During a routine annual vet exam, we discovered a large growth on the back of Jack’s upper jaw. A biopsy was performed and determined that Jack had squamous cell carcinoma and we really had no idea how long it had been there growing on his jaw. We were referred to a veterinary specialist and met with an oncologist and surgeon. Through additional testing, we learned that the carcinoma was localized and had not spread to any other organs. In our discussions with the surgeon, we decided that we wanted her to be as agressive as possible if it meant getting it all and clean margins. We did not want to put our baby through radiation and/or chemo. I’ll never forget the night before his surgery. We faced a whole host of emotions, but were mostly scared for what lie ahead. We took a ton of pictures of our boy while he still had two eyes and we spent the night making sure he knew he was loved before taking him in for surgery. I waited very impatiently that whole next day for a phone call from the oncologist. Finally, the surgeon called to tell me that they had gotten clean margins and felt that they had gotten all the cancer. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him after the surgery, his face all red, swollen and stitched up, but he approached me with his tail wagging and right then, I knew he was going to be ok. That was 4 years ago. We had another scare last year when we suspected the cancer had come back in his rectum. He had additional surgery to remove both his anal glands, but all continues to be well and he continues to be cancer free. Jack survived the gas chamber by mere moments, parvo and now cancer. He is my miracle baby and I thank God for him every day. I could not imagine my life without him. Now, I understand the importance of checking your dogs every month for any abnormalities, bumps and even their jaws for any growths.. Please, it is the least you can do for our furry friends! Every day after a cancer diagnosis is a gift and I am grateful for every day that I have with my boy.