It's been a stomach churning week. Yesterday, my mom went in for surgery (an ileal urinary diversion loop). The surgery was successful, though it took almost 6 hours instead of 3, but I'm just glad she came through and is starting to recover. A week prior, my dog Dallie nipped open what we thought was a hygroma on her leg (a fatty pocket that dogs get when they make lots of hard impacts with their elbows or knees). She had it for years, but in the past year it started to grow rather large, and we had a vet look at it. He said it would get larger but that it was essentially harmless. It started to develop a rash and pockets of irritation on it, and so he said he would look at it, but his costs for the labwork were too expensive with my being laid off. When she caused it to bleed, however, we knew something was very wrong, and when I took her to the vet (her old vet, not the one who said nothing was wrong) this past Monday, he said that it was most definitely not a hygroma. He scheduled an appointment for Wednesday, and we wrapped it up. The next day, Dallie gets a high fever and I take her in. She's given strong antibiotics. Not long after we get her home, she won't walk. I swear to you not a day prior she was walking just fine, and now, she can't stand up without falling over. I call the vet and they say it's from the fever, and that I should watch over her closely until Wednesday, which is what I do. So Wednesday comes, I take her in, and he's examined this thing (which is, I might add, the size of a softball on this 38 lb black lab mix), and he said hygromas were mostly fluid and fat, and he poked a few spots with a needle, and they all bled. He said that this wasn't a hygroma, it was something else, and he wanted to take lab tests to find out, so he got some blood from her and told me to come in today, which I did. I brought her in, and he said that after looking over the blood sample, he found that she had a few issues going on with her. Firstly, she had a mild case of Pancreatitis. She was also anemic, her kidneys weren't functioning very well, and he said that the growth on her leg was a soft tumor, and that it did contain cancerous cells. The tumor was soft because it was made up almost entirely of blood vessels, and he says operating on it could kill her because of her advanced age (she's 15, almost 16 years old), so he gives me the options. He says, "We can give her cortisone and another antibiotic, and if she starts walking, eating and drinking inside of 4 days, we may be able to do something else, but if she doesn't, then I would recommend that you consider having her put down, because this tumor is going to never stop bleeding. Now, if she does start walking, eating and drinking in the next couple of days, we can try the surgery. The best I could offer is a 50/50 chance of survival. If she does, she might get better. If she doesn't survive, then it won't matter, and it will be as if she was put to sleep." I have until Wednesday at the latest to see if she improves. Even if she does, though, the chances of her living past next week are slim. I want to take every chance I can to save her, but we're so short on money and I don't know how much that kind of surgery costs. To anyone who has ever had to face this option or something like it, what did you do? I honestly don't know what to do. On one hand, my little girl is facing life threatening surgery at the best, and on the other hand, I may have to have her put to sleep. My best little friend, my little shadow who has followed me around for more than 15 years, I would have to make the decision to put her to sleep, and I just don't know if I could do it. I tell myself I won't let her live in pain and agony, but it means taking her little life. On top of all of that, my mom loves that little dog, and she is healing from a very delicate surgery, and finding out that little dog has been put down (she would find out quickly. I can't hide anything and I can't lie), I'm afraid that would put her healing in danger (my decision would come before she was released from the hospital as she needs to spend a full week in for healing). This is Dallie about two years ago right before it started forming (quickest picture I have handy): I need some help making this decision. It's too big for my shoulders to carry and my heart to decide.