Landis has cancer.

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Amanda
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Landis has cancer.

Postby Amanda » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:18 pm

:bawl:

He had a tumor crop up on his toe last month. It ruptured this week. I took him in yesterday and then brought him back in today for a biopsy and X-rays to see if there is bony involvement and exactly what kind of cancer we are looking at. It is not connected to the bone, so that's good.

We believe it's mast cell. It would connect with his autoimmune issues. Treatment is toe amputation.

I am very conflicted on what to do. They can only grade mast cell tumors after removal. But I want to know his prognosis BEFORE I opt to cut. Grade 1 is a pretty good prognosis. 2 is guarded depending on a few things, 3 is pretty bad.

I am worried the stress of all this is going to trigger another autoimmune attack and his nose will bleed and/or his mouth/skin will flare up.

I'm worried about his hind end strength and recovering from a major surgery at 11.5 years old when he isn't the most healthy dog. The round of prednisone he had to take for his autoimmune two years ago nearly killed him and he never quite came back.

But he is a good dog. And he's pretty happy. He is eating well (although twice in the past two weeks he has refused to get up for breakfast which was/is worrisome.) He still usually chooses to be alone. But he has always been that way.

And the money is a concern. I spent almost $500 today on diagnostics. But I did them because I need to know all the info before I decide what to do. The amputation is probably another grand. If his immune system kicks back up again to attack him, the only drug that works is a very expensive chemo med, which also destroys bone marrow. So that would be another expense. I hate to make it about money, but it is a reality. I don't have a lot right now. We just had to put a lot of money into our truck to keep it running and a wallet with cash in it was lost or stolen. It just disappeared.

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling, but keep us in your thoughts and prayers. He isn't in any pain. But because the tumor ruptured we are bandaging and he's on antibiotics and Benadryl to block the histamine in the tumor. Results on the biopsy come back in 3-5 days.

How do you decide how much is too much on a dog that is old? My friend's dog died this summer after they removed a cancerous tumor in his neck. It was a terrible surgery and then a week later they did chest X-rays and he was riddled with them. I feel like that would be the worst. To take my dog who, while he has a tumor, isn't in pain or unhappy and then cut him up, hurt him, and lose him soon after. I need to be able to see the future to know if it will be worth it for him and us to go through with it. :confused:

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maxs_mommy
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby maxs_mommy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:27 pm

I'll tell you the same thing you told me about Max's tumors. It's OK to do what you think is best and it's ok if money is a factor. It is for everyone. It is ok to consider long term consequences of treatment and any quality of life issues for him. I'm sorry you're dealing with this, I know it sucks so much. Whatever you decide IS the right decision for your family and for Landis. I get needing to know all the things but I also know that it doesn't always make the decision easier. You do the best with what you know and when you know better you can do better but you can't beat yourself up in the meantime. Be kind to yourself, give Landis extra snacks and enjoy your time, regardless of which decisions you make.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Amanda
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby Amanda » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Thank you, Ashley. I am just sitting here waiting for the biopsy results and hoping they can shed some light. I have been reading oncology blogs and all kinds of information. I have always thought that we wouldn't go to great lengths to save our dogs at the end of their lives. I've seen so many times that the best efforts of medicine and loving owners can extend suffering and not quality of life. But it's an entirely different experience in the reality of it. I don't want to have to make a choice. Hoping maybe we can get results tomorrow, but it may be Wednesday or Thursday before we know anything.

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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:30 am

I'm so sorry, Amanda. I know what you mean—stuff like this is so disorienting in reality, in real time, with all these variables. There's *so* much time where you're trying everything to help increase comfort, towards a cure, adjusting expectations, whatever else. With MP, even a short respite/relief seemed worth a relatively drastic measure because it could prevent/hold back spreading of further discomfort, etc. Pain is so hard to tell sometimes, too.

It sucks that your possibilities/prognosis can vary so much and you can't know unless you amputate. :( I'm sorry you have to wait so dang long for the biopsy results, too—argh! Thinking of you guys and sending lots of love.

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Amanda
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby Amanda » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:39 pm

Thanks for your thoughts and love, Nana.

I rewrapped his foot today and kind of to my shock, the tumor is about 60% smaller, and there are signs of healing around the edges. I put him on Benadryl which, if it's a mast cell tumor, could explain the shrinking size. OR... what if it was a callus (like I thought it was when I first noticed it) that got infected or something crazy and the antibiotics are just helping it heal?? That's not as likely, but maybe?

Sitting on my hands waiting for those biopsy results...

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MaisyPancakes
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby MaisyPancakes » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:17 am

Oh yay for shrinkage! ;) :D Sending callus vibes! Go abx!

Reading my earlier reply above on a full sized screen, I realize I kinda sound like I'm pushing for extraordinary intervention—which wasn't my intention and am so sorry! :( What I meant (but didn't at all) was to commiserate how impossibly difficult it is to weigh the pros and cons when there are so many unknown variables, and that it was maddening for me to find too many options and paths to get to the same goals (pain and seizure management), long or short term.

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Amanda
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby Amanda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:17 pm

Oh, no worries Nana. I didn't read it that way at all.

Landis actually was the ultimate gentleman and took the decision from my hands this morning. I will post a tribute to him later when I can gather my photos and thoughts and share who he was in a worthy post. He left peacefully sometime early this morning. I am glad I had some special time with him last night even not knowing it would be our last time together. He was always the best dog. It's a sad day, but I am glad he isn't in any pain and that he was happy to the end. Godspeed, good boy Landis.

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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby Sabine » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:02 pm

Oh Amanda, I am so very very sorry for the loss of your handsome boy. :( What a relief though that he passed peacefully.
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MaisyPancakes
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby MaisyPancakes » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:00 am

Oh Amanda—I'm so sorry. What a perfect boy until the end. Sending you and your family love.

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LisaT_II
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Re: Landis has cancer.

Postby LisaT_II » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:29 am

I'm so very very sorry :-(
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