Medicating Fiona can set her off, so her veterinarians have often opted for the "wait and watch" approach when anything new comes up. It's not that they don't want to treat her; it's that treatment has often made the problem worse.
So Fiona didn't seem (to me) like the kind of pup who would be a good candidate for chemo. When we discovered a rare form of mast cell tumor in her gum I assumed treating it would mean destroying any quality of life she had left – something I wasn't willing to do.
My decision to treat Fiona
I'd never gone through chemo with my dogs or cats before. I'd known others who had tried it, to varying results. However, I secretly always assumed that chemo would be a little extreme, even for me and especially for a dog like Fi. And, lucky or not, any time I'd battled the big "C" with pets before, chemo wasn't a good option.
But then Fi's diagnosis came back and, yet again, she started teaching me to throw all of my assumptions to the wind.
- The cancer was inoperable, but slow-growing
- A chemical released by the tumor was making her nauseated
- Chemo provided a small chance, but a bigger one than I'd assumed
- She had to be medicated for the nausea and tumor side effects either way
I was given a GREAT referral to an excellent oncologist, and had a quick crash-course in mast cell tumors and chemo for dogs. The conversation was eye opening and soon, Fiona started chemo.