It is with unbelievable sadness and a heavy heart; I have to let everyone know that our dear Opal Bella did not survive her surgery. The day started off with so much Hope and Love for the most amazing little dog that we were determined to save. Opal Bella had a fun filled weekend running and playing. She was the highlight of the hospital. Her gorgeous blue eyes and her smile were intoxicating. The weekend passed and Monday morning came. Dr. Bergman and his team of Specialists had cleared the afternoon, so all the attention was going to be on our little Angel. Lots of blood was brought in for transfusions, and the scans were gone over and over, so no stone went unturned. For such a young pup, this was the largest tumor of it's kind the Team had ever seen. Right before Opal was sedated, they sent me a video of her running and playing around. I just knew her Journey had begun to live a long and healthy Life. This was her chance. We had spoken to all the Specialists, and this was her only way to survive the aggressive cancer she had. Opal did not have a clue she was sick and was a ticking time bomb.
Dr. Bergman and his team had worked on Opal for two hours before they lost her Forever. From the minute, they cut into the tumor they had to start the transfusions. The tumor was the most vascular tumor they have ever experienced. They could not cauterize the veins fast enough before large holes opened up bleeding profusely. They worked fast, and furiously for the next two hours until Opal's heart stopped and they could not get her back. No matter how much blood she was given, the amount coming out was far greater. Opal Bella bled to death. All the blood in the World and the best Specialists were no match for the vengeance the tumor had for living.
When I got the call, my heart stopped. I knew it couldn't be true and that Dr. Bergman was going to laugh any minute and say she was doing great, and they got 90% of it. I asked him over and over because her dying was not sinking in. I drove the five hours back to South Carolina in total and complete shock. It is only today that I am even remotely able to comprehend that we lost this beautiful puppy. I was finally able to have a conversation with Dr. Bergman so he could explain how lethal the tumor was. Opal had maybe a week at most before the tumor would take over her brain. At that time, she would probably have a massive seizure that would destroy her quality of Life forever. In the end, she would have suffered terribly. She was comfortable and did not feel a thing when she passed during surgery. Her passing this way was the greatest Gift we could have given her. Her only HOPE was to have the surgery and then do Samarium. We gave her that one chance. We raised very little funds and did not even get enough to cover her last bill. None of that mattered if we could save her and stop the tumor from destroying her Life. We may have lost her but it wasn't for lack of doing. We did it all, and she got to be a puppy that was adored and loved for the short time she was with us.
Every animal we take in leaves the most amazing set of footprints on our hearts. Our Life is forever changed because they were part of it. Opal Bella has taught us a lot about living our Life as if tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow never came for her, but her Life will forever change the way we look at this type of Tumor. We have Specialists looking at her biopsies to see if there is anything new and different that has never been identified before. Doing nothing, teaches you nothing. If I had it to do all over again, I would have done radiation first and then debulking surgery because of the vascular component. The results might be the same, but the knowledge gained would be different. The only reason to ever do surgery is to alter an Animal's Quality of Life for the better. That is the only reason we do it.
Opal Bella is free to be a healthy happy puppy running all over the place. Her journey with us was short, but her memories will be with us Forever. Look at her pictures and her video and smile at the little girl with the biggest smile that melted all of our hearts. When you look up tonight and see a Shooting Star, say a prayer for Opal Bella. I am sure that will be her streaking across the sky with her gorgeous Opal eyes.