Comeing out of the closet.....

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby Suzi » November 6th, 2009, 7:45 pm

First and foremost....

Thank-You Dee for opening your heart and letting me reach out to you.....I will forever be grateful. I was so lost the morning I asked to call you.

I wanted to keep this under my hat,,,as I knew if I didn't, I would be admitting that she really is sick with this evil monster...Well it is what it is. I need to accept it,,,,and arm myself with knowledge, as well as get some emotional support....Bella is just a bit over 4 years old.

It was a releif to find a "Cancer section" on this forum.

Bella has cancer. Mast Cell. She was diagnosed a year and a half ago with stage ll. We had it removed, only to rear it's ugly face again last January,,removed it, stage ll-lll. Well it's baaaack,,,and it is one angry cancer. We had 3 lumps removed @ 3 weeks ago, stage ll. This time my vet pointed me in the direction of an Oncologist, he was quite excited about a new drug (Palladia). So off we went last Tuesday. To let you know how aggressive this cancer is,,she literally sprouted another one. :shock: Overnight! The Oncologist has told me removing it is not a good option (where it is located,,,and unfortunately Bella hasn't been a good healer),,,this one feels as if it runs deep.
The other lumps were small, and weren't attached to anything,,this one is huge, large jawbreaker size. It is mastasized onto her muscle, between her shoulders...The Oncologist has told me 6 months,,,without, and maybe with treatment....I hate maybe's...I WANT black or white.

Is there anyone here who has successfully beaten this cancer? if so, how? It gets very confusing with all the ways there are to treat this evil....My main concern is to give her quality of life,,,not quantity.
I have been scouring the internet for info.,,,and it does seem that all I find is the answers I don't want.

My Vet is on vacation, and will not be back until Mon., whereas I have a standing appointment... So I will have a better insight of where I will be going with a final decision to treat or not to treat her...
In the mean time if anyone here has some input, or wants to share their story,,it would be appreciated....

Truely,,,I would like to hear the good as well as the sad....I am on a mission to be informed.


I hate cancer,,,all forms,,,all shapes,,,,all sizes....Always have,,,always will.
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Postby Marinepits » November 6th, 2009, 8:07 pm

I have no experience with Mast Cell, but I just want to offer you my support. Please feel free to come here and rant, rave, cry, or whatever you need to do all you want. (((hugs)))

Cancer sucks.
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Postby HappyChick » November 6th, 2009, 8:09 pm

I do not have experience with this type of cancer, but Vinny is also just over 4 years old and was diagnosed in July with Lymphoma. You can read all about our journey here if you want:
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=30443 .

I think for most cancers there are several options for treatment. Don't forget to consider homeopathic remedies too.

Whatever choice you make, we support you. PBT has the most wonderful, supportive members!

Good, postive vibes and :goodthoughts: coming from me and Vin.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Marinepits » November 6th, 2009, 8:17 pm

Sorry, forgot to add the link for my Indy's story: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=28387
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 6th, 2009, 8:24 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about Bella. :( I have no experience with cancer, but know that I'll be thinking of you guys. And like Jen said, come here to rant, rave and cry any time you need to.

:hug3:
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Postby hugapitbull » November 6th, 2009, 8:32 pm

Suzi,
I am so sorry you are having to deal with this horrible disease. You are already doing an awesome job - you are doing your own research and participating in the treatment. That is a vital piece of the journey.

Foremost, let me tell you vets deal in statistics. Statistics are numbers. All dogs will not fall into line with those numbers. No one knows if they have 6 months, 6 days, or 6 years. Live each day you are given as the blessing it is.

Trouble had (has) osteosarcoma, a very aggressive cancer. We were told without treatment she had 2 months. With treatment, 10% make it to a year. Trouble will celebrate her one year mark on the 26th. NEVER give up. Do not allow this disease to defeat you. Fight the best fight you can give it.
We must all make that final decision at some point. I believe you will know when that time has come and until then you just keep trudging forward.

As you found Dee, rally others to you and keep your support crew close. When you need them, one of them will be there for you. This is not an easy journey, you already know there are bumps in the road. There are a large number of users here who have been or are on the journey. We help each other whenever we can.

Feel free to PM me any time.

Best of luck on your journey. Lots of good thoughts coming to you from our house.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

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Postby madremissy » November 6th, 2009, 8:42 pm

No experience with cancer but just wanted you to know that I am sending many good thoughts and prayers to you and Bella.

Always know that many people here are very good listeners and will always be here to offer support. :hug3:
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Postby cheekymunkee » November 6th, 2009, 9:06 pm

(((hugs)))
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Postby LMM » November 6th, 2009, 9:13 pm

I'm so sorry *hugs* We are dealing with mast cell level II right now. We just had surgery, so we are lump free for now. I tell you this to let you know you aren't alone :)
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Postby plebayo » November 6th, 2009, 10:48 pm

Okay so I don't have personal experience with Mast Cell tumors but I talked to my boss/vet because we have a dog we're treating for Mast Cell right now.

