I haven’t been able to bring myself to write these words until now. We got some devastating news about Campy in late October. I took him for a follow up lung X-ray on October 27, which happened to be Campy’s one-year Gotcha Day.
The X-ray didn’t show any further growths on his lungs, but it did show a lot of fluid in his chest around his heart and lungs. Then another X-ray and ultrasound showed a large mass growing near his kidney.
Also, on the way to the vet’s office, which is a two hour drive, Campy developed a very large, hard lump on the side of his neck, which we had biopsied. The biopsy turned out to be a metastasized tumor from his osteosarcoma. Our vet feels that the mass near his kidney was likely the same. Bloodwork taken that day looked fairly normal. Even his kidney function looked normal.
Campy had been dealing with a number of abscesses since his second Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine injection in early August, but had otherwise seemed fine. Campy experienced increased breathing difficulty in the days that followed. He would only eat plain yogurt, fresh mozzarella and some boiled chicken.
Campy had 10 good months since his osteosarcoma diagnosis in early January, amp surgery, chemo, and the Yale vaccine. We feel we did all we could for him. We weren’t going to let him suffer. So we said goodbye to him on November 2.
We were hoping for a much different outcome on Campy’s Gotcha Day. But we are appreciative that he got to take part in the vaccine trial and don’t regret any of his treatment. His team vets here in the Methow Valley, Wenatchee, and at Yale were all wonderful, caring and compassionate.
As a side note, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in early September and underwent radiation treatment at a clinic only a few blocks from the vet clinic where Campy was treated. I have DCIS, which is “the good kind of cancer,” and had a lumpectomy in October. My margins came back clean and a sentinel lymph node biopsy showed that the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes. The radiation is purely preventative in case any stray bad cells are lurking.
Tiger turns 12 in January and remains in good health, although he gave us a scare last month. He developed a large epulis on the roof of his mouth. It grew large enough that it started pushing out his two front teeth. We had it removed and biopsied the week before Thanksgiving. The biopsy came back negative, which gave us something to be truly thankful for. It would be unbearable have to say goodbye to Tiger right now. We have had him since 2012 and he will remain out only dog through the rest of the winter. Come spring, Tiger will help us to choose another greyhound that we can all love.
To say that 2020 has been an awful year for us is an understatement. However, the events of the last three months have made me appreciate the outpouring of love and the true goodness that shines in the many people whom I am privileged to call friends.
I believe that better days are ahead.