Showing posts with label Metastases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metastases. Show all posts

April 27, 2011

No New Mets!!!

Abby had her follow-up x-ray today, and while the results weren't miraculous (no, unfortunately the lone met did not disappear...) they were still pretty darn good: that lone met is STILL a loner. None of his rat-bastard friends have come to join the party! Hoorah! Hopefully he STAYS a loner... although I guess that's kind of a long shot. Dr. V. said it's very rare to have just one met--I guess they are like potato chips or something. 

The slightly bad news was that the Lone Met (I've decided to start capitalizing that...sorta like he's the evil villain in a B Western...) had gotten a little bigger in the almost-three-months since the last x-ray. He went from 1.0cm to ~ 1.4cm. The good news is that The Lone Met lives in a "good" spot in her lungs. Apparently the location of the mets can have a big impact on longevity, for instance you don't want them up by the airways. Our Lone Met is hanging out in sort of the "back country" of Abby's lungs, so nowhere near up where all the action is. Phew. 

Dr. V. says if we keep doing what we are doing with her metronomic therapy (maintaining her every-other-day doses of Palladia/Cytoxan) we should have her around for "a good long time." Which, with osteosarcoma, is still not THAT long in the grand scheme of things, and it's impossible to really put a number on these things, but... there is a dog on the Tripawds site who is on metronomic protocol, AND has lung mets (plural) and has been going for 2 years that way! Another two years (at least) would be awesome. 

And, I ask you, does this look like a sick dog??? 
video
[No animals - or humans - were harmed in the making of this video, although all three of us did end up quite wet.]


Oh, one other thing... Mike was asking, Why can't we just cut that damn Lone Met out? Dr. V. did address that -- it is possible that we could cut it out, but it's pretty rare to do because it's not worth it unless the dog meets three criteria: (1) the met has to be stable (it can grow some, but not a ton -- as it is now, he said we could actually call her met "stable," so check on that one), (2) it has to be a Lone Met (check), and (3) it has to remain a Lone Met for a year (so, we need to keep waiting and see what happens). We'll see if we make it to another six months and The Lone Met still rides alone. It's pretty major surgery, so I dunno... Hopefully we'll someday be at a point where we need to make that decision. 

P.S. She is still having minor diarrhea (still not entirely a "solid citizen") so we are on a little break from her meds until her system settles down again. Hopefully she'll be back into her routine very shortly.  

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.