First let me start by saying thank you to everyone who took time to support us this past month - financially, and emotionally. We raised enough money to pay for Zoeys surgery, and this is helping us get through to the next step, which I will address further into the blog. Until then, thank you all so much. We raised $580 at Parka in three weeks from folks who donated generously as they came to eat and drink coffee, as well as those who attended the Ping Pong Tournament put on by Forage Modern Workshop.
*The photo at the bottom of the blog shows Zoeys current condition and may be disturbing to some. Stop at July 17th if you are one of those people*
Zoey and Cancer
Early-Late 2013, Zoey was diagnosed with a granular cell tumor. Which we treated with a full round of radiation throughout the summer. This was all made possible through the support of family, friends, and the world wide web. Checkup appointments down the road leaned toward the tumor being at a stand still - neither growing nor deteriorating anymore than where it was at.
May 2014, dental started to become an issue. When we had our post-radiation checkup, we voiced our concerns, and doctors recommended dental work to remove ulcers on her gums that have formed, as well as removing a few teeth. We went ahead with the dental work, but during tooth extractions, the doctor operating noticed what looked like a white mass. The doctor took a small biopsy, and reported her findings to us. Knowing Zoeys history, they wanted to test to make sure it wasn't something new. A few weeks later when the results came back, the report was positive - cancer was back. This resulted in stains to classify the cancer, but we got no results.
June 2014, we met with Oncology at the U of M. We talked about Zoeys current condition, our options, and the fact that none of the stains were coming back with any results. Though more stains could have been done, it wasn't worth waiting weeks for results with how fast the tumor has been growing. Surgery was then recommended from here, and the way it was talked about was that Zoey will probably have many years left.
July 16th 2014, we met with the Surgery department at the U of M. We talked about Zoeys current condition, and what the procedure would involve. Maxillectomy + Enucleation (removal of eye and bone/tissue). Through this surgery we could get a large enough piece of the tumor that Oncology would then be able to test and get some results. Through classifying this tumor, the hope is to find out whether or not chemotherapy would be a good option. The fear about this tumor is that it is growing so quickly that chemo will not be able to combat the tumor - whatever classification it may be. This is all news to us by the way. Upon hearing all this news, the surgeon continues to point out, "are we only delaying the inevitabe?" And we are thinking, "what? Isn't this surgery supposed to give her a life? and not 'x' amount of months?" Everything moved really fast. I thought we would have a week or so to prepare before surgery, but we scheduled it for the following day
Honestly, I couldn't tell you what the actual prognosis is, because both Anna and myself have been thinking all this time that surgery was going to save Zoeys life, and not just give us some glory months. My hope is that there is mixed information. Not just because I am an optimist, but because she is my dog, my companion, and my best friend since she was 4 months old.
July 17th 2014, Zoey was dropped off at the U of M in the early morning. We received a call at 3:15pm saying that the procedure was a success and that she is doing well, 98% of the tumor was removed, but they are still concerned about the 2% left and how that could react. At 7:45pm, we received another phone call saying she is doing well, and that they had sent a photo to my email:
Now all we can do is wait for Zoey to heal, and wait for results to come back. I will be trying to keep everyone up to date through my blog here, as I think that will be the best form of communication with everyone.
Again, thank you all so much. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
<3 Bryant, Anna, & Zoey