As mentioned previously, my birthday involved me noticing a set of tiny lumps on Mr. Chewie Biteums and bringing him in for emergency surgery. At 5:30pm, the histopath came back and it was as bad as bad could possibly be. Chewie has spindle cell cancer, which is exceedingly aggressive, malignant and it has a high chance of return. Worse, they could see that the margins weren’t clean on the removal, which means he still has it in him. I dropped him off at 7:30 this morning for his new surgery and they are going to try and cut all of it out of him, even taking more skin than is necessary just to be on the safe side. They warned me it is going to be a pretty large cut and some major removal, but if they can get it all this time, it might not come back, especially because I found it when it was so tiny - only about a millimeter in diameter. Usually spindel cell tumors are found when they are much larger and even then there is a chance to get it all out. So I’m trying to cling to that one thread of hope. The reason they didn’t get it all last time was because the previous biopsy showed it was just scar tissue and so they thought they were being preventative and not going with the assumption it had already metatisized into cancer.
God I just want him to be okay. He’s so healthy and happy right now. he was running and playing and snuggly and even humped Baby last night. Not the actions of someone supposedly dying of cancer. I’m just so confused and scared and hurt right now. Worsy of all is that the cancer was originally his scar tissue from when someone set him on fire as a baby. If someone had just said, “Let’s remove this now before it can become something bad” or even told me there was a possibility of this becoming cancer, I’d have had it removed when he was still young. Maybe that could have prevented this. Or if three months ago I had them remove the scar tissue anyway when I became paranoid about it even thought the biopsy said 90% chance this is just scar tissue. There said it is a 10% chance this could someday be a tumour but there are so few spindle cells it’s unlikely. If I had it removed then when they told me it was just uncessary surgery, would he be okay today?
I feel like the worst pet owner in the world. Especially since he doesn’t know what is going on. He just knows he hurts from the surgery and wants to be cuddled and played with - something he never normally wants. We just snuggled most of the night and cried.
This is the second pet I’ve had die directly due to someone from Minnesota being an asshole to an animal btw. And people wonder where my general hatred for that state comes from.
I still remember the day I found him so vividly. Laura and I were coming back from something…I don’t remember any of the day but from the second I saw Chewie, everything is so crystal clear. There was a little brown baby bunny in the street while it was snowing and I remarked that it was pretty odd for a bunny to be out in the winter, especially in the street. Then someone walking by us remarked he had been out there for a while as if lost or confused and he hadn’t moved. Like I do with most wild bunnies, i tried to come up to him. He hopped a little bit away as I approached, but not much, and enough that i could tell by his colouration and size that he wasn’t a wild rabbit. At least not by choice. He hopped onto the lawn next door to my complex. I tried coming up to him again, he moved, but even less this time. The third time he let me pet him and I could see he had open cuts and burns and he was just so scared and hurt that my heart broke instantly. Meanwhile Laura’s ranting about not touching wild animals and that it might have fleas or disease. I didn’t care. I knew he wasn’t wild and needed help. I picked him up and he struggled for just a second and then let me carry him into my apartment building and up two flights of stairs to my apartment, where I laid out a towel for him in my bathroom and set him down. He was scared, but less so than when he was outside. I went to my refrigerator to see what i could give him to eat and all I had that was acceptable for a bunny was a bag of baby carrots. I gave them to him and he ate the whole thing…then peed on my floor. Laura left at some point, I wasn’t paying attention to her at all.
I just remember looking at this scared little creature and wondering who could have done such horrible things to him. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and he was obviously something you had to buy or breed. I still can’t imagine what went through someone’s head to say “Let’s set a bunny on fire.” How fucked up do you have to be.
I remember not petting him, just looking at him. This funny little thing whose ears were longer than his body and who was the softest thing I had ever touched. I remembered how much it hurt when Zuel had cancer and how she died and what happened after she died and how I said I’d never love anything again or have another pet because it hurt too much. But there I was, with a little brown and white bunny in my home and I knew that I was going to be head over heels in love with this little guy and that I just wanted to give him the happiest life he could have after all the horrible things done to him. I was so scared to pet him, even more than he was probably scared for me to touch him. We just looked at each other, I put neosporin on his cuts, blogged about it in my old livejournal and eventually I went to bed.
The next day I brought him to work with me where he ran and ran and ran, took him to the vet next door to be checked out, spent my lunch break buying him a bowl and a little box, and then after work went to Scott’s and god Zuel’s old cage and some of her stuff. I set it up in the bedroom and from that point on we were a family.
He never did like to be touched, but I loved watching him hop all over the house with his silly stuffed animal or when he’d mount this pikachu doll I gave him. I loved that he’d sneak on to the bed at night and sleep next to me, but the second he thought I was awake, he’d jump off. He didn’t want to be touched, but he wanted to be around me and that’s all I needed.
I remember leaving him with Terra after two weeks because I had this Australiain trip and all I could think about while there was if he was okay or if he thought I had abandonded him and how happy we were to see each other when I came back, even though we were still new to each other. I remember the funny naming contest we had in my livejournal that was a parody of the 2004 elections and how much fun we all had with it. I remember when he first starting hugging me as a baby and how cute it was and then it turned out to be him wanted to hump but being to young to know what he was doing. He was so adorable, even when he was being bad.
God, I’m so scared this surgery won’t be enough. That they won’t get it all. Or worse, that they think they’ll get it all, but it just happens to be somewhere else in him right now we don’t know about. I’m terrified of him needing radiation therapy as it can kill him or scar his lungs or destroy his immune system. It’s like if the cure will kill him than it comes down to me having to decide how to best kill him and that’s such an awful thought. I can’t think of a more horrible situation to be in.
If he needs to be put to sleep, I don’t know that I can do it. I mean, he’s spent his whole life not trusting humans and being hurt by the, that I can’t bear for his last act on earth to be me killing him. Or worse, for him to realize that’s what I’m doing. It would be a total betrayal of him and I think I would just completely collapse.
I know how stupid this is. I mean, he’s a bunny rabbit. All he thinks about is food, humping baby and sleeping. But god, I love him so much. He’s my perfect little guy and this whole thing hurts so much.
I remember last Thursday when I picked him up from the vet. He was so happy to see me. On the way home, he climbed out of his carrier, jumped onto my seat and the curled up in my lap and fell asleep bunny purring. he’d never done anything like that before and it was the first time he had ever shown me physical affection. I don’t remember ever being happier than that moment. And now I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared or depressed. I just want him to be okay. I want him to be healthy. I want him to live and be spoiled.
The vet talked to me for about an hour. If they get clean margins, it won’t be able to come back. But that’s if they get clean margins. And that’s if it hasn’t already travelled elsewhere. It’s a lot of big ifs. And of course even if they get it, it could still come back at any time. It’s going to be a day to day nightmare with him from now on, but I’ll also be treasuring every moment I have with him.
Oh Mr. Chewie Biteums…please be okay.