Since coming back out of the blogging closet, I’ve mentioned all the positive things that are happening. What I haven’t mentioned is… the C word. I have two stories to share.
Last fall, I had Bella at the vet for a routine visit and while we were there they noticed a spot on her rear end that I hadn’t ever noticed. It was a thickened, ulcerated spot about the size of a quarter, but it was covered by her fur. They thought it was a hot spot and gave me some topical steroid spray. Ten days later it was no better, so they gave her 10 days of antibiotics. It still didn’t improve, so they wanted to biopsy it. It came back as a mast cell tumor. I was floored and devastated by the cancer diagnosis. Surgery was scheduled for the next week. The tumor sent off for staging and histopath, and thankfully it came back showing that it was in the early stages and had been completely excised with good, clean tissue borders. Since it was caught so early (thank the Lord for a super attentive vet staff) and had been completely removed, there was no further action required. They’ve just told us to be super vigilant and watch her closely for recurrence in that same area and for any new lesions elsewhere on her body. In addition to that, since she’s had several issues in her short little four years that can be attributed to a weak immune system (demodectic mange, lots of allergy problems, and now this), I’ve started her on a pretty stout immune system boosting regimen. The whole ordeal was nerve-racking and upsetting, but at least it was over and done with one simple surgery. It in no way compared to what the family is dealing with now.
Also in the fall, D’s mother began having a lot of unrelenting sinus pressure and congestion. Like COMPLETE congestion. A total inability to breathe through her nose. She went to an ENT who told her that she had sinus polyps that needed to be surgically removed. This was around the first of November, and she insisted that the surgery be put off until after the holiday season. That surgery never happened. Things increasingly worsened and when she started swelling into her neck they knew that what they were dealing with was more sinister than plain ol’ sinus polyps. On December 26th, the biopsy results came back: stage 4 neuroendocrine carcinoma. It’s in the paranasal sinuses, behind the cheekbone, up close to the eye, very close to the brain, and down into the neck. On January 10th, she began chemotherapy. The plan is four months of chemo (three days on, three weeks off) with radiation to be added during the last seven weeks. I need for every single one of you to pray that this works because they’ve already said that she is not a candidate for surgery given the location and the fact that it has invaded the bone. So please, pray for her, send healing thoughts, do whatever it is you do when you really want something to happen. We can’t bear to imagine the alternative.