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Toby's Journey

Today’s the Day
August 23, 2017, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Welcome to Toby’s Tripawd website!

I dropped him off at MedVet today for surgery.  My little four legged partner in crime is going to be a new tripawd.

As anyone on here knows it hasn’t been an easy decision.  So here’s the timeline of how this all developed:

On June 30th I was watching A Dog’s Purpose and laying on the floor with Toby when I noticed a lump.  I called his regular vet first thing in the morning and asked if they had time to check him out.  I dropped him off in the morning and told them I needed him back by 2pm because I was going out of town.  The vet called and said it could be just a lump from laying on hard surfaces or it could be something more.  They would need to do some test.  He got x-rays and a they took a sample from a needle test.  The x-rays showed that the lump wasn’t attached to the bone (yay!) but the needle test was inconclusive.  Her suggestion was to do surgery and if they opened him up and it didn’t look like just a fatty lump they would just take a small sample and send it in for biopsy.  If it did they would just take it out.

After lots of thought I went to another vet (Allisonville Animal Hospital) and met with Dr. Winkhart.  She went over the reports from the first vet and talked with me for about an hour.  (I’ll spare you all the details).  We decided to do surgery and remove the whole mass and send the whole thing in for biopsy.  Surgery was on July 21st and went well.  We knew ahead of time that she wouldn’t be able to get margins so if it was cancer it would still be there.  When I picked him up she said that it didn’t look like fat and that it looked like a brain.  That was pretty hard to hear.  The biospy results would be back in a week and half to two weeks.

In just over a week the results came back and in my gut I knew what I was going to hear but I wasn’t ready for it.  It was  “Grade 2 soft tissue sarcoma (perivascular wall tumor)”.  Jibberish to someone who works in the financial field.  They key word I heard on the phone was CANCER.   The other big thing was “the 3-year survival rate was 80% for grade 1, 50% for grade 2, and 20% for dogs with grade 3 tumors.”.  I of course spent a lot of time on google the next day or so which I would not suggest.

They next step was to meet with the oncologist.  I made an appointment at MedVet for August 8th.  We’re fortunate to have many great friends and my friend Sarah offered to come with me.  I didn’t want to ask anyone to take off work to come with me so her offer was a big relief.  She asked lots of questions because the meeting was just a blur to me.  She also understood more of what he was saying and explained a few things to me when he was out of the room.

There were 3 options (In my non technical words – I’ll post the official report later):

  1. Do nothing – It would grow and he wouldn’t be able to use his leg anyways.  They if we tried treatment later it would only control it for a little while.
  2. Do a second surgery to try and remove more.  Then follow it up with either chemo or radiation or both.  The tumor would most likely come back and we would be battling this for the rest of his life.
  3. Amputate his leg which would potentially be “curative”

Here’s the kicker… the 2 surgeries would cost around the same amount.  If we did chemo that would mean taking him to the cancer center once a month, get blood tests and refill cancer drugs.  That would be $500/month!  If we did radiation it would be $5K-$6K.

Now i’m a financially secure person but that is A LOT of money to spend on a dog who is already 9 years old.  Either way if money were no object I still think I would choose the amputation.  The more I thought about it the more I leaned towards that option.

So the next step was to meet with the surgeon.  Dr. Martin was great and made me feel a lot better about my choice.  He again went over the options and just talked to me and answered the random questions that I thought of.  We scheduled surgery for today.

So here we are… I dropped him off this morning.

Toby has to know everything that is going on. We’re waiting to be checked in.

Practicing his tripawd pose.

Last picture before heading to the vet.

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2 Comments so far
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  1.    misterrustybucket 08.24.17 @ 5:12 pm      

    Welcome Toby and Family!
    We are sorry that you have found yourself in this situation, you’re right “cancer” is never an easy word to hear. It sounds like you are a great advocate for Toby and have done due diligence to find the best treatment plan for your guy. He’s gorgeous by the way. I love his eyes and his coat looks silky to pet.
    You’re right googling can be scary but I do it too, I want to be informed even if it’s scary but it can be too much. I hope that surgery is a success and I can’t wait to hear more about your very special boy.
    ❤️Amy & Rusty

    •    gnrunxc 08.25.17 @ 12:36 am      

      Thank you for your kind words and support. This site is great and I love reading everyone’s blogs. Toby is home and resting now. We look forward to becoming part of what seems like a great community of wonder dogs (and cats) and their owners.

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