Saturday, July 7, 2012
Then, They Brought Up the "C" Word
Dr. Kennedy just called to give me an update about Lexie. She's doing well. They cleaned her right eye really well yesterday and bandaged it, but they aren't going to change the bandage again until tomorrow. If it looks like it NEEDS to be closed tomorrow, they will, but Dr. Kennedy would like to perform the surgery on Monday, if possible.
Then, he asked me about Lexie's swollen mammary gland and how long it has been producing a discharge. Excuse me????? I had noticed her swollen mammary gland for the last couple of years, but I had never noticed a discharge. I certainly would have taken her to the vet if I had. My dog, Sam, had growths happening all over her body for a few years, but the vet assured me they were just benign fatty deposits. Still, I decided to have five of Sam's growths removed last year (shortly before Lexie had to have emergency surgery for pyometra) just because I didn't want them to get any larger. I had planned to do the same for Lexie this year, but then all of this happened.
Anyway, I was not aware that a growth in a dog's mammary gland is a bigger deal than a growth anywhere else on the body, until Dr. Kennedy just told me that. He said that anytime there is a growth in a dog's mammary gland, there is a 50/50 chance that it will be cancer. Not only that, but if they were to aspirate her growth right now and the cells tested positive for cancer, then it's cancer; however, if the cells tested negative for cancer, there's still a 50/50 chance that it's cancer. I asked how much an aspiration would cost, but Dr. Kennedy said that he hated to perform one because, if it tests negative, it's just a waste of money.
I asked Dr. Kennedy if cancer would have shown up in Lexie's X-ray and/or ultrasound that she just had done recently. He said that it takes billions of cells for an X-ray to show a 1 cm growth. So, while it's GOOD that Lexie's X-ray and ultrasound did not show any signs of cancer, it still does not mean that there is no cancer present.
Basically, Dr. Kennedy just wanted me to be aware of the fact that a mammary growth is not something that should be let go for very long and suggested I have it removed sooner than later, because even if it's not cancer it still needs to be removed. I told Dr. Kennedy that, after all Lexie has been through lately, I would love to be able to wait until her eyes are completely healed before putting her through another surgery. On the other hand, now I'm super worried to wait any longer to have her mammary growth removed. Dr. Kennedy said that he still didn't know what Lexie's current stay and upcoming eye surgery was going to cost because Administration has just told the vets to do what Lexie needs to have done, then they'd discuss my bill. However, Dr. Kennedy said he was going to go ahead and ask for an estimate of how much it would cost to also remove Lou's mammary growth during her surgery on Monday. He made it clear that Administration is only going to try to cut me a break on Lexie's eye surgery, so if I decide to have her mammary growth removed I will be charged their regular fee for that procedure.
So, yeah. Now there's also the question of cancer to worry about. It's probably going to depend on how kind Administration is to me in regard to the cost of Lexie's eye surgery whether or not I will have Lou's mammary growth removed on Monday. Believe me, if I can figure out a way to afford it, I'm going to have it done. If I can't afford it right now, I'm going to save all my pennies so that I can have it removed as soon as possible.