December 28, 2010

Out, Damn Spot!

Well, today Abby had her lungs rechecked at the Vet Cancer Group. Mike was able to go along, which was nice. Abby was happy to have her dad there, as you can see in the photo. The news wasn't totally bad, but it wasn't totally good either. As you probably guessed from the title of this post, there was one spot that the oncologist, Dr. Vancil, was concerned about. He said that it is not something we should really worry about or alter our course of action for . . . yet. 

First of all, he said it might be nothing. Metastases apparently like to hang out in gangs, and since there is only one unusual spot on her x-ray, it may not be a "met" at all. It could be something else - just a little abnormality. He said he needs to get the original x-rays, which were taken by our regular vet, and compare to see what it looked like before. (When our vet originally took her lung x-rays before her surgery, he said her lungs were clear, but maybe he didn't notice this small spot, or maybe it's something that has recently appeared - which would probably not be good news.) On the other hand, if it is in fact a "met," Dr. Vancil said a single met is not a death sentence. He said it's rare to only have one, but he knew of a dog that had one and it grew into a walnut-size-ish tumor, but wasn't even what killed the dog in the end. He said Abby could have a single met and still be quite healthy. We'll see . . . 

He said we'll check her lungs again in about two months and see where we're at. If it's all good/looks the same, we'll go out probably 6 months to a year before rechecking. He said it often happens that after a year, you'll start to see mets in the lungs. He said that's not necessarily the end. We could consider another shorter round of chemo, which he has seen add another good year of health to a dog's life.

So, next steps are that Dr. Vancil will get the original x-rays sent over and compare to the latest ones. He'll also have a radiologist look at the x-rays and see what he/she thinks. In the meantime, Abby is 2/3 of the way done with her chemo. Two more sessions to go! If we keep going on this every-two-weeks schedule, we should be done by January 25th.

We'll see what happens. I'm a little worried about that damn spot. Worried that we may only have another year or two with our little sweetie, but we'll see what the original x-ray showed and see what the radiologist thinks. 

Anyway, even with all that, Abby managed to have some fun at chemo. First of all, she loves to kiss everyone there, and they're all for it, so she enjoys that. Then, Mike and I left to run an errand while she was having her treatment. It was quiet there today so apparently they let her have the run of the place while they were waiting for us to come back. There was a display of toys - a stuffed duck, a tiger, etc. - and other doggy items they've been collecting to donate to a shelter. When we first walked in, Abby tried to snitch several of the toys. Well, when we came back to get her, Abby was the proud owner of the stuffed duck. (It reminds me of when you were a kid and would go to the dentist and get to pick out a toy.) Anyway, some poor unfortunate pooch is now not getting a stuffed duck cuz our little cutie talked the gals at the cancer clinic into giving it to her. She is trying to de-quackerize it even as I type. 

Will let y'all know if we hear anything more from the radiologist or once Dr. V. looks at the older x-rays.


  1. We all live on borrowed time. Make the best of it and you will not be disappointed.

  2. I hope you hear good news. Give Abby a kiss for us!


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