Now it's a matter of time.
Tango isn't in any pain, or discomfort. He eats well, plays and still has an active sex-life with his stuffed dog. The cancer is localized on his left hip. Right now I'm exploring options on how to either slow the tumor's growth, or perhaps stop it, while it's still early. There are no guarantees, and the prognosis is ill, but it may buy him time, at least. Any little, quality time will be precious.
There are a couple things I'm looking at. One is an herbal extract of the bloodroot plant called neoplasene
which has had success in treating animals with cancer. There is a clinic in my state--though unfortunately is three hours away from where I live--which uses neoplasene as a treatment option, and I'm going to look into contacting them for some kind of help. I'm also trying another herbal supplement remedy (the name eludes me at the moment), that is rich in antioxidants and helps slow the progress of cancer in pets.
I'm going to put up a yard sale this weekend. Old books, anything I can get ahold of, really. I need to sell some stuff off--I need money to cover gas and his medical expenses. And mine.
Heh. It's funny. I could care less about my three lumps in my neck. I haven't even thought about them much, and they disappeared completely from my mind after discovering Tango's lump. I guess some people would think my priorities are out of whack. I just can't concern myself with things that are currently unknown and out of my control. I tried confiding in some coworkers today about Tango, and all they did was curl their lips up at me in contempt and say, "It's just a cat." Funny. I wasn't mad at them for saying that. I simply pitied them for not having the experience of forming a deep connection with another animal other than a human one. The only tragic part about it is things like this--they don't live as long as people, although they really need to.
And no, if he starts to suffer, I'm not going to selfishly prolong it for my sake. It would only break my heart worse. But, while he's still pain-free, while the damn thing inside him is still small enough, I'm going to find a way to fight it back, prolong his life, and the quality of it, the best way I can.
Tango came into my life at a very significant point, and was a major source of comfort and therapy (and still is). He can detect my migraines, and helps soothe me when they come on by laying next to me or on top of my chest, and purring forcefully enough to make the both of us vibrate. He plays fetch. He comes when he's called. He throws his head back and howls, when in fear or in ecstasy, his tail curled up over his back, making him look like a small red husky in the throes of passion. Follows me everywhere. We're like two peas in a pod. One is never without the other when in the house. He trails me like a shadow at all times.
While he's still active and has a good quality of life, I will fight for it. He's certainly fought for me, in his own simplistic and straightforward animal-way.
Thank you to everyone who responded, and offered their words of condolence, support, and prayers. Tango will certainly need all the prayers he can get. You guys are awesome, and I am deeply appreciative. I wish I knew what else to say. My mind is on other things right now, but my gratitude runs deep.