Help Kathy Kick Cancer's Butt

My name is Margo, I’m a thirteen-year-old Jack Russel Terrier and I live in Kettering, Ohio. But, this isn’t about me. This is about my human, Kathy. On May 13, 2016, she was diagnosed with a rare type of small cell cancer. I will always remember that day and how she held me when she got home from her doctor’s appointment. Her face was wet and tasted salty, the way human faces do when they get sad. And she held me close, like she always did when she was scared. She never held me that close before, I don’t think she’d ever been that scared before. I tried to give her kisses to make it better, but her face just got wetter and wetter and she held me closer and closer.

I started trying to spend as much time with her as I could, because when I was a puppy she’d spend entire nights sitting up with me when I was scared. I think she got that from being a mom, she’s got these two boys named Johnathon and Christopher. And even though they’re older now, and have moved out of the house. I know she’s been thinking about them a lot lately. But, it’s been hard for me to spend time with my human and protect her. See, they don’t let dogs into doctor’s offices and she’s spent a lot of time in them over the past year and a half. A lot of that time was spent just figuring out how to treat her, since only twelve other people have ever had the type of cancer she does. Luckily, they found a treatment plan they thought would help. She spent the next six months receiving chemo therapy, radiation treatments, and oral chemo medication. And it seemed like she was getting better, even though she slept a lot now and was no longer able to work.  

In January 2017, she completed her treatment and I hoped that meant she was better. She hadn’t gotten to do a lot of the things she enjoys in a long time. I hadn’t gotten to go on a walk in a long time. My other human Paul had tried to take me once or twice, as had Johnathon and Christopher. But, I promised to stay with my human and make sure she was safe and no matter how much I wanted to go, I stayed. Like a good dog. But she did seem better, and she didn’t seem as scared as she used to. But, then the bills started showing up in the mail. She seemed scared again, not like she was before though. But, I could tell she wasn’t herself. I tried barking at the mailman, I hoped that would make him quit bringing the bills. It didn’t stop him though. Despite having insurance through her employer and Paul working full time, they still owe $19,317 for 2016.

This year, at the beginning of June, her doctors discovered her cancer was back. They decided that surgery might be the next step to take in her treatment. But, after conducting some tests they discovered the cancer had spread to her lungs. She was no longer a candidate for surgery. I spent the next several nights snuggled as close to her as I could get. I just wanted her to feel safe. I didn’t want her to be scared.

Since surgery wasn’t a possibility, she began undergoing chemotherapy again while her doctors tried to figure out what options she had available to her. It made her sick and sleepy again. The mailman kept bringing bills. I tried barking at the mailman again, it’s still not working, they still owe almost $11,000 for this year after insurance.

I know a lot of you don’t know Kathy, but she’s my human; that means I will do anything I can to protect her and make her feel safe. Like any good dog would. When I was younger I would just bark as loud as I could until whatever was scaring her left. But, I’m older now. I can’t bark as loud as I used to. And I’m not even sure barking would make this leave. So, please help me help my human. Help me make her feel safe. Help me make her feel less scared, even if it’s just a little bit. Trust me, she deserves it.
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Kathy Gallienne 
Dayton, OH
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