It’s now been about 3 weeks since that first x-ray. Dr. Ray Cox at Deer Creek has offered to remove the lung lobe and I feel confident that he can do it, though the thought of anesthesia frightens me. Cain has always responded unfavorably to anesthesia and I worry about all of the things that can go wrong. It’s at this point that I make the decision to take Cain to Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center (CSU) for an evaluation.
The CSU Animal Cancer Center offers the best clinical services available, along with a fully integrated research program and is dedicated to innovative and collaborative cancer research. With its state of the art cancer diagnostics it has the distinguished honor of having one of the best programs in the nation and draws people from all over the world. I’m fortunate to have such a special place so close to home.
Cain had been treated at CSU for a tracheal problem a few years earlier and today we are meeting with Dr. Barbara Biller. After a new set of radiographs she confirms a mass in the left caudal lung lobe and explains our options as gently as she can. The good news, the tumor can be removed. The bad news, lung tumors are not easy to treat due to their location in the body and their chance to metastasize. With surgery, his prognosis could be good. We could gain another year, may be more. Without surgery and depending on the tumor’s rate of growth, his chances for living beyond that point could be reduced. Chemotherapy also is not very successful in the treatment of lung tumors, though can also be considered should the surgery be elected. Nothing is for certain, there are no guarantees, but at least there are options. To set the record straight, Dr. Biller explained this far better than I give her credit for in this writing and she had much more to say, but once again tears flow and I can’t think straight. Dr. Biller tells us to consider our options and to let her know what we decide.