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Athena has been a part of our lives for over eight years. It feels, however, like she’s been here forever. She’s an integral part of our family and owns a big piece of our hearts. In late May, she got sick, so I took her in to see the vet. I was hoping it was just a bug, but was worried it was something more serious based on her behavior. With a working diagnosis of potential pancreatitis, we brought her back home for the night. The vet scheduled her to return the next day for an ultrasound and fluids.

The next day, the boys dropped Athena off in the morning. Around lunchtime, our vet called with the worst possible news. While her pancreas was fine, she had two large masses in her liver that were actively bleeding and ascites. They diagnosed her with hemangiosarcoma, which is a very aggressive cancer without any good treatment options. Consequently, we brought her home to say goodbye to her brothers, and FaceTime Jake. Thankfully, she wasn’t in any pain.

Before the Mayor and I flew to Minnesota early Thursday, we said our final goodbyes to the Piggie. We all agreed that if she worsened or showed any evidence of pain, my hubby would take her into the vet to be put to sleep. In the meantime, he’d continue spoiling her with all her favorite foods and activities. She was living out her bucket list.

Athena was in good shape when we came back from Minnesota much to our surprise. Her symptoms of liver failure had completely abated and the ascites had gone down. She was playful and happy. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d see her alive again. This past month with Athena has been an absolute gift. She’s on borrowed time, so we’re spending as much time and spoiling her as much as possible.

This weekend she started to go down hill. She’s not showing signs of pain, but we can tell her liver is starting to fail again. I’m hoping against hope that her liver begins to function again, but that’s highly unlikely. Consequently, we will probably have to bring her to the vet or bring the vet to us to put her down. We can’t imagine losing her, but we don’t want her to experience any pain. In the mean time, she’s living out her bucket list one donut at a time.

Jake and Athena’s post deployment reunion

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