Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tumors and Things...

AP here:
It has been one month since Tonka's surgery and I have been fighting my own private war with the results of what they found. I want to thank Liam and Ollie's moms for stepping in and posting such awesome and heartfelt posts in my absence. Tonka and I truly have amazing friends!

On May 1st 2013 Tonka underwent exploratory surgery to remove what we thought was one small tumor off of his small intestine and to make sure there were no others. There were actually 3 one up top at the section known as the duodenum, one in the middle section called the jejunum and one at the end which is known as the ileum. The surgery went well and he recovered very nicely. In true Tonka style he already acts like it never happened and is back to his normal routines.

The tumors were sent to Colorado State University to pathology to determine what type they were. It took a week to get the report back and unfortunately the news was not good. All 3 were the same kind and all three were cancerous. I made an appointment with Dr. Peterson at AVIM and Oncology for the soonest available which was one more week out. In the meantime I took the pathology report and started doing research.

I did not like what I found.

During this week of waiting I kept things sort of quiet and tried to keep positive but in my heart I knew this was not going to be good.

On Thursday May 16th Tonka and I entered CVRC like we normally would and all his friends from the different specialties stopped to say hello to him in the lobby and feed him treats. He got a check-up from Dr. Roa who said he was looking great and I ran into Dr. Rosenthal (Tonka's heart Doctor) and we had a quick chat about the surgery and the findings. As usual everyone was great and his Aunt Gina was right there with us for moral support.

Love the Peeps

We met with Dr. Peterson and she started by explaining how the visit was going to progress and then set about asking questions on his medical history. She then examined him and once that was done she sat down and went over the pathology report with me. It was exactly what I feared. I wont go into all the little details as the only things that really matter is that they were "undifferentiated sarcomas" and "stage 3".  The bottom line is that with chemo we might get a year. We discussed the options available taking into account my boy's sensitivity to medications and how exactly we would work his visits in with his therapy days. The biggest point we covered was quality of life for Tonka and having him happy and able to live out his days normally (well Tonka normal). I am not real sure how much I actually retained from the appointment because even though I tried to keep it together inside I was breaking. I am sure that is why they give their patients a very comprehensive packet to take home that recaps everything they went over.

We left the room and immediately went out the door, part of me felt bad not saying goodbye to all his friends but I also needed to get outside and breathe. I have a hard rule about not being upset around Tonka and I came very close to breaking that rule once in the truck. The ride home was very long and surreal for me but for Tonka it was just another ride home in the truck from a morning of hanging out with people and getting some love and attention. That is the beautiful thing about the Tonka Man - everyday is a good day no matter what is going on as long as he has some love and some cookies. Nothing to get worried or upset about - its all good in his world, I really wish I could be more like him.

The chemo option I am choosing is a drug called Palladia and is given in pill form. It can be stopped pretty much immediately and side effects are mostly gastrointestinal. If this does not agree with him we will stop and continue on for how ever long we have.The goal here is the same one it has always been and that is for Tonka to have a happy and normal life like any other dog.

My heart is completely torn. I am so, so sad and so damn angry that I cannot fix him. He is my heart and I have done everything I possibly could to protect him and keep him healthy and happy but I am helpless with this. It is so unfair and so devastating that it has been impossible for me to talk about this except with a few people.

T and I started this blog to educate people on life with a blind dog and we hope that it has helped people see that dogs with disabilities can have a happy normal life. I am going to try to keep up with the blog and share our experience with the chemo in hopes that we can help others that are going through this. I can't guarantee that I will always find the time or the words to write as often as I should.

I do have 2 requests at this time.
#1 Do not be sad around Tonka - he will get upset if you are upset
#2 (and please don't take this the wrong way)
Do not talk to me about it unless I specifically bring it up - I am trying very hard to live by request #1 and believe me if you think its hard for you to not be upset it is a million times harder for me.


liparifam said...

Thanks for updating us on Tonka. As always, wishing you both the best.

The Zoo Crew said...

I love your don't get upset around Tonka rule. It explains why he is such a Happy boy!

Dana R. said...

Hi! My names is Dana Real, my fiance and I also own a blind dog...he is a doberman. He has his own Facebook page if you would like to check it out. Thanks for reading this!

Tina & Liam said...

Just stopped by to say we're thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort.

KB Bear said...

I send you my heartfelt support. My dog took Palladia, and it didn't have any bad effects for her. I hope that the same is true for Tonka.

I know that you don't want to talk about it much - but I'll dare to say one more thing - the time between when my heart dog, K, was diagnosed and the end of her life was an incredible time, so filled with love and seizing each and every day. She led the way and I was her willing pupil. I hope that Tonka can lead you like K led me... Much love.

Of course, I wish that it hadn't had to happen, especially at a young age. But, I will forever treasure my memories of each of those precious days.

Now, I won't talk about it again.