The word “cancer” has become part of our vocabulary around here. My husband and kids are aware of the situation now and everyone’s dealing okay–Bailey best of all. She went back to the vet yesterday to get her stitches out and she’s romping around like nothing ever happened. Of course we know there are still trace amounts of cancer under the incision. The vet just couldn’t get cleanly around the mass as it was up against bone. She’s certain it will come back, though the good news is that “soft tissue sarcomas” are only locally invasive at this point. In the meantime, we’re being proactive.
I switched Bailey off dog food (which many websites blame for the high incidence of cancer in dogs) and put her on a recommended diet: raw meat, veggies, yogurt, and fish oil. The absence of carbs supposedly starves the cancer cells while the omega-3’s in the fish oil help fight it. We also put Bailey on an antibiotic that inhibits the ability of cancer cells to form a network of blood vessels. The vet still isn’t holding out a lot of hope that it won’t return, but it certainly can’t hurt. And it makes me feel like I’m doing something positive.
I’ve also made an appointment with a specialist. There is a full veterinary oncology facility in the city about twenty-five minutes from my house. I’ll get an idea of the types of treatments available and their cost. I want to be fully informed before I make any decisions. I just know that I don’t want to lose my dear friend at only five years old. If my husband can justify the expense of a stupid hot tub, I can certainly justify fighting for Bailey.
In case it does come to amputation, I’ve put Bailey on a weigh-down program. She’s a very big dog, weighing in a few ticks over ninety pounds. The vet said her optimal weight is closer to eighty. Since I’m back up to full steam after my surgery, Bailey and I started up our 3 mile a day walking regimen again. I enjoy doing that with her so much. In the past week and a half, we’ve covered about thirty-five miles. Coupled with her new diet and a cut in calories, Bailey was down to an even ninety pounds yesterday. We’re hoping for another four or five pounds by the end of the year.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Bailey and I visit the specialist on Friday.