Indiana Jones

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

Postby Marinepits » February 5th, 2009, 6:11 pm

Well, Indy is now a member of the Canine Cancer Club.

He developed a large lump on the outside of his left wrist virtually overnight.

Image

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I immediately sent Dr. Blabs the photos (she called them “gnarly”, LOL) and brought him up for a needle biopsy yesterday. Dr. Blabs called me about an hour ago with the results – he has a hemangiopericytoma.

More info here:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_he ... ytoma.html

WHEN THE DIAGNOSIS IS HEMANGIOPERICYTOMA...
The hemangiopericytoma is a common tumor in the dog generally arising on the limbs and appearing as a round nodule. It derives from pericytes (see below) associated with blood vessels and, at least in some cases, involves a chromosome abnormality (usually an extra or an absent chromosome). Hemangiopericytomas can appear bald, pigmented or even ulcerated.

What is a Pericyte?
Consider that everyone began life as a single cell. This cell divided over and over and became many cells. As time continued, we became groups of different types of cells. Eventually we became embryos, fetuses, and finally infants with complete organ systems and different tissues all derived from one original cell. During the course of this amazing development, some cells do not specialize fully into specific tissues. They stay "undifferentiated" and can in the future specialize into whatever type of cell our body might require at that time. We have cells throughout our bodies that simply "stayed put" at different stages of embryonic development. Pericytes are such cells. A pathology instructor once described the pericyte as perhaps not the Adam and Eve of our bodies but more like Abraham.

What is a Hemangiopericytoma?
A Hemangiopericytoma is a tumor arising from pericytes associated with blood vessels. Instead of forming a useful tissue, these pericytes form tumors because improper cell division has left them with chromosome damage.

Is it Cancer?
The hemangiopericytoma does not spread through the body in the way one normally thinks of cancer. It does however tend to recur at the site of its original removal. When it recurs, it tends to grow back more deeply rooted and more difficult to remove than it was in its original form. If left alone it will continue to grow inexorably over usually years until it invades a part of the body that does not have extra space to allow a tumor (usually the chest cavity is the closest such area.)
If left alone, this tumor eventually becomes inoperable, disfiguring, and lethal though generally this takes years.

What are the Treatment Options?

• Radiation therapy
The hemangiopericytoma is responsive to radiation therapy. This means that the cure rate after radiotherapy is 80-90%. Only the tumor site receives radiation in this type of therapy so the patient does not become ill though the area of radiation exposure will probably lose the ability to grow hair. Effective radiation therapy unfortunately requires 15-18 treatments and the total cost in our area runs $4000-$4500. For radiotherapy to be effective, the tumor must first be surgically removed without visible remaining tumor present; otherwise the tumor is will be too big to respond.

• Leave tumor alone for now and attempt another surgical removal when it recurs.
One option is to wait and see if the tumor regrows (it usually does). When it regrows, it can be re-removed; however, when it re-grows, it is usually more difficult to remove. Every time it is removed, it re-grows more invasively making the next surgery more difficult. If a second surgery removes the visible portions of the tumor successfully, radiation therapy can again be considered as above with similar success rate.

• Leave tumor alone and allow it to recur without treatment
This may be a realistic option for an elderly patient as the hemangiopericytoma typically requires 6-12 months to grow back and longer to become disfiguring or invasive. For a younger patient, this is probably a poor option as the tumor will eventually become, as mentioned, inoperable, disfiguring, and lethal.

• Allow the tumor to recur then Amputate the limb
This may seem extreme but it certainly resolves the lethal aspect of the tumor in a curative manner. The hemangiopericytoma does not spread distantly in the body so amputation of the limb achieves cure and does so far less expensively than radiotherapy, though amputation is a major surgery and can still be expected to cost $2000-$3000 in our area.

If your dog has been diagnosed with a hemangiopericytoma, you may want to be referred to an oncologist for the most up to date recommendations.


Dr. Blabs will do the surgery to remove it on February 17th and we’ll see the oncologist for a consultation after the surgery site has healed a bit. Then we’ll make a decision as to whether or not radiation will be helpful. This type of cancer does not respond to chemotherapy. He is also getting several smaller lumps removed at the same time so he won’t have to undergo anesthesia more than necessary – he has issues with waking up from surgeries, so we’re going to use propofol which is human-quality.

So, I’m going to go break something, then have a breakdown, then drink. THEN I’ll be able to think about this a bit more clearly than I am right now.

