Thursday, January 31, 2013

one year ago today

One year ago today, I took Curzon to SVS in Kirkland and left him there in the competent hands of Dr. Kirkby and her staff, as he underwent rib resection surgery to remove the three ribs affected by his osteosarcoma.  That morning was very hard for me, as we were making the best decision we could, but there were so many variables that we had no idea if it would end up being the right one.  The doctors had good hopes for the surgery's outcome, but nobody could tell us if Curzon would heal and be able to play flyball again for sure, or if this would cure him of the cancer.  So with a hope and a prayer, I hugged and kissed my boy and left his cheerful self there to undergo the surgery.

Today is one year since that day, and this is the photo that I took this morning.  Curzon is still here with us, a year after surgery and after the cancer was found, against all odds.  The internet tells me that the median survival rate for surgery only is a scant 2-3 months, with increases to 7 months with radiation and to 12 months with radiation and chemotherapy combined.  At two months post-op, Curzon was preparing for his first flyball tournament after his surgery, and at three months post-op he was competing.  At eight months post-op, I took him to flyball nationals (NAFA Can-Am) in Indianapolis, IN, and he performed fantastically.

photo credit Irene Cotter, Fur-Fetched Photography

We are not completely safe, unfortunately, as when I had a set of 12-month x-rays done last week, there are three questionable things involving Curzon's lungs visible.  There is a soft-tissue something either in or next to his lung near where the surgery site was located, and the radiologist found two tiny nodules, one in each of his lower lung lobes.  Surgery can't fix these, so we are continuing to keep him on the artemisinin/butyrex combination, I've restarted him on the Hoxseys support tincture, and I've added a Chinese mushroom/herb blend for immune support.  Our vet is also doing some acupuncture based on a technique she recently learned that targets metastases by treating the original tumor location, and he's had his first treatment already with the second scheduled for four weeks later.  Two weeks after the second treatment we'll do x-rays again and see what we're dealing with, and hopefully see a reduction in size or at least very slow growth of the nodules.

For now, Curzon is showing no signs of anything wrong, as even his "old man hairball" cough that he's had since August 2011 hasn't gotten worse and still isn't triggered by any form of exercise.  So he's still competing in flyball (next tournament February 16/17), he's still tormenting his baby sister Ezri, still taking any chance he can get to go swimming, and still being his lovable goofy self.  That's all we can ask and all we can hope for, and to love him and enjoy every day that he has with us as a gift.

Except when he's whining, of course.

I'm going to make a point of posting at least once a week, as going for months at a time without posting is kind of a guilt trip on myself.  Next post will be more cheerful, I hope - a look at some of my quilting, knitting, and spinning projects over the past year!