This is the year of Cancer for my family. It is NOT me. It is my dog, Jewel. She has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
She has had a tumor on her belly for years. Only lately has the size and shape changed. I took her to the vet. A needle aspiration was done $79 +-. When the Dr. brought Jewel back to me she said, “She might be a little bruised there (at the site). There were a lot of vessels.” I asked her directly if that meant she thought this meant way more likely it is cancer since it has dense and active blood flow. “Yes. But, let’s wait for the pathology report to be sure.”
A couple of days later the answer was exactly as expected. Breast Cancer.
Now, the questions are how much can she tolerate and how well and how much can I afford and which options make the most sense given those parameters?
She has a heart murmur which, has caused her heart to enlarge. It is enlarging slowly, but, distinctly over the past two years. This would make it difficult for her to tolerate chemo well if at all. This is the most expensive option. About $800+-
We can remove the tumor and take lymph node biopsies to see if the cancer has spread. If it has then, chemo or not. $500+-
We can remove just the tumor. The hope there would be tumor removal equals cancer entirely removed. $250+-
Leave her alone entirely.
There is no really good option. My son reminded me that a couple of years ago when her heart murmur and already enlarged heart was diagnosed the Dr. said we could start medication and maybe extend her life to about six months. A year later the Dr. did x-rays (already six months beyond first diagnostic prediction) her heart continued to enlarge. At that time a second heart medication was added to Jewel’s list.
After talking to the Dr. we decided to just remove the tumor and hope for the best. Jewel is 13 or 14. She was approximately 6 or 7 when my then, husband and I adopted her. We were told that she had breast cancer and had to have one or two mammary glands removed. We didn’t have to pay for that only the regular dog rescue Oregon fee. I do not recall getting a copy of any medical records. They did not have them. So, to find out now she has breast cancer is not such a surprise. Surprise, yes, most definitely. Totally surprising, no. Sad. Totally.
This will all have to wait for early December. With Thanksgivikah and the Dr.’s schedule she cannot be attended to any earlier.
She has been a truly wonderful pet. She is loving, smart, well trained. While I was recovering from my own cancer bout I could trust her to stay near me. I can walk her off leash with the occasional misbehaving. I have never figured out how she can hold her pee in for 10 hours. I have a strong bladder and can hold it for a LONG time. But, nothing like her.
Regardless of what happens I can count myself lucky to have had such a wonderful dog.