Dr. Blabs, feel free to correct any misinformation I've posted. You know I'm a bit angry right now. :wink: And THANK YOU for everything. :hug3:
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Postby alaskapit » February 5th, 2009, 6:18 pm

i'm so sorry.
good thoughts for indy from zyda and myself :goodthoughts:
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Postby Pit♥bull » February 5th, 2009, 6:23 pm

Oh Jenifer I'm soooo sorry that you have joined the 'club', I was hoping the membership was closed.
If we can do anything please just ask.


EXTRA :goodthoughts: coming for you both.
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Postby madremissy » February 5th, 2009, 6:24 pm

Oh Jenifer I am sorry. I am sending good thoughts Indy's way. :hug3:
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 5th, 2009, 6:32 pm

Oh no!!! I'm so sorry. :( Good luck with surgery Indie!
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Postby call2arms » February 5th, 2009, 6:44 pm

Awe. I'm sorry to hear this...I'm sure the surgery will be fine, especially with Propofol!
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 5th, 2009, 6:44 pm

DAMN! :x I'm so sorry Jen.

Indiana Jones, you get better fast!
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Postby maberi » February 5th, 2009, 6:59 pm

I'm so sorry Jen but it looks like you caught it quickly and I'm glad you have Dr. Blabs to look after your boy.

Please keep us updated and stay positive
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Postby hugapitbull » February 5th, 2009, 7:02 pm

Oh, Jen. I so feel your pain. I would not wish a cancer diagnosis for a fur child on my worst enemy. It is so very difficult for the human(s) to deal with. Apparently, the fur child deals with it much better judging from Trouble.

There are so many emotional stages you will face, but they are all necessary to get to the point where you can think clearly and make decisions based on the quality of life, and make the rest of Indy's life the best possible, however long that may be. No one knows how long Indy has, don't accept cancer as a death sentence.

Sorry, I didn't mean to preach. It is just such a raw subject with me right now. Don't hesitate to let us know if we can help out in any way. Talking and writing do help!

Many hugs and good thoughts to you, your family, and 'specially Indy.
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Postby iluvk9 » February 5th, 2009, 8:14 pm

Ugghhhh.

I feel sick. :sad2:

I am sorry for the diagnosis, Jen. :hug3:
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Postby ellie@ny » February 5th, 2009, 8:24 pm

I'm sorry to hear that Jen,Good thoughts sent into your way!
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Postby CinderDee » February 5th, 2009, 8:25 pm

I'm so sorry, Jen. :(

As Shanna said, please don't think of it as a death sentence - just look at Kato.
Sending you & Indy lots of love & hugs. :groupHug:
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Postby Jenn » February 5th, 2009, 8:25 pm

:cry: Oh no, Indy
Jenifer I'm so so sorry hon. :(
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Postby nicole » February 5th, 2009, 8:47 pm

Oh Jen, I'm so deeply sorry. My heart dropped to see Indy's name in this section of the forum...

Thankfully he is in good hands with Dr. Blabs. Sending lots of prayers your way...please keep us posted on how everything goes.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 5th, 2009, 9:10 pm

I'm so sorry, I don't even have words right now...:hug3:
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Postby blabsforbullies » February 5th, 2009, 9:26 pm

Jen,

As I sit hear at home, with tears running down my face :sad2: , you know that I love Indy like he is one of my own. I remember when he came into the hospital from the rescue group, just one big ball of puppy mange. :cry: Man, he looked so pathetic. :rolleyes2: I don't think anyone really expected him to make it. But you know what? Because of the love, care, and never ending support from you and Steven, he did. And I will be god damned if this is going to be any f'ing different. :mad6: :mad6: :mad6:

I can't even tell you how nauseous I was when I saw the results. I just sorta collapsed in my chair, and Sherry (my awesome tech, for those of you who don't know) came running over and we both just looked at each other, with tears in our eyes. :cry1: There are times when I really hate being the doctor, because I want to break things, break down, and drink too. :biggun: But, after that passes, I remember that I have the most dedicated and caring family with one of the best dogs I will ever know and we all need each other. I need you to help Indy, just like I know you will. :wink: We are a team. :hug3: And WE ARE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER. PERIOD!!! :highfive:

So yes, I am pissed. :mad2: I am so angry right now that I could be a bit dangerous. :cuss: But, I am, like you, going to use that anger and fight this friggin' crap with everything I have. :box: Just like you. Just like all the people & animals who have fought cancer before us. Just like many of you on this forum. :groupHug:

I cleared some of my afternoon appointments for some extra time that day. :heartbeat: Indy is going to wake up with Dr. Blabs right there, kissing on his adorable face and smelling all his bully gas :fart: ... and I will be loving every minute of it! :rock:
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby Marinepits » February 5th, 2009, 9:35 pm

Thank you, everyone! :)

I know in my head that Indy will be Just Fine after the surgery, but that hasn't quite sunk in to my heart yet.

