There are some cancers people don’t get. When it hits home in the form of a ‘mass cell tumor’ on the most loving, special girl who walks on four legs, it really doesn’t matter. It’s still cancer and it’s still serious and for the humans who love this dog, it is nervous time.
High anxiety knocked hard in my family over the weekend and reality set-in yesterday with the diagnosis that “Bean” is in for a battle. She has a cancerous tumor, called a ‘mass cell tumor’ on her right rear leg. She’s scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks, once they get her thyroid calmed down and she feels more like herself.
There really isn’t any medicine for the people who know her and love her. We can’t get the fact that she has cancer out of our heads or our hearts. The doctor I consulted with about her diagnosis deals in humans and cancer at Johns Hopkins. I know that sounds ridiculous, that I would ask for an opinion from a leading oncologist at Hopkins, but if I’m lucky enough to work with these wizards, why not reach out? And even though he doesn’t see this kind of cancer in his patients, he still knew enough about it to share some details with me. And if there’s anything I learned in the 8 years of dealing with Leroy’s cancer journey, knowledge is power in cancer world; human or dog.
It’s still too early to tell exactly how serious this could be. This type of cancer is very treatable if it’s contained to Bean’s leg. Pathology will tell the story once they get the growth cut away. Some vets, I’m told, suggest radiation, and there are two different chemo drugs prescribed, post-op. There’s even an immunotherapy line of drugs available too.
All of this sounds way too familiar. In fact, when I heard the words, “Bean’s got cancer,” that old, haunting feeling washed over me like a wave, all over again.
Seven years ago today, Bean was rescued from the confines of the Oakland, California pound by two loving members of my family. I’m not sure who fell in love first; Beanie or Matthew and Marisa. I do know that the three of them have become a wonderful family. Now, this little family is in crisis.
Human cancer, dog cancer, it really doesn’t matter; it’s time to rally and find out how best to try and save our girl, Bean.