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CHAPTER 257 – The Miracle Solution

Abigail at her typewriter

CHAPTER 257 – The Miracle Solution

The giant machine whirred as it rotated around Abigail’s tiny little body. Every so often, it paused. With pinpoint accuracy down to a tenth of a millimeter, the machine shot an invisible ray of protons at the lump inside Abigail’s chest. A little bit here. A little bit there. This angle. That angle. Making sure the entire lump was bombarded, but not the surrounding organs.

Abigail was oblivious to it all – asleep from anesthesia. Her vital signs were monitored remotely by a tiny cuff wrapped around her tail. In just a few minutes, the procedure for the day was done.

The $4 million Image Guided Radiation Therapy machine was like a giant magic wand, making the cancerous thymus gland disappear over the course of two weeks. Three times a week, she took a nap and a half hour later, she woke up. No pain. No feeling sick from drugs. No long recovery from surgery. It was truly a miracle solution.

Abigail missed Dad. It had been a week since she arrived at the University of California Davis Small Animal Clinic. The people were nice to her, but she wanted to be home with her Dad.

“Abigail, you have a visitor!” announced Alyssa, the nice senior veterinary student who had been taking care of her all week. Alyssa coaxed Abigail into a carrier and brought her out to an examination room. Then, Abigail ears perked up when she heard Dad’s voice. “Hello, sweetie. How are you doing?” he asked.

Abigail, the sassy little Netherland Dwarf, thumped several times and thought, “How am I doing? I want to go home! That’s how I’m doing!” Dad lifted Abigail into his arms and she immediately calmed down and snuggled up against him. “I’ve missed you!” he said, as he stroked her tiny little ears and kissed her head. “I missed you, too!” she admitted.

The fur around her eyes was matted from the eye drops they used to keep her eyes moist during the procedure, and she had a bit of poopy butt from eating the rabbit hospital food. But other than that, she looked fine, and was her normal, feisty self.

Dad set her down inside the exercise pen and said, “I brought you some comfort food and willow leaves!” Abigail sniffed the tray and took a nibble, but she wasn’t really hungry. She was just excited to see Dad!

Dad pulled out his phone and played the songs from their evening playlist. As soon as Abigail heard the opening notes of “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, she settled down into a loaf position and relaxed, letting Dad stroke her ears and head. Every night for the past seven years, she listened to that song while he petted her. That was their song. It comforted her.

Dr. Megan came into the room and reported, “After the first week of treatment, the mass in her chest has shrunk significantly. So much so, that the oncologist needs to remap the area to reduce the field. She’s doing really well and should be able to go home after next week’s treatments.”

Dad was thrilled. It was everything he had hoped for. “Did you hear that, Abigail?” he asked, “In a week, you’ll be able to go home and go back to living your normal life!” Abigail looked up at Dad sadly and wondered, “You mean you’re not taking me home today?” Dad looked back and said, “No, sweetie. I’m afraid not. You have to stay for another week. But don’t worry, I’ll be back for you. I promise!”

It was hard for Dad to leave her behind, just as it was a week ago when this journey first began. But the soothing voice of Alyssa’s daily reports, and the progress Abigail had made during this first week, calmed his anxiety.

The miracle solution was working!

Little Abigail undergoes radiation treatment in the giant $4M Image Guided Radiation Therapy machine at UC Davis.

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