There comes a time (age) in a man's life when he dreads going to the doctor for fear he will hear the C word. That time has arrived in my life as well. I've had a small growth in my mouth since about April. Maybe it was there before. I'm not really sure because I don't check myself out in the mirror that much. Mommy pointed it out to the vet and it was decided that we should watch it since it looked semi-harmless. At the time, it was about the size of a pencil eraser.
As the summer progressed and we had new vets take over the practice, everyone was fairly concerned about the spot in my mouth. It also seemed to grow to about the size of a dime. After much debate, Mommy decided to let the vet biopsy the place just so we would know what we were working with. Last Tuesday, I had as much of the growth as possible scraped off for the biopsy. I also had x-rays on my jaw to see if this growth had begun wrapping itself around the bone.
We have three options:
1) Do nothing. Wait and watch to see if it grows again. If it does, go in and scrape it away again.
2) Go under the CyberKnife which is a very strong form of localized radiation (equivalent to many traditional radiation treatments) but it's costly.
3) Remove a portion of the mandible if the cancer starts to invade the bone.
I can already tell you we are NOT going with option three. I've been through two major surgeries in my lifetime and Mommy has said she is NOT putting me through another. Whew! Thank goodness. Just the thought of having part of my jaw removed creeps me and her both out! The second option of the Cyber Knife is very expensive. Please don't think my parents are cheap. After all, they've already put twice that amount into reconstructing my knees when I was younger. They're just worried about how it will affect my quality of life.
We've decided to go with the first option and I'm fine with that choice. I'm not in any pain, I can eat just fine, and I'm living a normal life right now. I'm still full of energy (well, as much as any other twelve year old dawg). We're all feeling pretty good with the C word so far (maybe "good" isn't the best word??). Two of my new vets have loads of oncology experience and another is a graduate of the University of Georgia, so I'm in good hands!
Please don't feel bad for me. I'm doing fine. I promise. Mommy is doing okay too. She just sort of knew this was going to be the result of the test. She read the number one priority when your dawg is diagnosed with cancer to keep her own spirits up. I can believe it. I always know when she's feeling down. There have been several times over the past twelve years when I've licked tears from her face (probably much to her disgust, but it's the thought that counts). Daddy is feeling somewhat better now that he knows the results, but he doesn't talk about it much.
On a brighter note, with a large portion of this mass scraped away, I'm back to my usual, handsome self!