I rescued Zoey and Lily in May of 2004 right at 9 weeks old.
We had a very long life together with many ups and downs starting with Lily being attacked by a dog at 11 weeks old. His jaw was broken and wired shut. Losing a few teeth in the process. His jaw didn’t heal right and was off just a bit. He ended up with the nickname snaggletooth because of his adorable smile that he was now well known for.
After a few years of life, we moved to NC. They adjusted very well, and life kept moving forward. A few years later, I started noticing Zoey’s breathing was rough. Found out she had asthma and need steroid injections. We got it under control and life again was good moving forward.
But at the age of 7, I noticed Lily was starting to get thin… after lots of testing I learned he had thyroid problems and was going to require meds for the rest of his life. They also found he had a heart murmur and therefore wouldn’t be able to have the radioactive iodine treatment to cure the thyroid disease. So, pills it was. He did great for the next 6 years. At age 13 things started to get less under control. His heart was getting worse, and the meds were not working as well. We still pushed through though.
In December 2019, I noticed a lump on Zoey’s bottom jaw. I took her to get checked and at first, it looked to be a bad tooth and sent us home with antibiotics for 2 weeks. Two weeks passed and the lump wasn’t getting smaller. Something was clearly wrong. Within a couple days I had answers. Not the answers I was hoping for, but answers at least! Zoey had oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Cancer.
My heart sank!
We were sent to a to a specialist in Oncology and I was even more devastated when I learned that it was a very aggressive cancer, and that Zoey would most likely will die. They gave me several options of treatments from chemo pills to lower jaw removal.
We started with the Palladio chemo pills with no success. Next, we tried IV chemo and again, no success. At 16 years old I couldn’t remove her jaw. That just seemed like a very awful way to live out her time. So, in June of 2021, I stopped chemotherapy and went to palliative care. The tumor eventually grew too much, and she was unable to eat on her own. I had to syringe feed her for a week before I finally made the decision to let her go.
She passed away in my arms on July 23, 2021.
No one will ever know or even understand what it’s like to watch your baby girl slowly die each day for eight months from cancer. Feeling hopeless. Nothing you can do. No treatments that work. She didn’t deserve this kind of ending. She was the sweetest little peanut who loved her brother. Loved to bird watch and sunbathe. She loved her toys and chasing the crazy red dot on the laser pointer.
Lily got much worse in the days and weeks after her death. He went downhill so fast. His heart was giving up. Having fluid drained a lot just so he could breathe. He was now in CHF as they called it. That may be so, but I still say he was dying of a broken heart.
Five weeks after Zoey passed, Lily joined her at the Rainbow Bridge on August 31, 2020.
I’m writing this today on the anniversary of Lily’s death. It’s been one year without out them. Life has been very hard this past year. Many people have family and children to get them through life. And it pains me that I couldn’t protect them from these diseases. I wish I could have done more.
Cancer is awful. I only hope that we can find a treatment that works soon. I would give anything to not see another animal die this way!