Saturday, May 11, 2013

Around and Around We Go

I wish this was about another sheep herding video, but it isn't.  We heard from the oncologist... we didn't get clean margins.  :( The "dirty" margin was on the bottom of her foot - so she has cancer cells are still in the pad of her second toe.  Ironically we had never even discussed removing that toe completely.

So we have a few options:

  1. Go back and re-operate right away.  We would remove her entire second toe.  The cancer would be all gone for sure, but this will probably cause lameness.  I'm OK if she doesn't run properly, but it might cause pain when she runs.  We didn't talk about what would happen with the outside toe but if we remove the second toe, we don't have any skin to cover up the opening on the outside toe (which is why they were fused) so it is possible that toe will be removed as well.
  2. Wait and see if the tumour grows back and operate if it does.  The research indicates that tumours only grow back in 30% of the cases where they have dirty margins. So it won't necessarily come back, but it might, and if it does, there is no guarantee we are going to see it before it spreads to more important areas - like her liver and spleen.
If we choose to operate, we WILL be causing lameness.  If we choose not to operate, we MIGHT be causing more problems down the road.

We also have to consider what a second surgery right now might do to her mentally, vs. a potential second surgery in let's say 5 months.  Would it be better to get it all done and over with and never come back or would it be better to spend a month healing, have 4 months of fun and good mental health and then start over again?  (assuming the tumour re-grows)

For MY mental health I think it would be better to take out the toe right now.  But I'm not the one who has to go through the surgery, or deal with the potential pain afterwards.  Every time I think I've made a decision, I don't feel comfortable with it. I go back and debate the options again and inevitably choose the other option.  But then I'm still not comfortable with it... and around and around we go.  Marlin is having the same problem.  At this point, if one of us felt strongly one way or the other, the other one would just agree, but that isn't happening.

We have until Monday to decide.


Healing-wise, Lacey is doing OK.  She is totally looped on the pain meds, but they are keeping her calm at least.  She is seeking out weird nooks and crannies to curl up in but she isn't whimpering or anything like that.  I love coming home at lunch to see her as it is the only part of the day she is animated and I can see a hint of her usual self.

We changed the bandages yesterday and I asked to stay so I could see her foot.  It looked good and not weird at all.  It was still very painful to the touch though.


The antibiotic isn't agreeing with her stomach so we are doing smaller doses more frequently through out the day.  So far, so good.


5 comments:

Taryn said...

Crap! This post really tore at my heart. Lacey's expressions say a lot.
With my in-law's pug, he did lose the two inside toes, leaving a foot that looked rather crab-like. I never really paid attention to how much of his pads were still there. He didn't limp much, if at all, and he was one FAT pug. But he didn't lead an active life either.

It seems to me, getting it over with now would be easier on Lacey, but since it's only a maybe the cancer will return, that is what makes it a hard decision. Is she generally a very healthy dog? What does she eat? Could you improve her diet in order to improve her immune system? And of course, dogs handle any level of a handicap so much better than we humans do. I am so sorry you have to work through this.

WigglyZack said...

It's so hard to go through what you are going through. Hang in there.

ros@dimaggio63 said...

Tanti tanti tanti baci !!!!
Myriam

onecollie said...

man, my heart just aches for you guys :(
whatever decision you make will be made with love for Lacey, so it won't be wrong, either way

manymuddypaws said...

why does the decision need to be made on Monday? Have you looked on the internet for dogs with missing toes? Because I wonder just how hindered she would be... I mean she is fairly sedate dog most of the time anyway- not like Coulee who is constantly in motion.. I'm going to google and youtube to see what I can find...