Sunday, October 30, 2016
Kit - the second opinion
Whenever I am faced with possible life ending diagnosis, I like to get a second opinion. Even if the doctor says the exact same thing as the first, I find it very helpful... it puts an end to second-guessing, wondering, and a lot of 'what ifs'.
The second vet, Dr. F, was nice and helpful and personable. I liked him a lot and when I'm back on my own two feet I am going to look into seeing if going to this clinic is an option. He took another fine needle aspirate to see what he could see and, unfortunately, he is also of the belief that we are not dealing with an abscess. I was fairly certain the first vet was right but having the second look solidified it. My vet had called me about an hour before the appointment and told me that Kit's blood work all looked fine including her thyroid. Except for the great big lump on her throat she's in perfect health.
Sadly, these cells look abnormal and are not puss so we are still looking at something serious. Dr. F also suggested the biopsy, but he was willing to talk to me about the treatment options for anything we might find - something my current vet is unwilling to do, she is not willing to treat what she has not officially diagnosed.
He said there were a number of things it could be. There were two types of cancer, each type has two types, aggressive and benign. If it is aggressive, then we are looking at life ending events. We could do surgery and then chemo and radiation, but with a 30-40% success rate the chances of remission there is a very strong possibility that her last days would be miserable, and neither my husband nor I want this. He is adamant about not putting her through a lot of car rides. If it is benign, then there is a chance that having surgery will give her some extra time, but it too will come at her expense. The treatment for benign cancer would be steroids, prednisolone in particular.
Then there is the chance it is an infection. The treatment for that is prednisolone and antibiotics.
I know my husband does not want a biopsy. He barely wanted me to take her out of the house for a second opinion... so finding out exactly what we were facing appeared to be off the table. We discussed our options and what removing that diagnostic tool from our toolbox meant. The treatment for any of the options that the biopsy would show us turn out to be the same, except in the worse case, we have opted not to pursue treatment. So we decided to go with the steroids and antibiotics and hope for a reduction in the tumor, hoping that it isn't a tumor but an infection. Once we made that decision we found a message on the answering machine from Dr. F offering to send the slides of the aspirate to IDEXX to see if they could determine what we were dealing with. This appealed to both of us a great deal, because we would like to know what we are facing, so I took them back to the clinic to be sent off.
So she is on prednisolone twice a day and antibiotics once a day and has been since Friday evening. This morning I examined the lump and I thought it felt smaller... I (and the doctor) used the word golf ball to describe the size and I am fairly certain it is smaller than that now, but I am not sure if it is because I really really want it to be smaller. Time will tell.