White Dog again insisted on riding with Steve to take Nuka back to Dr. Julia's for treatment of her continuing acute pancreatitis. Quinn had spent the night at Nuka's side and was reluctant to let Steve pick her up to carry her out.
At mid-day (the office closes early on Wednesdays) Cindy, Dr. Julia's Number One, called to let Steve know he could bring Nuka home early and to discuss the case.
Both she and Dr. Julia were getting concerned at Nuka's lack of improvement, she was still not eating anything and drinking only sips. Nuka's total lack of energy ("she's just like a lump") greatly concerned them. She quietly suggested that if we did not see improvement within the next 24-hours that we might consider an ultrasound of the pancreas and perhaps an appointment with a specialist. My heart sank. I am involved enough with the c monster that I feared what she was suggesting. I asked her straight out and she drew a breath. "An ultrasound would quickly tell us if there is a tumor," she responded honestly. "And then what?" I asked. "Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves," Cindy cautioned. Nuka is twelve, not in perfect health, and pancreatic cancer is a painful killer...then what does not carry too many options and none are "she lives happily for a long long time.
She and I agreed that we would bring Nuka in for continued IV treatment on Thursday and while she was there they would do an ultrasound. I hung up, my mind racing four billion miles a second, and looked at the White Dog Army gathered around me. Can you have a prayer circle with your four-leggeds? Because we did; right there, we huddled together and asked the Universe to protect and heal our wiggy-waggy girl.
Steve came back with Nuka, some Ensure and baby food. Dr. Julia had suggested that we try to "jump start" her pancreas by trying to force-feed small amounts. I held my baby as I told Steve about my conversation; "I know I was in the office for part of your conversation with her. Cindy was surprised at how much Nuka was walking around when they brought her out. I truly believe Nuka is just slow responding and does not have cancer; don't lose hope." The WDA wagged their agreement.
Nuka seemed determined to give the White Dog Army and I a message of encouragement, too. First thing she did when I set her down was take a long drink of water and then headed out of the dog door into the yard. Steve followed her out and when she came back in reported that she had urinated. I held her again while Steve gave her a syringe of Ensure; she fought the tool but licked her lips at the liquid. "Let's see if that stays down and in another hour we will try some more," I suggested.
When the WDA assembled for duck jerky Nuka walked over to sit with the waiting pups. She did not take a strip but her efforts made me smile. She DID swallow another syringe of Ensure but turned her head when Steve offered a bit in a tiny sauce bowl for her to feed herself. She mingled with every one as Steve and I lunched and he dressed for work. She is more lively then she has been in days, although now she is sleeping (once again with Quinn and Oso as protectors). She has not vomited, which is a good sign.
There is a HUGE part of me holding my breath ready to spin off into panic but I am trying VERY hard to follow the advice of White Dog and the Others, "Be here, now; worrying about what is not yet known doesn't change anything and if you are wrong is wasted energy." But it is not so easy when you are the momma.