Quite often people say that dog’s take on the characteristics of their owners, in this rare case, her doggie had cancer just like her owner went on to develop, she had been given just six months to live it was devastating…
Sara Page, 54 years old, battled breast cancer too, and this story is their story of survival of her doggie, even though given such a small time to live and even though completely heartbroken about her beloved dog Freyja…
Freyja is a ‘Border Collie’ and ‘Labrador’ mix, called Freyja, nine years old and she also has breast cancer.
Sara really believes like us that dogs have a kind of sixth sense, and Freyja batted so incredibly hard because she needed to support her in her battle against her cancer.
She served as a Sergeant in the US Air Force and is a Gulf War veteran so she has seen many things in her life…
‘If she had died, I don’t know what I would have done without her. I would have been so lonely with Rob working away a lot.”
“That dog is my best friend and I needed her by my side.”
Incredibly it was because of Freyja that Sara was discovered to have cancer it all happened like Sara describes, Sara continued:
“We were watching TV when a cat appeared on the screen and Freyja went crazy.”
“She jumped up and was barking like mad, but when she did that she caught my left breast with her paw. I thought to myself “I must chase up about my mammogram.”
“I’d spoken to the doctor the month before asking when I could have it done. Perhaps Freyja was reminding me to demand to get it done.”
Sara had moved from the UK to Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, in 2006…
She called her doctor who told her she would get her appointment as soon as they are able to fit her in, she, of course, waited for her letter…
Time went on and in February of 2014, she began to notice something strange in Freyja. Freyja was adopted from being a little puppy from a place called the dogs trust in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in the UK from ‘The Dog’s Trust’.
She said: “I was giving her a belly rub and noticed a lump where her nipples are. I took her to the vet, who said it was probably a cyst and said to keep an eye on it.”
Just a few weeks after that Sara had seen that Freyja had more small lumps, she insisted that they were tested to see if they were a problem.
After Freyja had the tumor removed, her and her husband Rob also had the devastating news that Freyja had cancer, and it had spread to her lymph nodes, they were told she had six months left and to take her home and make the last six months the best they can be, the news was soul-destroying…
Sara said: “I don’t have any family in the UK and not that many friends, so she is my companion. When Rob is working I spend all my time with her”
Sara did everything to make her doggies last six months the best it could be…
She went on to say:
“It was so hard to keep happy as I was heartbroken at the thought of losing her. But we spoil her rotten and love her with all our hearts. Every day we thought to ourselves, ‘Could this be her last?’ and were determined to make the best of it for her. She deserved it.”
After the six months had passed Freyja didn’t seem to be getting sicker, she then had another surgery to remove the rest of the tumors which were benign, unfortunately, the vet said she was still battling with cancer in her lymph nodes and the prognosis was still terminal!
Freyja was still happy and had lots of energy, she was a real fighter and just kept going…
The vet was incredibly surprised how well Freyja as doing and have her steroids for palliative care, to live out her final days at home.
Sara said: “She was still battling cancer but luckily it hadn’t taken her as soon as we had feared.”
Sara had her mammogram that month, she too found out the awful news that she had stage 1A breast cancer…
“Doctors found a 35mm (1 1/2 inch) tumor on my left breast …It didn’t feel fair to be diagnosed so soon after Freyja. It was such a shock and so devastating.”
Sara had surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy, it was truly grueling time between the August and December of 2015 with all the treatments she had to do!
In the January of 2016 she went on to have radiotherapy, through it all Freyja was right by her side, she fought all the odds to support her best friend and owner.
“I lost my hair and felt really, really down and was either in the hospital or at home. But Freyja was my savior. She never left my side.”
“We even took her to my radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions, and Rob walked her whilst I had my treatment. It was really comforting knowing she was there too.”
Sara is now in remission and feeling really healthy, she has regular check-ups, she is so grateful for the support she had from her beloved dog.
There have been many well-documented cases to show the real benefits of having a pet and how it can help us cope with the challenges of life…
Freyja even though she was given six months to live she is alive four years later, still alive and happy, still with cancer but very alive and vibrant still!
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