Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not The News We Were Hoping To Hear

I'll just start this post by saying that if I begin to ramble and you feel lost, I won't be upset or offended if you just tune out.  I don't want to ramble, but my thoughts are pretty scattered.  I'm trying to make sense of all the information that's come at me.

Yesterday afternoon, I got the call with the pathology report from the vet for Blueberry.  Blueberry's lump was neurofibrosarcoma.  The margins were dirty, which basically means that they can't be sure that they got it all.  The vet says that usually this type of cancer doesn't spread, but it does tend to have tendrils that stretch out.  I feel like we've gotten mixed messages there.  On one hand, they said it's positive that there was only one blood vessel and that often the tumor never comes back and the dog is fine.  On the other, they say that her margins were dirty and there's a chance the lump could come back. 

So far, our options are vast.  First, we can do nothing and pray that the tumor never comes back, and possibly have to have it removed again.  Second, we can have surgery again and they can try to take enough from around the tumor site to try to get clean margins.  Third, we can go in and have x-rays done on her lungs and abdomen and have her lymph nodes aspirated.  Fourth, we can go to an oncologist, who will probably want option three done and can do radiation.  Fifth, my head could possibly explode and all the information could float out into the ether.

Blue has bounced back from the surgery last week remarkably well.  She doesn't seem to be bothered by any of this at all.  To me, she still seems very young, unlike Hawk, who was showing his age by the time he was eight years old.  She always wants to go and do what we're doing and hardly anything ever phases her.  Blueberry just stays calm through everything -- Lilac barking, tornados blowing through town, people coming home late, new dogs moving in -- she takes it all in stride.  So, I feel fairly confident that she will handle whatever we decide to do with her usual grace.  We just need to figure out what the plan will be.

If anybody reading has had experience with neurofibrosarcoma, we'd love to hear about it.  Heck, I hope that I managed to spell it right.  We are going to be researching our options and trying to get that money tree in the back yard to grow some fruit.  It will be a learning curve for us and hopefully we make the right call.  We have greatly appreciated everyone's support since we started on this journey.  It has helped more than I can say!  When we have more news on Miss Blue, we will share it.

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  1. We're thinking of you here in our family and hope for the best in yours. Go Blue!

  2. Thank you for sharing the news. We care about your houndies and hope for a full recovery for Blueberry!

  3. we thought about you yesterday during the Worldwide Moment. I'm sure we telepathically sent wisdom and patience...:-)

  4. I'm pretty sure that is what Kyrye had at one point -

    Hers was on an 'elbow' - it was the M word but it was one of the slow-to-never metastasizing types - hers never came back - she lived 3+ more years until basic old age took her a 15years 1month and 16 days!

    Paws crossed from here -

    Khyra's Mom
    PeeEssWoo: And our paws are currently in IL so they are close to you!

  5. I am so sorry to hear about the bad news about Blue... but whatever your choices.. most important thing is that she is painfree and happy. She's a trooper.. i am sure she'll bounce through it all like a winner :) Good luck to you. We'll be crossing all our fingers and paws for you.

  6. So sorry to hear the news. I can't imagine what a difficult decision this must be without any clear answers or direction. You will know in your hearts what is the right thing to do for Blueberry. Our paws are all crossed for your entire family.

  7. So very sorry to hear all this. It's extremely tough when you've got choices. So much simpler when there is only one road to go down. Good luck with your decision. And lots of hugs for you all and Blueberry in particular.

  8. Oh I am so sorry the news was not more straight forward and in common sense English. I certainly know what that feels like. Bless wee Blueberry she reminds me of Molly taking everything in her stride and watching me run around like a blue bummed fly panicking and her just sitting looking at me as if to say ' chill out Mom you can't change anything by doing that'. I sure learnt a lot from her, whatever route you choose Blue will go with the flow and know you are doing it for her benefit.
    We are here for you all and sending you all the best power of the paw we can.
    Momma Tea, Richie n Ronnii
    xx xx xx xx xx x x x

  9. Oh hun I am sending you and Blue huge hugs.

    Think if she was mine, I'd be asking if we did nothing how long would she have. I think quality of life is paramount, so wonder what any of the proceedures would do to that.

    Will be thinking of you.

