A few days ago, my mother called to let me know that our dog, Buddy, (who stays at their house during the week since Brian and I work so much) wasn’t eating. We had just had him for the week of new years and had noticed him throwing up a lot as well.
So Tuesday I took him to the vet for a check up. Buddy was his usual charming, lovie self; loving on all of the vet techs, playing greeter for all of the dogs that came in for their appointments and just being generally wonderful :-) We took him back for his exam with Dr. Stone (who I ADORE, she is a total rockstar) and after feeling him down, suggested to us that he might have lymphoma. (This was after she asked if it was possible he might have a tick borne disease… I asked her if that required him to get off his old butt and actually go walking outside??? if so, I’m gonna guess not) She aspirated a few of his lymph nodes, which were HUGE and swollen and sent it off to the cytology lab.
I was probably in shock to be honest, as I was very very calm and asked a lot of questions about what we could do, what our options would be, etc. He was very brave during the aspiration, which I’m sure hurt like hell, and it was kind of hard to watch them stick needles into my boy. As usual though, he was thumping away with that tail anytime anyone said that he was handsome, or sweet or a good boy… even with needles in his lymph nodes… such a sweetheart.
So the lab results came in yesterday and it was confirmed. Malignant lymphoma. This was pretty hard to take and Brian and I spent most of yesterday in meltdown mode (I was at work and WORTHLESS). They asked for us to bring Buddy in for chest x-rays to determine if the cancer had spread to his lungs, and then come back to read them with the Dr. Stone. We both bawled all the way to the vet yesterday afternoon, expecting the worse, expecting for them to tell us there was nothing to be done and that yesterday would be the last day with our good, sweet boy. It was rough.
Luckily (?) we were told that while he still does have lymphoma (so much for that miracle) it hasn’t spread anywhere that they can see. It still could be there microscopically, but there is no raging cancer in his chest/lungs at this point. So, that was the best possible outcome for an already crappy situation.
We were offered two modes of treatment for him, chemo or steroids. They told us the chemo might extend him another 18 months or so (um, he’ll be almost 15 at that point, good lord) and the prednisone perhaps, another 4-6months, if the prednisone works.
For a number of reasons, we have chosen to go with the prednisone… We want him to have as full and as happy a life for the next 4-6 months that we can give him and he is going to be spoiled ROTTEN as the newest thoughts from the vet community is that a high fat, high protein diet is good for slowing lymphoma. (it doesn’t give the cancer any carbs/sugars to eat) So we are slowing weaning him onto a steak/chicken/cheese diet… Buddy is ELATED. :-)