Well, we just returned from the vet, and our fears have been confirmed. Emma is at least in the beginning stages of kidney disease, and she may have cancer to boot. We've heard this crap before, and Emma's always dodged the bullets, but white blood cell counts and BUN values don't lie. The immediate order is for hydration, and so--armed with a large bag of lactated ringers and a fistful of syringes--I get to do my very best John Gage impersonation on Emma tonight as we try to gradually re-hydrate her in time for tomorrow's scheduled ultrasound test. Hopefully the ultrasound will allow the vet to get a better look at both the kidneys as well as the mass the she feels in Emma's gastrointestinal tract, see what that's all about.

Emma ate quite a bit at the vet while we waited for results, and her first injection of fluids seems to be helping. So, it's not the end of the road, but we do seem to be on that fuckin' road. Now we need to find out how long a road it is. You just really never know. Kidney disease can be a long slow burn, so maybe she's got plenty more quality time left. Monday, Emma'll have a follow-up exam and we'll get more results, and have more of a picture to look at. For the first time since she got diagnosed with hyperthyroidism three years ago, I find myself looking at Emma and wondering "how long"? It's really a shitty mindset.