Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Vera's Bone Cancer Journey #2: Day 15, After Chemotherapy

My timeline is now that the first symptom of a problem happened 37 days ago when Vera's toe dislocated for the firs time. The diagnosis of osteosarcoma was 15 days ago.

Vera was been examined by a veterinary oncologist seven days ago, by x-ray and ultrasound, and began her chemotherapy.  I was provided with medication to prevent nausea, and--if needed--diarrhea.

No sign of other tumors or abnormalities was found, but because the osteosarcoma in the toe, while small, had a high mitotic index, chemotherapy was indicated.  I am grateful to observe that Vera is showing no negative symptoms from the chemo and seems quite her normal self.

The general wisdom is that this kind of treatment extends life by 1-2 years which would be sufficient reason to pursue it, especially as it does not seem to cause her any ill effects.  I privately hope that having the tumor on the toe might mean that a longer term effect might be achieved.

It has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster but so far Vera's prognosis is better than many dogs receive and all she knows is that she is getting a lot of trips in the car and cubes of cheese (with pills hidden inside).

Vera's treatment will ultimately cost about $5000.  It strikes me that when I first came to the US that would have been fully a third of my annual income.  Fortunately now it is much more affordable for me.  I have signed up for a Credit Credit account which spread the cost over a longer period, interest free.  I ponder what terrible choices some families must have to make when veterinary treatment options like these are beyond their financial means.

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