Saturday, March 04, 2017

Chloe's Challenge

If you have seen my Chloe dog in the last year or so, you have seen the large golf ball sized mass growing on her left side. Well, that mass is gone now and Chloe had her baseline physical and blood work with the oncologist yesterday. She will have a challenge over the next 6 months to overcome what's left of the mass and fight her cancer cells with oral chemotherapy.

This all started almost 2 years ago when we noticed a lump on her side. We didn't think much of it, as Max has had numerous lipomas over the years and we figured that Chloe had developed one. After it started growing fairly slowly, we noticed that this lipoma was different than Max's because it was hard, not the typical fatty consistency. At her annual check-up, the vet wasn't too concerned since it wasn't growing all that quickly, but we did a fine needle aspiration for good measure.

Fast forward a year and at her next annual check-up, the bump had grown bigger and felt a bit like she had a golf ball below her skin. We decided that it was time to do another aspiration, which like the previous one, turned up nothing suspicious. However, this time the vet thought that it could be a problem lump, despite those results. She recommended that we do a biopsy of the mass to get a better sense of what it was, even though this would require Chloe to be put under anesthesia and have two small chunks taken out of the mass.

When we got the results of that biopsy back, the report indicated that it was a grade 1 hemangiopericyctoma, which is a tumor of the blood vessel. Fortunately, they are generally localized tumors and can be removed with much success, but a visit to the oncologist was recommended. After the discussion with the oncologist, we decided that the best course of treatment for my almost 13 year old Chloe was to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Then we would see what the margins come back with and decide on a course of action. So, on February 10th, Chloe had her golf ball tumor removed. Here she is without the bandage.

Chloe after her surgery with her comfort monkey
We waited the 10 days for those biopsy results to come back while Chloe was very restricted in her movement. We finally got the call on the day that she was headed to get her stitches removed and the news was not as good as we had hoped. The analysis showed that the tumor was actually a grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma and that it was narrowly excised. This was not terrible news, but it meant that there were a few cancer cells left in her body and we would need to treat her with chemotherapy or risk the tumor coming back more rapidly.

So, she had her baseline done and her blood work looks good. The medicine has been ordered and will be delivered on Tuesday. Then we settle in and hope that she doesn't have any side effects and that this treatment holds off any more tumor growth for as long as she is with us! I guess she was jealous of Max's knee surgeries and wanted to even things out a bit...

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