I know this isn’t very “wordless,” but last night I was going through old pictures and found a lot of Xena that I had forgotten about. So many memories came rushing back…I still miss her so much, and the pictures reawakened that ache in my heart for her. She died in April of this year after being diagnosed with Lymphoma in February. Xena had always been the picture of perfect health, and miniature schnauzers can live to be between 14-16 years old, sometimes older if you’re lucky. I thoroughly expected her to live to be at least 15, so when she started getting sick right before turning 13, it was hard for me to comprehend.
It was such a sudden thing – one day, I noticed the sides of her neck were crazy swollen. Took her to the vet, they aspirated the lymph nodes, and confirmed lymphoma. Rather than put her through the suffering (and no guarantee of survival or longevity) of chemotherapy at her already advanced age, we opted to treat her with steroids and various supplements in the hopes it would slow down the growth/spread of the cancer. I talked to vet techs and friends who knew of dogs and cats that lived with lymphoma for 6 months to a year or more before succumbing. Xena only made it about a month and a half.
Maybe one day (when I can write about her without bursting into tears like I am now), I will share stories of how smart, funny, and amazingly awesome she was. A true Warrior Schnauzer that I will love and cherish forever.