Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Hope You Haven't Been Holding Your Breath..

... for an update on Gracie. I think in the last post about Gracie and her tumor, we had just heard from the radiologist that the "spots" in her lungs were likely cancer related. Knowing that even if it was cancer there was nothing we could do, we decided that denial was our best option. We didn't take her back to see if the spots were gone when she finished her antibiotics. Unless she seemed to be in pain, we would not pursue further treatment or diagnosis.

Five months later, she was still herself - hungry, happy, even picking on Webster just about every night. Eric is far better at denial than I am, and I maintained an unusually pessimistic outlook through this whole time. I never really thought we'd have a healthy Gracie as long as we have.

Shortly after her surgery, we found another hard lump behind her ribs deep, below the skin. She got another one, just like the one she had surgery for, behind her left ear in January. She still was herself, so we didn't talk about taking her in until she started limping on her back end and having problems standing up two weeks ago. We made an appointment, and in the next few days she 1. threw up, 2. had a bloody nose, and 3. started to need coaxing to go up the stairs. #1 is not completely abnormal, and #2 probably was because she inhaled some food on the ground - still, not things you really consider when you think you're losing your dog. We might have had an evening of near-panic in there somewhere. Good thing we have some good friends/long distance veterinarians :-) We love you guys!

Anyways, her appointment was today, and we shouldn't have worried so much. The vet agreed with our good friend (not that I ever felt that she wouldn't, Joel) and pretty much said that she would not expect a dog with cancer spread to her lungs to still be alive at this point let alone looking perfect like Gracie. No x-rays needed like we had thought they might want to do! She thought the lump behind her ribs was probably cartilage growing on a floating rib, and the limp was likely from arthritis due to slight hip dysplasia. We'll take it!

I feel hopeful about the situation for the first time in a long time - like we can expect more than just months with Gracie. As Joel pointed out, there are benign types of round cell tumors. We could pay to have the tumor on her head removed and sent to the lab. We haven't discussed it in depth yet, but we likely won't. Removing the last one didn't stop it from spreading even with clean margins, and the lab couldn't tell us anything about it without further staining. For almost $400, I think denial is again our better option.

Gracie is doing great. She even feels good enough with her new drugs to jump up here beside me on the couch for the first time in over a week. It's good enough for me.


Courtney Mason said...

I am soo glad this post has a happy ending!! :)

Daddy-O said...

What Courtney said. Good news on our grandpup!

Diana H said...

My husband tends to go the denial way too. Me I think about it, hope for the best and blame the decision on him. I hope things go well for your dog.

Sarah Dill said... good to hear!

Meg Fincher said...

I need Rosendaul update! Its been way too long... bring it on (Meg misses you) :)