Martha took me to a vet yesterday who said I was “a healthy little guy who had a few lumps removed.” Then he said I should eat more meals during the day. Say no more! I liked this guy, even though he was tall and wore big shoes. When he scratched my left ear in the perfect spot, I smooched him. I also smooched all his assistants.
He talked to Martha for a long time, but I didn’t understand much of it. I just wanted to know when those extra meals would start!
He’s not fibbing. The vet oncologist, Dr. Ayl, did say those things. He also explained that the surgeon removed not only the tumor in Henry’s stomach, but also a suspicious looking area, which was where the cancer showed up. Unfortunately, the biopsy indicated that some cancer cells remained along the edges. However, Dr. Ayl said that Henry is basically “in remission.” That sounded hopeful. He couldn’t tell me how long it would last, but it was better news than I expected.
He made sure I understood that the cancer was still in Henry, and that it couldn’t be cured, but there were things we could do. Of course he talked about chemo therapy, which would require numerous visits and injections or infusions, but I didn’t like the sound of that.
Next he explained that “cancer in dogs depends on angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels) to survive and proliferate. Tumors create new blood vessels that supply them with oxygen and nutrients, allowing them to grow in size and spread throughout the body. Antiangiogenic therapy cuts off these new blood vessels, effectively starving tumors and preventing their growth, so the cancer may be controlled with effective doses of these drugs.”
These drugs are chemo too, but they come in pill form, so Henry would not be traumatized by treatment. There are potential side effects, like low white blood cell counts, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, fatigue, and stomach ulceration, but he would get blood tests and I would keep a close eye on him. If he feels really lousy, then we’ll stop. My main concern is Henry’s comfort, not the length of his life.
That’s all for now. It’s time to give the healthy little guy another meal!