  10. Oh boy. wow. this is hard to hear. options are hard to choose. the non-metastizing vs the tendrils makes sense though. spreading can happena variety of ways i think. it sounds like this one spreads directly from one site versus through blood stream and popping up other places like chicken pocks or something else. My thought would be to do the 2nd surgery for peace of mind and possibly the x-rays. but i don't know what it means to aspirate lymph nodes, if it's painful or expensive or worse, dangerous?
    i know you didn't ask for "what would you do" but i'm just rambling like you think you did (you didn't)... whatever you do, we're on your and Blue's side! hugs to Blue.

  11. While we have heard of that one, it is not one we have personal experience with. So we can not offer advice, but know that we with you in spirit and have paws crossed tight for Blueberry.

  12. That is definitely not the news you wanted to hear. The poor kid, but like others have said, it doesn't have to be bad. Drs have to tell you everything possible for you to make an informed decision. The yucky news now is better than an ambush from not knowing what could go wrong. We live in cancerland (Aus and skin cancer go hand in hand). My husband has had many things removed and has heard the tendrils story, too.

    I have no idea what's in store for Miss Blue, but she doesn't either. She'll float in the security that is your love for her. Follow her lead. She will make you feel better, too. When I was grieving, I spooned with Omo. Their torsos are perfect for that. Screw polite society. Have a lie-down with her.

  13. We will pray that you make the best decision for Blueberry's health.
    Love from Bella and Ollie

  14. I don't have experience with that and neither does Blog Mom so can't give advice. I will ask Alpha Mom if she knows anything about it. In the meantime we're very sorry that you've gotten such difficult news and such mixed messages about what it means or what you need to do. At least Blueberry is feeling OK for now - that's the most important thing. And you will make the right decision. Just take the time you need to be sure.

    love from Lola and family

  15. That is dire news indeed. So many decisions for humans to make. But you feel great, right Miss Blueberry? You just tell your people what you want them to do because these choices sound very hard and I would hate for your mom's head to explode. My paws are crossed for you.


  16. Gosh, I don't have experience with this, but I know you will make the right decision. Just try find some quiet time/space and listen to your inner guidance. The answer will come to you. In the meantime, we promise to keep Blueberry in our thoughts and prayers.

    Your pal, Pip

  17. oh what dire news.
    i hope blue and you will find the best option possible. we keep our fingers and paws crossed four you and hope your head will not explodee...
    big hugs and lotsalove, dorothee, missy and shannon

  18. I'm sorry that I can't give any advice on this either. However, I just want to let you know whatever decision you make, it's the best one for Blue. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you! Stay strong and be strong!!!

  19. :(
    What ever you decide to do, we will be here supporting you. In da mean time I am gonna send extra puppy prayers to Blue and to da rest of you.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  20. So sorry to hear the news about Blueberry, I wish I knew more about this type of tumor but I do not. Whatever you decide is the next step for her, will be the right choice.

  21. I have not had experience with that particular type of cancer but unfortunately with the many fosters and personal pets, I have had a lot of experience with different types of cancer. One thing I have learned is before you do anything else, do the x-rays first. You need to know if there is anything going on on the inside because that can change everything. So sorry to hear this was not a clear cut "cured and go on with life" type of deal - was really hoping for that!

    Shawnee's Mom

  22. You got it spot on - this is one hell of a learning curve . You know better than anyone else how our hearts are with you.

  23. So sorry about Blueberry. With what I went through with Dixie, I can say this. You, and only you, know your dog best. Explore your options and do what's best for her. I made several trips back to the vet without Dixie, just so I could ask questions, and drive them crazy! Last, but not least, enjoy every second you have with her!

  24. We wish we could help :( The best we can do is keep Blue in our thoughts and prayers! We are sure that she will be fine and will live a long and healthy life!!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  25. My stomach did a flip when I saw your title. Oh no - that's not the news that I wanted to hear either. And, I feel so much empathy for you.

    I don't know anything about that particular kind of tumor. Everyone has their own approach to dealing with these things so I won't presume to try to. But, I'll just tell you what our approach has been to the multiple cancer diagnoses in our dogs. We always do the tests first (ultrasound, lymph nodes, chest xray) to help us decide what course of action to take. That way we know what we're dealing with. Take that with a grain of salt... it's just our approach.

