You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lack of posting

Sorry for the lack of posting the past two weeks. We've been a little pre-occupied with Sophie. We found out a few weeks ago that what we thought was a fatty cyst on her front leg is in fact cancer. The first veterinarian we saw was a surgeon. Thinking this was just a fatty cyst, our vet referred us to the surgeon to have it removed. Well I wish it had been that simple.
The surgeon was convinced it was a tumor and suggested two ghastly options even before we had the results of a needle biopsy. One was to remove the tumor with most of the skin around that part of her leg then deal with skin grafts. Now I'm no expert but that sounds pretty god awful painful. The other option was to amputate the leg. Uh, no. No way, not until we knew exactly what type and grade of tumor we were dealing with. The vet was not in favor of radiation and gave no reason why.
I was not convinced or comfortable with going any further until we talked to Sophie's regular vet. When we did, she thought these options were a bit aggressive and suggested we go see a veterinary oncologist. We did and we really like her. She laid out all the possibilities, including the ones the surgeon mentioned but said they weren't the first thing we should consider. So after consulting with her, we decided to have a surgical biopsy done to determine the grade of the tumor.
The results came back a few days later and the oncologist said that of the three grades it could have been it was a 2, which is the middle grade and possible the best we could have hoped for in this case. The tumor is too big to just remove with clean margins since that would mean most of the skin around her elbow would need to be removed. A grade 2 tumor is one that will take radiation well enough to shrink it, hopefully enough to make surgical removal possible. A grade 2 is also not the most aggressive and only has a 20% chance of metastasizing.
So we will begin radiation on Sophie's leg this coming Tuesday. 16 sessions every day, Monday through Friday. Dogs do well with radiation thankfully. This isn't to say that she won't be uncomfortable. There will be a lot of tenderness at the site beginning in the 2nd or 3rd week and it will look like a really bad sunburn. That may last a few weeks after radiation ends as things start to heal up. This also means we have to keep her away from licking it. Yes, she will have to wear an Elizabethan collar. She is wearing one now because we don't want her licking the biopsy site as it heals. Poor thing hates it. Although I am trying out the soft collar I wore when I hurt my neck. It fits her and may be wide enough to keep her from reaching her lower leg. We'll see. So far she seems more content with it on vs the other collar.
I've sent several e-mails updating to friends and family of the last few weeks letting them know about Sophie. And if positive thinking has anything to do with healing, then Sophie is in good hands. It almost makes me cry when I think of how much you all have helped with your words of encouragement and advice. Thank you all so very much.



Blogger Jill said...

We love Sophie and will be thinking positive thoughts during the coming weeks. With such excellent care she has to be just fine! :-D Hugs and cuddles to Soph.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of healing thoughts coming your way, darling puppy Sophie.

6:41 AM  
Blogger ScottE. said...

Good luck with your baby! Sounds like she's going to be in good hands. Some doctors just don't understand and want to go the most invasive route first.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you going to radiokat out near springfield ? they are very good ... but please remember, when any pet gets cancer, there isn't much one can do.

i lost my first two cats, leo, and then ernie, to cancer. once found it was simple a matter of a few weeks. my third, blair, was treated at radiokat for a bad thyroid two years ago and is doing fine to date.

met several dogs (and their owners)in treatment there and the sunburn thing is just what it looks like, except it's a radition burn. when i brought blair back after a week of treatment i coundn't even touch her for week because she was so active.

this is never a good thing ... just never.

9:32 PM  

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