven and they will romp together until we all get to see each other again. I support you in your decision not to do chemo. They don’t understand the process and I think in many ways it’s cruel to put them through it.

    • Thanks Denise. Sorry you lost Lady to cancer. I can picture my mom in Heaven surrounded by all the pets we loved and lost over my lifetime and hers. Good news is that Kodi is responding well to the prednisone. One day at a time. Take care.

  4. I’m all choked up. I’m so sorry about your mom, other family members, and Kodi…it’s brutal losing the people (and pets) we love.

    I lost my mom to brain cancer 14 months ago, my best friend to a drunk driver, my father in law and grandma just a year before my mom. Life can hit hard sometimes. I’m with you. I hate cancer. I hate death and saying goodbye. period.

    I suppose the only saving grace is they don’t have to feel the pain of losing us, and one day we’ll see them again, I believe.

    My heart is with you…Kodi is fortunate to have you.

    • Hi Lori: I’m sorry you’ve lost so many people you love. I can relate, as I’ve lost several family members and pets over the last 10 years. Saying goodbye over and over again is hard – no matter who it is. Yes, life can hit hard at times, and it does get easier as time passes, but an impression stays on your heart. Thanks for your comment. Take care.

  5. Cancer is a respecter of no person or animal. Its arbitrary invasion is unfair and highly uncalled for. In my family, dogs, cats, and horses have fallen to this disease. I hope you and Kodi have a full remaining time together. It sounds like that is your goal, and I’m certain you’ll reach it.

    • You’re right when you say cancer has no respect for anyone – humans or animals. My daughter asked me why Kodi got cancer and I said that no one knows. Just like no one knows why my mom got pancreatic cancer. It’s something that just happens with no reason and it’s very unfair.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about Kodi but I think you have made the right decision. Make the most of the time you have left with him. This disease really stinks! Thinking about you.

    • Thank you. In my heart I know I’ve made the right decision. I just hope to keep making the right decisions as time goes on and his disease progresses. Take care.

  7. I am so sorry for the sad news what Kodi is going through. I hope all goes well with him and everyone in your home. I will be thinking of you all. Lilah

    • Thanks Lilah. I appreciate your kind thoughts. Take care.

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