    I'm thinking of all of you, sending you giant virtual hugs. And, Miss Blue will help show you the way.

  26. We had one removed from Blaze's head, around where Blueberry's was and it went well, did not return. However, it sounds as if her's was clean whereas Blueberry's is not...unfortunately. ;( So sorry to hear this. I know what we'd do here and I can share that with you, but it all depends on what you will be able to do.

    Before moving on with anything, I *do* think it is best (and we have done this with all our cancer greyhounds, probably 10 out of the 19) is assess where they are at first. Check the lungs (xrays) do the asparation, as these are the less invasive things you can do, to see if it has spread...just kind of give you a feeling of where you stand. That would be where I would start. Make sure she is still at the point where it makes since considering other options.

    More than happy to chat further and feel free to email me. Lots of love and hugs along with prayers and scritches for your Blue girl.

  27. Oh, HoundMomma. I know that this has gotta be hard- to-hear news. It's most certainly not what we wanted to hear, for sure. Most luckily, we've never had cancer here (knock on wood) but my momma's an information gatherer so she'd prolly talk to the expert and then go from there. It sounds like it's mixed good news and bad news and maybe somebuddy who's an expert in it can help it make more sense.

    But we know that whatever you do, you will do with luv. And we'll be right here holding you in our hearts and sending you and Blueberry good wishes and strength.

    Gentle wiggles and wags,

  28. Our thoughts go with you and your family in your struggle to "do the right thing". There are no right or wrongs answers, only answers that make sense to your family for the well being of Blueberry. As some one commented, she only knows that she is loved, full and happy!

    Drools and licks,
    Minnie and Mack

  29. We are sending you many hugs and good thoughts for Blueberry. She sounds like a very strong girl who will get through this just fine.

    Jack, Scout and our Mama, Patty

  30. I'm so sorry for such bad news. I was so hoping you and Blueberry were done with all this now.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with canine tumors. But I know whatever decision you make will be the best one for your family.

    Thank you for sharing all of this. It must be difficult. But by describing what you're going through, it spreads information that we all may need some day. Take care.

  31. This is not the news any of us were praying for but I do hope the good news in the explanation overcomes the bad news as you dig through all of this information. You and Blueberry are in our prayers.

    Sending lots of Zona snuggles to you both!


  32. Hugs coming your way - and prayers for discerning wisdom.

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  33. Oh, no!

    I wish I knew. Is it possible to get a second opinion? Just to be sure and clarify some details? I know this must be terribly expensive....

    (((((((((Super Big Hug)))))))))))))))))

  34. We send our love in this stressful time. I am so glad that Miss Blueberry is handling it with all her grace that she is. I havent had any experience with what you are going through but we are here to listen and look forward to her updates.

  35. Oh DEAR SWEET FUREND. I am as scared and conflicted as you at this moment. Whatever the decision... you are all in my thoughts and prayers. You know that we are all here to support you and to send our pawsitive thoughts and powers.

  36. Oh no! Not good news, but at least you know what it is and can go from there. Take a day or so to think about it--investigate the options and go with what's in your heart. I would personally do the Xrays to get the whole picture and visit the oncologist. But whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for you and your dear Blueberry. We're here for you with prayers and paws crossed!!

    Anna's Mom

  37. NO!!

    I will be glad to start a donation fund for whatever you decide to do. Also, you should contact and see if they know greyhound orgs by you that might be able to help.

    Just give me your permission and I will set up a donation place!!

    Everything will be okay. It will.

  38. We are sorry to hear about this news about Blueberry. We have never dealt with the "C" word, but know that we are hear for you and your family. We are sending lots of good paw prayers to Blueberry. It is amazing how our fur-kids do so much better than us humans through these things. We would also be willing to share some of our kibble money for a donation to Blueberry's care. Stay strong and things will work out. The Hounddogs and HoundDogMom

  39. Oh dear... I can see how you are on "overload." I love Barbara's post/comment above (and her blog too!) - the dogblog world is just full of wonderful and thoughtful folks like her (and you and everyone!). Thank you for sharing your news with us - we are sending a zillion golden vibes Blue's way - keep up your spirits, sweetie! And you too, Mom.
    Big Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and Avalon

  40. Wish I had some really great words of wisdom. But we have yet to make any hard decisions like this one as Joy and Red are our first pets. As a nurse with my patients, it usually comes down to this: there is no right and no wrong. Go with your heart and try not to second-guess or what-if what you finally decided to do. The important thing is your love for Blueberry and that she feel it, no matter what happens. Our thoughts are with you through this journey!

