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Full or limited radiation - what to do?
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7 June 2018 - 9:14 pm
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my sweet 12 yo JRT/beagle mix, Buster, had a right forelimb amputation last week and is recovering great, though this has been rough. This website has been a godsend to figure out how to get through it. But I found out today that the biopsy confirms he had stage 3 nerve sheath cancer, very aggressive but hasn’t spread to lungs or spinal cord. Margins from surgery are minuscule, less than 1mm. So it could come back and if I do nothing may well come back in 6 months. Options include full 15-18 sessions of radiation + chemo or palliative radiation at 4 sessions + chemo. What makes this so hard is his age plus we have been dealing with his limp, plus a prior tendon release surgery that had nearly 2 months of downtime because everyone thought the issue was a torn tendon not cancer. The limp and prior surgery dominated the last 9 months – so this poor dog has been through a LOT, even before last week’s amputation. The palliative radiation could give him 2.5 years, though maybe more and maybe less.  At age 12 maybe that isn’t so bad. How should I be thinking about this? I’m lucky and I can afford these different options so that’s not really the issue. Any advice welcome. The notion of 15-18 more vet visits with anesthesia sounds terrible to me given so much time at the vet already.

Virginia
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7 June 2018 - 10:44 pm
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My goodness, Buster sure has been through a lot!!  

You certainly  have a lot to process as far as what path to take.  Of course, there are no guarantees  either way…good or bad….with the options you are comsidering.

I ABSOLUTELY  understand  uour commitment  to giving  Buster a pain free quality  life where he can continue  to live life to the fullest for however long he is in his earth clothes.

Dogs don’t  count days on a calender.  They live in the present and flow effortlessly  from one blissful  moment to the next.

I’ve  read your post over and over several times.  Obviously  uou are tuned into Buster amd you know jim better than anyone!  What would Buster say?   It seems to me your answers is already answered  in yiur post and in your heart.

Sending  you lots of extra hugs, clarity  and peace

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Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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8 June 2018 - 8:11 pm
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I agree that the best way to think about this is to put yourself in Buster’s shoes. What would he want? Does he mind vet visits? Or do you think he wants that part of his life to be behind him now?

Another idea: are there any clinics nearby that can do stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT i.e., “cyberknife”)? SRT cuts the usual radiation treatment times by more than half, which means less visits and less anesthesia.

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9 June 2018 - 7:22 am
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jerry said
I agree that the best way to think about this is to put yourself in Buster’s shoes. What would he want? Does he mind vet visits? Or do you think he wants that part of his life to be behind him now?

Another idea: are there any clinics nearby that can do stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT i.e., “cyberknife”)? SRT cuts the usual radiation treatment times by more than half, which means less visits and less anesthesia.  

This is a good thought. I think the answer is that I don’t have anything like this near me but I’ll have first consult with radiation vet in a couple of weeks and will ask about this. Thanks for the idea.

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