In this dog in particular the tumor is in a lymphnode on her back leg. We are treating her with Vinblastine once per week to shrink the tumor and then we are going to remove the lymphnode. He said surgical excision is the best option but that most of the time Grade 2 and Grade 3 are really hard to remove. I have googled this now and it sounds like removal with radiation is the best option.

If you can afford radiation, I am wondering if you could do radiation to shrink the tumor enough that you could potentially have it removed? I'm also thinking chemo could maybe do the same thing? Shrink the tumor and make removal possible? I think these are all good questions to ask your veterinarian.

I do think the Palladia is worth a try as well if you can get ahold of it because it is specifically for Mast Cell Tumors.

I think it would be fair to try at least SOMETHING before you just give up and let the cancer do its thing. My dog has cancer in her nose that we are treating with chemo. Even if chemo simply buys you a little time, it's TIME. TIME you can be spending with your dog.
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Postby Marinepits » November 6th, 2009, 11:02 pm

plebayo wrote:I think it would be fair to try at least SOMETHING before you just give up and let the cancer do its thing. My dog has cancer in her nose that we are treating with chemo. Even if chemo simply buys you a little time, it's TIME. TIME you can be spending with your dog.


Please remember that everyone makes their own choices for their own dogs and situations, and we are here to support whatever that choice may be. :wink:
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Postby plebayo » November 6th, 2009, 11:22 pm

Please remember that everyone makes their own choices for their own dogs and situations, and we are here to support whatever that choice may be. :wink:


She said:
"In the mean time if anyone here has some input, or wants to share their story,,it would be appreciated...."

I was simply giving my input that I think it's worth trying anything, or at least something because even though this cancer is aggressive there are some options that I found. I wasn't saying that she HAS to treat it, I'm sorry if it came off that way. I was just simply saying I am in support of at least trying something because in her post she made it sound like she's not really sure whether she should or she shouldn't. I'm just as supportive if she decides to do nothing at all. I reread what I previously wrote and I guess it could be taken as me saying "You have to try something!" That wasn't my intention at all, just that I don't think she would be wrong to pursue treatment if she chooses. :|
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Postby Marinepits » November 6th, 2009, 11:28 pm

That's fine. :thumbsup:
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Postby Suzi » November 7th, 2009, 12:15 am

All of you,,,,Thank-You from the bottom of my heart....

As most of us know, dealing with the decisions that come along with this diesese are not easy,,,,and we always want to make the right move....I am spinning..."Buying more time" with my girl is most important, if it is a realistic approach...Her last surgery has been extremely hard, 7 inch incision that goes from the right shoulder over to past the back of her left ear,,,she dosen't heal well,,,and this spot is a place where there is alot of movement, she has ripped some of her stiches (three layers of them) out,,so,,,it's been three weeks,,no exersise (I cannot put a collar on her,,,no play,,,etc. she was getting depressed I think,,,,,,laying around all day for 3 weeks except to go potty (she is an active dog). Last night when I got home she wanted to play,,,so bad,,,,the wound was finally healing, so we played a bit (only to get a tsk-tsk-tsk from the tech at the vets office,,,,they need to remove the drain first befor ANY type of activity to the area happens)...so OK,,,we'll wait a bit longer. The good news is,,,this is the first time she really "pushed me to play" in three weeks...This happened after 2 days of benadryl and pepcid,,,the light in her eyes came back, the "lump" was smaller. So tonight when I went to the store (It is raining cats and dogs here) we walked through town,,,and stopped at the local "tav" she got to go in,,,,and she was loved up by everyone,,it did her heart good, she smiled! She wagged her tail! She wanted to socialize. We are at home now,,,no panting,,not clingy,,,she is resting well.

I have read through everyone that has responded posts/PM's. My heart goes out to all that have closely associated with this evil illness...No proven cures,,,just a wing and a prayer. Loads of luck and proper care/love to see them through another day with us, as well as accepting the choice to let them go. The strength that surfaces is unstoppable. I fookin hate cancer....

Radiation has NOT been mentioned,,,just Chemo, and at my request Palladia (The Oncologist we saw has access).

Having more time with my girl is of the upmost importance. As long as it is quality time (she feels good,,,has energy,,,that she does not just "exsist").Thanks to all of you for the strenghth you are giving me, I do not feel alone,,,,this is something that has never occured to me until Bella's diagnosis,,,that we need support....Thanks again for sharing with,,,and supporting us.

Plebayo....I hear you,,,, I am on the fence.....No worries...Thanks for your passionate thoughts/support.
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Postby plebayo » November 7th, 2009, 1:03 am

Having more time with my girl is of the upmost importance. As long as it is quality time (she feels good,,,has energy,,,that she does not just "exsist").Thanks to all of you for the strenghth you are giving me, I do not feel alone,,,,this is something that has never occured to me until Bella's diagnosis,,,that we need support....Thanks again for sharing with,,,and supporting us.


