Stanley probably has cancer.
His liver is affected and I took him for an ultrasound to the hospital, but in the end, after two consultations, decided not to do more tests. The doctor said the liver was functioning pretty well, affected secondarily by cancer elsewhere in the body. At this late age and given the seizures he’s had, it’s probably in the brain. We could do a whole lot of tests to find where it is. The first batch alone would cost us some $750, and they would not be conclusive.
“I just want to get enough diagnostic information to enable me to take good care of him,” I told the doctor.
“We could do the ultrasound of his abdomen and an x-ray of his lungs just for your peace of mind,” said the technician. “People like to know.”
“I have peace of mind,” I told her, and I meant every word. “I just want enough knowledge to help me take care of him.”
The doctor agreed, and I drove back home with anti-seizure and anti-twitching medicine. “At some point the seizures will start again,” the doctor warned me, “and even though you could increase the dosage of the medication, they’ll be harder and harder to control.”
On the way back Stanley was as happy and healthy-looking as could be, as usual looking out the window.
“You don’t have to let the White Plum Asanga of teachers know about this, one thing less for you to do,” he said kindly. “I’m a humble pooch, after all.”
“Ha!” Then I added, “I wonder what the Man will say when he hears this.”
Stanley couldn’t care less. Too busy looking out the window, too busy loving life. He’d fought me all the way to the hospital, refusing to leave the house, refusing to get into the car, refusing to get out of the car, and I dragged him all the way in the hard rain. But now he happily contemplated trees.
“You know, Stanley, you are one sick dog,” I told him in the rearview mirror. “The doctor even mentioned euthanasia.”
He wasn’t listening. In the last 2 years he hasn’t heard a word I said and has always managed to give the perfect response.
It’s not just seizures. He totters most of the time, stumbling over his back legs like someone drunk, going off into corners, bumping into chair legs, losing his balance. And then looks out the window in love with the world.