  41. I have no experience with that crazy long scary word... You will make the best decision for you, your family and Blueberry. We will continue to pray that it doesn't come back and she continues to have a wonderful, worry free life!

  42. Not great news, but the good news is there are many more option for treating dogs than we did a few years age (although that may not be great news because choices may be difficult and costly) Anyway, while my experience is not with neurofibrosarcoma, I had to make some difficult choices for my 7 yo dachshund. Bottom line for me was that while I love my local vet practice, I think of them as a GP or family physician. I went to a board certified specialist who performed a sucessful surgery at a veterinary hospital. It was a horrible 6 weeks post surgery complete with what you refer to as stink eye which really had me doubting my decision - but a year later I have a dog that is happy and healthy. My suggestion? Based on your posts, I think that you are in Central or Southern IL? I'm not sure how far away you are from the Vet School Clinic in Urbana... or if you are closer to Chicago, I can personally recommend Talk to a board certified specialist you feel you can trust and that can explain things in a way that will not make your head explode! (I learned to base my opinion on the professional credentials - not what people post on the web, which was, I think people that were hurt and in pain)

    I did ramble, sorry... my thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing the life and adventures of your crew.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. So many choices - no wonder your head is spinning! You and Mr. Taleteller know your girls best. I think JenBerry summed it up quite well. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  45. Hi Blue and Mom,
    I think I would leave it alone and pray!!! We are praying with you!!! We want the best for Miss Blue too!
    Love you Greys, Fern

  46. Oh my! My heart just skipped a beat when I saw the title of your post!

    I am so sorry that the report was not 'all clear', butt it does seem to have some good and hopeful parts to it.

    I don't have any first hand knowledge of this kind of issue in dogs, so I can't give you any advice there. But, please know that you are in our thoughts and in our hearts!

    Love and hugs,
    MinnaK and Momma Cheryl

  47. That is a lot of information to digest. I hope you can settle on what you feel is right very soon. In my experience, despite feeling that time is of the essence, don't rush. Don't let any vets pressure you, especially those specialists you do not have a relationship with. Just listen to your gut... its closer to your heart than any expert is.

  48. Life just couldn't cut you a break here now could it? But I have faith in you -- you seem very diligent and thorough, so I know you'll study your options and make what is for you the right decision for Blueberry. It's a good thing that Blue is so calm and will go with whatever flow happens by. I'll be keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  49. Click here if you would like to donate to help with Blueberry's operation

    Click on the donate button when you get there.

  50. We will send pawerful prayers that you find the right answers for both you & your beautiful girl.

    Nubbin wiggles & hugs,
    Oskar & Pam

  51. You are in our thoughts and prayers! I have no experience with that form of cancer, but from what I have heard from others regarding radiation, I don't think I would go that route. It is very hard on greys. I would suggest emailing Dr. Couto or Dr. Radcliffe (Town and Country Animal hospital, he is also an expert in GH health and wellness). Dr. Couto answers hundreds of emails every day and may be able to give you some insight for your best option. Good luck! Blueberry will remain in our prayers!

  52. Dang, so not what any of us wanted to hear. The tumor sounds very similar to Phantom's two, but it is a different kind. Decisions are very difficult. Wish we had some good ideas for you, but we know you will do what is best for you and Blueberry. If we can help in any way, please let us know.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara and Mom

  53. I agree with our friends and you. Not the news we wanted to hear.
    But I am sure you and her Vet will do what is best for Blueberry.
    Paws crossed here.
    Kisses and hugs

  54. This is SO not what any of us wanted to hear. We don't have experience wif this exact fing... what I have experience wif is knowin how hard this is on you... and how much support means!

