I went to the County Line Animal Hospital in La Habra today for a refill on my heartworm medicine since we’ll be on the road and off the beaten path for at least the next six months. While we were there, the nice vet convinced my people to get some x-rays of my chest.
Jim and René have always said they would rather not know if my osteosarcoma had returned or metastasized in my lungs. They believed I would let them know if the cancer came back if and when the time came. But the doctor recommended x-rays because he believes “it is better to know than to not know” … so, they agreed and I went through with it for them.
Tomorrow we’ll get the results from tests on blood and urine samples they took from me. But the films clearly indicate that I do indeed have a lump in my lung. More of a mass really, about the size of a softball from the looks of things. But as I have proven all along, I’m a special case.
Usually, osteosarcoma metastasis presents itself as multiple legions throughout the lungs. The doctor expected to see a “snowstorm” on the x-rays. And I could tell my people did too, deep down inside. Instead, I appear to have a single large growth, which may or may not be operable.
In fact, it may or may not have anything to do with my cancer at all. That’s probably not the case, but the doctor did mention the rare possibility that it could be totally unrelated. Perhaps he was just trying to keep our hopes up.
But my hopes are aways up! Since my operation – like Jim – I have tried to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Jim has always said he knew I would get sick again someday and that he would rather not know ahead of time. But he doesn’t regret getting the x-rays done.
Seeing them just stirs up a whole bunch of emotions and considerations ..
- Are they doing everything they can for me? (As if … I wouldn’t still be here if they haven’t done everything they have already!)
- Should they go for a consultation with the oncologist to see what options there may be for me at this point? (Drugs, chemotherapy, another surgery, might be of help.)
- Should they pay for the costly CT scan which that doctor would surely need to make any sort of accurate recommendations? (There may be other small lumps the x-ray didn’t show.)
- Should they have the doctor poke through my lung with a needle to test the lump? (It’s most likely malignant.)
- In over 90% of all clinical cases, osteosarcoma is metastasized by the time of diagnosis. (That was fourteen months ago!)
- It it worth it to put me through more trauma to get a little extra time? (They should practice what they preach about quality of life versus quantity.)
- Should they do nothing and continue to live every day to the fullest with me as they have? (This is what they would have done if they hadn’t seen the x-rays, and the lump would still be there.)
Silly people … I think that last option is the obvious one. But they’ve asked me to see what you might do.
All those nasty human emotions from my early days of diagnosis and the amputation are coming back to bother them. Back then they were told I had a prognosis of three to four months. Look and me now.
More than fourteen months later, I’m showing no physical symptoms that this thing inside me even exists. If they hadn’t seen the x-ray, it would still be there. And it doesn’t change how I’m going to feel when I wake up to play tomorrow morning.
My people need to ask themselves what they tell others who ask to what lengths they should go for their furry friend … If they do consider new treatments, drugs or procedures, are they doing it for me or for themselves?
Any input you may have is greatly appreciated. But whatever you do, please don’t feel sad or sorry for us. They don’t need that kind of talk right now. And I’m simply looking forward to continue living everyday to its fullest!