I definitely understand what you're saying. That is the way I've felt putting my dog through Chemo. If it starts giving her problems, I am like you, I want quality of life and I want my dog to feel good and be happy - if it's going to make her sick and just "be" it's so not worth it.

The things that I found online for radiation mostly seem to talk about after the mass has been taken out so I'm not sure if it helps at all to just zap the mass, but might be worth asking about.

Plebayo....I hear you,,,, I am on the fence.....No worries...Thanks for your passionate thoughts/support.


Hopefully your veterinarian will be able to help you decide what you want to do. You might talk to HappyChick she hooked me up with some information on nutritional support for dogs with cancer some alternative methods might be something that could work for you and Bella. That's awesome that she was feeling good and wanting to socialize with everyone :D Here's hoping she continues to recover well :)
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Postby iluvk9 » November 7th, 2009, 7:59 am

I am sorry for what you are going through. :( As you know, many of us have gone through it, and many members are still fighting the cancer battle.

All I can add from my two experiences, is whatever you do or don't do will be the right choice for Bella.
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Postby pocketpit » November 7th, 2009, 4:30 pm

Radiation has NOT been mentioned,,,just Chemo, and at my request Palladia (The Oncologist we saw has access).


I would be very interested to hear what kind of information you find out about this drug and any other treatments from your oncologist. My friend's dog had a grade II lump removed at the beginning of this year and as of yesterday has been diagnosed with another one (this one on his foot, not an area for surgical removal). His ultrasound showed clear abd organs but slight enlargment of his lymph nodes and some tiny areas in his chest that are probable MCT. He's 13 and a half years old and she's currently attemtping to get an appoinment with one of our local oncologists who has the drug. So you know exactly what she's going through right now and she's in the dark as to what her options are.
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Postby CinderDee » November 7th, 2009, 7:47 pm

Thank-You Dee for opening your heart and letting me reach out to you.....I will forever be grateful. I was so lost the morning I asked to call you.


I'm glad I could be of some help to you Suzi. :hug3:
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Postby Brownies Mom » November 8th, 2009, 12:44 am

My heart dog, Brownie, was diagnosed with mast cell cancer in July 2006. He lived another 4 and 1/2 years. :clap:

After being diagnosed, the vet said that tumor removal surgery was the recommended treatment, and I believe that is still the case today. He had several tumor removal surgeries, but it seemed like it just caused more tumors. In January 2007, I took him to an animal cancer center, and we discussed chemo, but at that time, chemo was estimated to be only about 25% effective in mast cell cases, so it didn't seem like it was worth putting him through it, so I promised him "no more heroic measures" and I got a vet at the cancer center to help me put him on a homemade diet, vitamins, supplements, chinese herbs and prednisone. The mast cell tumors will release histamines that can cause major gut problems, so he was given Pepcid AC and benadryl twice a day. The cancer went into remission for about 6 months, then he got a couple more tumors, but they never grew. He got very sick in March this year, so we did an ultrasound and found a tumor in his spleen, which is one of the more frequent places mast cell cancer will metastasize to. We helped him pass to the Bridge on April 1 this year. I am so grateful for all of the extra time we were given.

I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis. It is such a devastating blow. You will find many treatment options available, and it gets overwhelming because each works in some cases, but there isn't one that works in all cases. After lots of research, I ended up relying on this book, and I highly recommend it: The Natural Vet's Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, by Dr. Shawn Messonnier http://www.petcarenaturally.com/

My Baby Dog, Brownie:
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Postby Suzi » November 8th, 2009, 2:17 pm

Pocketpit,,,I am embarrassed to admit,,,that after having 2 conversations with the Oncologist,,,(the second time I spoke with her I called to have her explain why Chemo instead of Palladia) I have blacked out both conversations :( :oops: ,,,I guess it was to much info. that I didn't want to hear,,,all's I can recall are numbers 40%-50% something or other,trial drug,,the rest is gone.I am sorry,,,but,,,I will be going into my Vet tomorrow,,,and I am going to have "both camps" talk. I truely am in denial,,,,I will come back to earth when I speak with him,,and report back,,,as I still need to know "why not Palladia"? and want to share. What I do know is that Palladia is strictly used for MCT.

Brownies Mom,,,thanks for sharing his story *Huge Hugs*,,,,at this time I am feeling like you felt,,,Bella has had 3 surgeries,,,and everytime has had a hard time healing. She is on her third week of bedrest as we speak,,,,,her incision is giving us hell. No more surgeries for Bella...

Would you mind sharing "the diet" Brownie was on?

Anyone else want to share their "cancer diets"? Please chime in.
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