    I am here for you. Lean on me. I would love nuffin more than to help!

    wif love from the Luke

  55. We're so sorry to read the news. We are sending our best thoughts & puppy prayers. Looks like you've gotten lots of thoughtful advice. Mama finds some comfort in Mother Theresa's saying: "I know God wouldn't give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Our best wishes to Miss Bludberry.

    Jed & Abby

  56. all good thoughts and prayers are sent your way for Blueberry
    Benny & Lily

  57. Sorry to hear your news, and indeed it does seem to be a mixed message. All I can tell you is you did spell neurofibrosarcoma correctly, and beyond that you just have to follow your heart. Are those tumors common in hounds? Perhaps a second opinion to help with the process?? Our thoughts are with you, keep us posted!

    Michelle, Brutus & Carmen

  58. We're so sorry to hear this news. We don't have experience with this, but hopefully it will be the type that doesn't come back. Keep us posted, we're thinking of you!

  59. Dear Blueberry and family
    I am a friend of sweet Barbara. I read about your boo boo, and I wanted to come give you some love. All the bloggy world is showering your with their paws right now,,, and I am too.
    I will send a donation too.
    The Power of The Paws will surround you

  60. Gosh! We are so sad to hear this as well. We will be praying for you as you get more information and make a decision.
    Twix and Mom

  61. I am sorry to hear this. When my old Saint was 7 months old we discovered that she had osteochondrosis. She had a piece of cartiledge free floating in her left shoulder and had to have surgery. While they had her under anesthesia the surgeon rotated all her joints and came out and told me I should have her put down. He predicted that she would develope the same problem in every joint and live a horribly painful life. I was devastated and could not put her down. I followed my heart and she lived a very happy 11 years. She did have arthritis in her later years, but she was loved and pampered and added so much to our lives. Give Blue an extra hug from me!

  62. I started a donation fund - link here on the right and on my blog as well. All goes to the same place - Blueberry.

  63. We're joining in the Power of the Paw for Miss Blueberry. She looks quite healthy in the photos and at least still keeps a smile on her face.
    Smooches and Love,
    BabyRocketDog and Hootie

  64. Oh Blueberry, this was not the news I wanted to hear.

    We haven't experienced this one, but we have had some success with other tumors that we had removed.

    Two years ago we had a sarcoma removed and to date it has never come back. If you want my two cents, I'd do the x-rays and go for clean margins.

    It is so scary and medicine is such a crap shoot.

    Best of luck with your decision, we'll be thinking about you.

  65. I'm really sorry for the less-than-good news. I have no experience with it, but I have NO doubt that every decision you make will be with Blue's best interests in mind.

    The most important thing is that she's happy, which she certainly is. I think she's got a lot of life left to live!

  66. We're so sorry that you didn't hear good news :( Hearing mixed messages is the worst. Glad to see/hear that Blueberry is seemingly unaffected by all the news. We're thinking of you!

  67. We are praying super hard for pretty Blueberry! She sounds like she is taking it very well.

  68. I'm so sorry to hear this, its not the news I thought you would get. we are all here for you.
    Love and Huggs from across the pond
    Jan and George xxx

  69. Oh goodness! These sound a lot like the Mast Cell Tumors that sister Jada and I both had. She has a scar on her head kinda like Blue's. We were lucky and the surgeon was able to get good margins. So far we have been lucky and they have not come back. We will say puppy prayers for you all!


    Mr. Nubbin'

  70. Hi Blueberry,

    Let's make a pack - you and I beat this together so our moms don't go insane ok????? It's a 5 year contract!

    My margin surgery was on Nov. 17th, your pathology report came Nov. 16th, so we're on about the same schedule.

    Love nibbles,
    Miss Sunshade (hugs to your mom too!)

  71. Looked back to read this post as clearly missed it while I was away - sorry for the news and the mixed messages you have received. Guess it is a case of one step at a time.
    Much love xxx

  72. I have no experience with this type of illness but I do have experience in prayer and you'll get plenty of that from our end!

  73. I just came to see how you awe Miss bootiful bluebewwy
    I love you and paway that the awful C goes away ow at least stays asneep fpw the next ten yeaws..I love you and hope some fwiends can give good advice..I don't know any, just cwossed paws and pwayews fwom me to you
    smoochie kisses


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