CHAPTER 263 – The Verdict
Tufts of cotton from the cottonwood trees floated by. The bright orange California poppies popped against the purple and green plants in the background, as if they were the stars of the garden. The bright sun in the brilliant blue sky warmed Dad’s face as he strolled through the arboretum at UC Davis. Ten weeks ago, when Dad last visited the arboretum, it was a nail-biting time. Abigail was being diagnosed for thymoma and possible radiation treatment. He was worried that he might lose his little girl due to the cancer or the treatment itself.
This time was different. Dad was in a happy mood. Abigail had survived the radiation treatment. In fact, she barely knew anything had happened. Even though there was an immediate difference, she continued to improve in the weeks after the treatment had ended. She was no longer out of breath when he chased her down for medication, and her eyes weren’t weeping much. Today’s checkup would determine how effective the radiation treatment was.
A few hours passed by. Dad had just finished lunch when his phone rang. It was her vet, Dr. Megan, “Abigail is all done. She did fine with the sedation and the x-rays and the blood test. You can come get her now.” With a spring in his step, Dad headed back to the UC Davis small animal clinic to pick up his little girl.
Dr. Megan brought Abigail out to the examination room. She was still a bit groggy from the sedation, but she contentedly hopped into Dad’s arms and snuggled up against him while she listened to the prognosis. Dr. Megan brought up the x-ray on the screen and explained, “We are happy to report that the mass has shrunk significantly since her treatment ended! It’s not completely gone, but we don’t expect that. It is very small now, and no longer pressing on her heart or her trachea. Her heart murmur is gone, too! Although thymoma does not usually return or spread, we’d like her to come back in three months for another checkup just to monitor it. If for some reason it does come back, we have several treatment options.”
Dad was elated. The verdict was in. The miracle solution had worked! Abigail could go on to live the rest of her natural life. He looked down at the adorable little fluff ball in his arms and said, “Did you hear that sweetie? You got a clean bill of health. Now, we can have many more years together!” Abigail was happy, too. Dad packed up Abigail, thanked Dr. Megan, and headed home with his little girl.
By the next morning, the grogginess had worn off, and Abigail felt like her normal self again. Enzo ran over to her and asked, “Are you feeling better? Wanna play chase?” It was game on! The two of them took off, racing around the living room and into dining room. Around and around they went. Even though she was 8 years old, Abigail felt like a young girl again as she giggled and ran. Life was good.
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