Below is a recent success story written by one of SFAMC‘s clients regarding their pet, Bam Bam, and how SFAMC Surgeon Dr. Mehl played an intricate role along with a team of doctors to get Bam Bam where he is today.
If you ever find yourself near Bam Bams’ house- you are welcomed with the following: “Hello! My name is Bam Bam”. The sign under his bed in the window says it all. So many have come by to say hello- sometimes even before he gets to his lookout spot on the desk. He hears his name and bolts up to say hi to his humans. Like any other dog, Bam Bam has lived his life well. He runs, plays games, jumps, and digs a lot. Bam Bam will pose for any picture I ask of him. He will howl at every fire truck that uses its siren and loves it when we go … UP!
This past year Bam Bam was diagnosed with cancer. As Bam Bam’s owner, to say I am now a subject matter professional on cancer and fast-growing tumors would be an understatement. The first time I heard the words: “soft tissue sarcoma” or “mass cell tumor,” I froze. All of the languages were overwhelming. In short – the odds were not in our favor. It was deflating. Instead of my dog giving me a sad puppy face, I was the one giving it to him.
Insert Dr. Margo Mehl. I am overwhelmed with where to start. Her even-tempered demeanor and charm will win you over from the get-go.
We always have a laugh despite what we are going through. Dogs just don’t understand. Despite Bam Bam being ecstatic to see the staff, he also thinks it’s the torture ranch. What dog doesn’t think this at some point?
Now that I am on the other side and writing this, I am convinced that Dr. Mehl knew how this would end from the beginning.
I was in denial. I refused to say Bam Bam needed to be put down early. He was so active! How could this be? Bam Bam had so many tumors and regrowth that at Halloween, I was calling him Frankenpuppy. The worst one – a tumor that grows at a rate of 40x in your leg is like that scene with Sigourney Weaver in Alien. You can go to bed, wake up, and it mutates. Fascinating and scary. By Christmas, I was taking him on every last bucket list adventure I could think up. The up, the down, the upside down. I was preparing to make the hardest decision of my life. Meanwhile, this tumor was growing like Mount Everest out of my dog’s leg. While I was “exploring my options,” it did just that. Why does everything emergency related happen on the weekend? I frantically called Dr. Mehl as my dog’s tumor had erupted.
Monday couldn’t come fast enough. A CT scan was taken to see where this mutant tumor had moved. GASP- his scans were clean. There was no cancer in any of his vital organs. The decision I had been grappling with back and forth for months and months AND MONTHS had finally presented itself. We proceeded with amputation, which was my life’s hardest decision.
It’s now March. As I sit in the parking lot with Dr. Mehl and Amanda to measure Bam Bam for his front wheels to run again- she stares at me and says – aren’t you happy? He is CANCER FREE. My stare, yet again, is frozen. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I am almost afraid to say it out loud.
Bam Bam is cancer free.
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