When we saw Rigby’s Veterinary Oncologist two Fridays ago, he recommended that we have Rigby get a chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound to see if her cancer had spread to any organs. Based on her exam and blood work, he didn’t think this was something that had happened. However, he said it would be good to have her checked, and then we’d have a clean baseline to go off of in the future.

Over the weekend we took her to our local veterinary hospital for the tests. After shaving Rigby’s tummy, the vet took her into another room (we don’t get to be present during the x-ray or ultrasound). After about an hour or so, we were brought in to talk about the results.

The vet (who, it should be noted, was not our usual vet) said Rigby’s chest was clear but that, unfortunately, there were spots on her liver and spleen that are almost certainly due to the cancer. This was obviously a blow for us…after our good appointment with the oncologist, we weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, and these results indicated we didn’t catch things as early as we hoped.

The vet said we would need to talk to the oncologist to confirm, but said we’d likely have three options: continue the same treatment, try something new, or end treatment if things were too far along. The possibility of that last option was the hardest to hear, for obvious reasons. But Mike and I comforted ourselves by pointing out that the weekend vet is not who Rigby regularly sees, and thus he doesn’t know that her temperament hasn’t changed in the slightest.

The good news was that when we spoke to the oncologist yesterday (I need to think of a nickname for him), he didn’t think the results were a game changer. He said that Rigby has cancer and when a dog has cancer these are the kinds of things you see when you take an ultrasound…which would have been nice to know two days ago so I could prepare myself. So for now, we will continue the chemotherapy and steroids as planned, and in a few weeks Rigby will have a blood test to see how she is responding to treatment.

Mike and I talked about it last night and decided that, while it’s not great to hear about the cancer being in the liver and spleen, we now know a lot about her condition and will be able to use it to best manage Rigby’s health moving forward. We’re happy that we’ve been proactive, and we’re hopeful that the eleven days of treatment Rigby has had so far have made a difference. Her blood check is scheduled for January 2nd, so we’ll know more then.

In the meantime, we aren’t telling the kids about the latest development. They know the basics about Rigby’s condition, and we don’t want to upset them before the holidays if we don’t have to…especially since I am upset enough for all of us.

rigs
Wants to know if I am upset enough to give her people food.