How Do They Test It?
Well, theres two ways they can do this:
- They can stick a needle inside the cyst, lump, or mass and get a fluid sample. The fluid will contain cells that is produced by the unknown mass which are sent to lab and are tested. This test isn't completely accurate at times because some tumours do not shed cells but it is a start.
- Another way, is by doing what we did. Removing the mass surgically and sending it to lab for diagnosis. While this is completely accurate, the disadvantages is that the vet did not know what he was dealing with going into surgery. Thus, he did not remove enough margins. Hence why we had to do a second surgery.
Life with a dog thats been diagnosed with MCT in its simplest form is stressful and expensive - Karine
Without pet insurance we honestly would have not been able to afford any of this. ANY of it, ZERO. Often times, fur parents have to make the choice of putting their babies to sleep because they can't afford treatment and we're SO lucky to have bought pet insurance because all of this started two weeks after getting Dahliah. Yes, you read that right, TWO WEEKS. The cyst was first noted two weeks after we brought her home. To date, we've actually spent over 5,000$ for her treatment. Its sad, heartbreaking, and depressing. So much crying took place, sleepless nights, and thoughts you shouldn't be thinking of. Its really like living with a ticking time bomb. You just don't know if that bomb is going to go off, or when its going to go off. Is it a fake bomb? Is it real? Are we in the clear? and all of the answers to those is I DON'T KNOW. The worst thing in all of this is the unknown. We just don't know anything, and you really start to question yourself. Am i doing the right thing? Are we doing this all for nothing? Is this whats best for her? all the endless doubtful questions.
Last week, we started chemotherapy. She's having a mixture of injectable chemo and oral chemo. The actual medication that she's on are: Vinblastine (injectable), Cyclophosphamide (oral), Prednisone (oral), Benadryl, and acid control Famotidine. She was on Histamine blockers as well prior to chemotherapy, she might have to remain on a daily dose of the two over the counter drugs (Benadryl and Famotidine) for the rest of her life.
Her chemotherapy plan is currently 6 sessions of the injectable and oral chemo drugs for 12 weeks spread out on 18. She gets an injectable thats good for a week, followed by two doses of oral chemo thats good for a week, then she'll get a two week break and the cycle repeats for six times. This sounds aggressive, because it is. We've done a molecular testing on the original biopsy to study the behaviour of the tumour and it has been determined through the test that the tumour is aggressive and has a high reoccurrence rate. She was given a chance of 31% of reoccurrence and a chance of 50% survival past the age of one if it does reoccur. Thus the need for chemotherapy, which increases her chances of survival to 85% for the age of one and 76% for the age of 2. After that, we need to monitor her for a year for any new lumps or bumps and probably for the rest of her life.
The reason i didn't get a chance to finish the orders this morning was because, i noticed 3 tiny bumps on Dahliah near her incision and i totally freaked out. I called the vets, rescheduled the appointment for today instead of tomorrow, got dressed, and head out immediately. The oncologist said not to worry too much about them because he think they're sutures underneath the skin form surgery, because these sutures are knots its hard for the body to digest them and sometimes the body will push them up to the surface and hence why we can feel them. They have a very distinct feel to them compared to her first mass so, i am hopeful that they are just sutures and that they will subside. To be safe however, we are going to be monitoring them, any progression for the worse and we will take action.
Prior to surgery Dahliah also had an ultrasound for her abdomen, liver and spleen plus two X-rays of her chest to insure that there is no spreading. We do blood work every time she's due for a chemo session to ensure her WBC (white blood cells) count is good. She's a growing puppy and the chemo will very likely have an affect on her growth, which is very upsetting.
Life After The Diagnosis.