Ransom first had a malignant tumor removed from his left foreleg, hemangiopericytoma, in April 1999. In June his weight began to drop and his appetite was off. In August 1999, after much local testing and finally a trip to the specialist in Philadelphia, cancer was found in his liver, kidneys, and mesoenteric lymph nodes.
The cancer was malignant histiocytosis, unrelated to the first tumor, common in the Bernese breed, and considered fatal and untreatable by the veterinarian community. Although this cancer was found in his organs and lymph system, I suspect at that point it was already very much advanced as I believe malignant histiocytosis originates in the blood.
The specialist in Philadelphia gave him six weeks to live and was sadly almost right on the money as at least the very last week of his remaining eight was of very poor quality. I was sure I would lose him on my birthday, the 20th, but he seemed to know he had to get past that date, as he didn't suffer his final crash until the night of the 22nd.
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