For the love of Izzy

In early August, I brought Izzy to the emergency room for what I thought was a straightforward case of gastroenteritis-- I suspected she'd probably gotten into some junky food over the weekend, and it was, er, coming back to haunt her.  As it turns out, she had an acute liver freakout (that's definitely the medical term), which prompted the emergency staff to perform an ultrasound. During the ultrasound, a flat mass 4cm in diameter was found on the midsection of her liver. It's unclear still if it's cancerous or not. 

After further testing, the specialists at the hospital have recommended that the mass be removed via surgery. My regular vet agrees with this assessment. I met with the surgeon, who made me feel really confident in the decision to move forward. She's a soft-tissue specialist, and explained everything in great, comforting detail. One of the main things is that even though Izzy is ~13 years old, she's in otherwise fantastic shape, and is an excellent candidate for the surgery. If left there, even if it's benign, the mass could eventually rupture, causing internal bleeding in the liver, which would be a far, far worse condition to treat, especially if it happens when she's older.

The surgery, in which they'll fully remove one middle lobe of her liver, is scheduled for Tuesday, 8/28. The cost is estimated at $5,000 - $8,000. I need to pay the low end of the estimate up front.

This news came on the night of my birthday, and while it was a kick in the gut, I was extremely grateful to be in the company of my heterosexual life partner, Cyn, who suggested immediately that I not make a decision based on the money, that I only think about what would be best for Izzy. That advice saved my brain in the moment. If I decided surgery was best, then, well, she said, we'll figure it out. I feel squicky as all get out doing this GoFundMe-- knowing all the awful things folks are going through in the world, and piling on with my ask for help.

Izzy saved my life. She came to me just a few months after I left the #metoo relationship I talked about on This American Life. In short, we rescued each other. When I committed to adopting her, and when she accepted me as her human despite all of the trauma she'd experienced as a breeder dog in a puppy mill, we made a pact to do the very best we could to help each other through our individual and collective recoveries. I am whole(r?) now because of everything she's taught me. And I feel like doing this surgery is the right thing for her, that it will help not just selfishly keep her with me, but that it will ultimately keep her healthy, healed and whole as well.

I appreciate your taking the time to read through all this, and believe me-- I understand if you can't contribute. Times are TOUGH out there. I'll be using CareCredit to cover whatever I don't raise. Prayers and messages of love and support are also heartily welcomed.

Thank you. From both of us. (Go here if you want to look at the stupid amounts of pictures I've taken of our worldwide adventures over the years.)

  • Anonymous 
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    • $100 
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    • $20 
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Deanna Zandt 
Brooklyn, NY

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