I got a wonderful note from one of my neighbors today. In part it said:

.....I must add that B and I have come a long and happy way from saying, a bunch of years ago, "Oh, my gosh; our new neighbors have PIT BULLS!" to "They're really great dogs! So strong and beautiful and friendly and eager to make new friends. And they are SO well cared for, and well-trained; you ought to see them..."

I'm not sure I know how to wish a blockhead "strength"...! But I wish it for you fellow humans... I know you have it, too.


So, with that, and the well-wishes and support from here, I KNOW that Indy is going to be Just Fine.
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Postby Marinepits » February 5th, 2009, 9:43 pm

blabsforbullies wrote:Jen,

As I sit hear at home, with tears running down my face :sad2: , you know that I love Indy like he is one of my own. I remember when he came into the hospital from the rescue group, just one big ball of puppy mange. :cry: Man, he looked so pathetic. :rolleyes2: I don't think anyone really expected him to make it. But you know what? Because of the love, care, and never ending support from you and Steven, he did. And I will be god damned if this is going to be any f'ing different. :mad6: :mad6: :mad6:

I can't even tell you how nauseous I was when I saw the results. I just sorta collapsed in my chair, and Sherry (my awesome tech, for those of you who don't know) came running over and we both just looked at each other, with tears in our eyes. :cry1: There are times when I really hate being the doctor, because I want to break things, break down, and drink too. :biggun: But, after that passes, I remember that I have the most dedicated and caring family with one of the best dogs I will ever know and we all need each other. I need you to help Indy, just like I know you will. :wink: We are a team. :hug3: And WE ARE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER. PERIOD!!! :highfive:

So yes, I am pissed. :mad2: I am so angry right now that I could be a bit dangerous. :cuss: But, I am, like you, going to use that anger and fight this friggin' crap with everything I have. :box: Just like you. Just like all the people & animals who have fought cancer before us. Just like many of you on this forum. :groupHug:

I cleared some of my afternoon appointments for some extra time that day. :heartbeat: Indy is going to wake up with Dr. Blabs right there, kissing on his adorable face and smelling all his bully gas :fart: ... and I will be loving every minute of it! :rock:


Dammit, woman, stop making me cry and laugh at the same time! Along with the beer, it's giving me hiccups! LMAO

I promise that I won't give Indy any dairy products before his next visit with you. And please apologize to Sherry again for me -- she got the smelly end of him that whole time! :D

(And tell her she better count her puppies next time I visit because that little cream fresh-and-nasty-attitude boy is coming home with ME! :wink: )

We ARE going to kick some ass, no doubt about it. You're the Best Vet Extraordinaire that anyone could ever ask for and a pretty damn good friend. :hug3:

Best of luck to you and Team Blab this weekend -- jump some looooooooooong ones for us!
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Postby blabsforbullies » February 5th, 2009, 9:58 pm

Marinepits wrote:
Dammit, woman, stop making me cry and laugh at the same time! Along with the beer, it's giving me hiccups! LMAO

I promise that I won't give Indy any dairy products before his next visit with you. And please apologize to Sherry again for me -- she got the smelly end of him that whole time! :D

(And tell her she better count her puppies next time I visit because that little cream fresh-and-nasty-attitude boy is coming home with ME! :wink: )

We ARE going to kick some ass, no doubt about it. You're the Best Vet Extraordinaire that anyone could ever ask for and a pretty damn good friend. :hug3:

Best of luck to you and Team Blab this weekend -- jump some looooooooooong ones for us!


btw Sherry likes stinky butts.... why do you think she has Frenchies?!?!? :neener:

And right back at ya, girl friend (snap, snap, head moving side to side)! We will do it! :bananaDance:

And Colby told me that he is going to jump in honor of the Inda-meister this weekend. :dance: He said that if he jumps bigger than 23', his Mommy has to make a donation in Indy's name to Chase Away Canine Cancer. I said, "Gee Colby, aren't you a thoughtful and giving little doggie soul?" LMAO
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby Marinepits » February 5th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Team Blab is going to get some new Wubbas from the Pit Crew. :wink:
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