|Yes, he's laying on the picnic table while I read...I love this dog!|
Apparently tumor masses come in three grades- three being the worst. The four masses came back at a grade 1, which is wonderful, except that the lymph node they removed came back at grade 2. 80% of masses that are biopsied come back at grade 2. The pathologist that reviewed his masses said that he thought the node had metastasized, which is not good. Dr. Brad was even confused since it was a bit odd that the masses would be one grade, but the node a higher grade. Dr. Brad was going to contact the pathologist in Madison and get back to us. He had only spoken to the oncologist.
Regardless, they're not grade 3, which is basically a death sentence. The good news is that they were aggressive in removing the lymph node when they noticed it had abnormal cells growing. Deep down I have a feeling that those cells probably traveled to other areas, but for now Willie's doing pretty well. Based on his blood work before surgery his organs are all functioning well and they saw nothing abnormal in his blood.
So, does Willie have cancer...technically yes, in the lymph node they removed. Has it spread elsewhere? Who knows? Because of his age and the grade level, chemotherapy isn't something we're going to do. A part of me is having a major guilt trip about that, but I have to be realistic. It would be a 6 treatments, three weeks apart and would cost us about $2000. We've already spent $1400 on the dogs this month so that's not really in our family budget. Even our vet, who we're very close to since Jim went to high school with them, said he probably wouldn't go that route.
Willie seems to be enjoying life like he always has. He still loves walks, rides in the truck, snuggling in the bed and treats. Thunderstorms scare the shit out of him and Lexa is his best friend. He's as sweet as can be to Cole and Jim and I adore him. We're just taking it one day at a time and enjoying every minute we have with the big guy!
For now, we wait for another phone call after the conversation with the pathologist. It's not really going to change anything, it's just more information. Please keep Willie in your thoughts and prayers. He can use any positive vibes you're willing to send!