Wednesday, August 13, 2014
We finally received the biopsy results late yesterday evening. Unfortunately, the news is not good. Henry has renal cancer.
We are absolutely devastated. But beyond our incredible sadness, we do not have a good plan for how we are going to move forward just yet. Our vet is going to present Henry's case to an oncologist. From there we will have a better idea on how to proceed.
In the little that we know, we were told this type of cancer rarely occurs in dogs (especially pugs). Henry is also showing no signs of sickness (which apparently is sometimes the case with renal cancer).
As I write this, Henry is laying on the bed, licking his feet, oblivious to the horrible news we just received that affects him so personally. He is happy and content in this moment. The worries and fears for what the future is going to bring keep creeping into my brain, robbing me of this happy time. Right now that is my challenge. Enjoy these moments with Henry and not let worry take them from me.
We are hoping to have more information about how to proceed with treatment by Thursday. I don't know what treatment options are available to us or what that process is going to look like, but I can tell you that we will do whatever needs to be done for Henry as long as it supports him living a quality life.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Right before Henry had his eye removed, he was experiencing some tummy troubles. He was throwing up a little bit and his poopies were not exactly normal as they had been throughout his life. At the time we chalked it up to the stress of his eye situation. After that, it was the stress of losing Benjamin, then Luna and so on. And since he didn't seem in otherwise poor health and sadly we were having "bigger fish to fry" with the medical needs of his siblings, these issues seemed like they would probably work out on their own.
Well, now almost 5 months later and firm poops still eluding him, we knew this issue needed some attention. We brought Henry for a "day trip" to the vet. This means he was dropped off for a battery of tests. Our vet had recommended a sonogram first. This would be compared to the sonogram we had right before Henry had his eye out to see if there had been any changes.
Changes indeed. :( First, the vet noticed, in his words, "a gigantic cyst on his kidney the size of a lime" and also a bulge in his small intestine (like if a snake ate an egg). Holy moly. Talk about not really prepared for this! So, the plan was to see what the doc could pull from the cyst with a needle and to also do a needle biopsy on his "gut" (again the vet's word---even though we do not prefer that expression). That is what we had him do. Henry was sedated for that part, of course. We discussed what we "wanted" to come from the cyst. First choice would be clear fluid. Next best would be syrupy stuff. Worst case would be bloody matter. We got almost our first choice. It was yellow but clear-ish (like pee). Now that is off to the lab for testing to see what is going on.
The results from the needle biopsies did not provide clear results that could help us make a diagnosis. So, on Thursday, we had a "punch biopsy of the gut" or a biopsy where they cut him open and removed a portion of his small intestine. A small piece of the cyst was also removed from his kidney and sent off for testing.
We are hoping for the better case scenario, of course, which would be IBD or Irritable Bowel Disorder. This is a chronic condition but is manageable. We do not, of course, want it to lead to a lymphoma type result. That would be worse case scenario. Henry does not act like a dog who has cancer. He has not lost weight (even during a low appetite grieving time) and he has only really perked up in attitude since his post grieving time. So, we are hopeful. And really all our eggs are clearly laid in the Henry basket these days, so while we may often be optimistic and trying to stay positive, this time it does truly feel more desperate in this case as the terror surrounding the possibility of losing him is beyond belief at this point.
So, Henry had a "day a the spa" but he'd argue that. He did a great job and even got a Certificate of Bravery for his good behavior while being poked and prodded. He was awake for the pre-sonogram shave and the actual sonogram itself. He was lightly sedated for the needle biopsy and fluid pull, though. That night he wasn't even as exhausted as the OBP people though! Now THAT'S a strong dog right there! Not a cancer dog!
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sunday brought another Super Moon and we made a point to get out with Henry and enjoy a walk illuminated by the rays of the moon. Unfortunately, there were lots of clouds so our view of the moon was a bit obstructed. We did manage to get a few good glimpses of the moon as it passed between the the clouds.
Today marks the one month anniversary of Luna's passing. Her presence in the house is sorely missed. We definitely miss her sass!
Friday, August 8, 2014
This picture was taken in August 2009
The whole gang! I can only imagine what they are so patiently waiting for. It must have been something good!
Thursday, August 7, 2014
To help Henry get ready to go to work with me, we have been practicing going up and down stairs. Whenever we come across a set of stairs we make Henry climb them. He's always hesitant at first, but then he eventually comes around and works his way up them.
And once he is up them, there is always the task of getting back down them. Which to me is the scarier part, but not for Henry. He goes down the steps much faster than he goes up the steps for some reason.
And whenever we get to a set of stairs, I like to remind Henry that he lived in a 3 story house for the first 2 years of his life. Henry and Benjamin used to race up and down the stairs like wild men. They would chase, push and pummel and do all kinds of unsafe things on the stairs. But, after almost 10 years of Florida living and rarely encountering stairs, Henry seems to have forgotten all about his stair adventures as a young pug.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Since Benjamin and Luna have bequeathed their dog beds to Henry, Henry has been having a little bit of fun with his riches. On this sleepy morning, Henry thought he would see what its like between the beds rather just laying on top of the pile. Not too bad, I guess.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Looking forward to your captions in the comments.