Bono, my best friend of the last twelve years, recently underwent surgery to remove two lumps from his body. While awaiting word on the biopsies, we were led to believe that there would be a favorable outcome.
We brought him home from the hospital to recover from surgery and I nursed him as I would a baby—never leaving his side, sleeping lightly in case he awakened and needed something. Several days later, I received a call from the surgeon who gave me the biopsy results—hemangiosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. The former is a very serious cancer but can be treated. We returned to the hospital to meet with the oncology team and learn about the protocol. Bono would have to undergo radiation and chemo therapies over the course of several months. This would potentially extend his life up to a year, whereas not treating him may only leave him with six months. Due to the doctors’ persuasiveness, I was under the impression that treatment was the only course of action and was ready to sign him up.
Once I was home, however, my thoughts began to settle and I questioned the treatment. Why was not doing anything offered as an option? Apparently, their job is to treat cancer, period. My job was to decide what was best for my bestie.
Ultimately, we decided to let Bono live his normal life for as long as he can. This seems far less cruel than pumping drugs into him with potentially painful side effects. That said, it was bothersome not doing anything to try and help at all. I heard about the effectiveness of mushrooms for extending the life of dogs with cancer and began to do extensive research. He is now taking a multitude of holistic mushroom capsules a day and gets Japanese mushroom broth with his food. It is not a panacea, but any extra time with Bono is a gift to treasure, forever.