I got a call from the vet on Monday with the diagnosis, and a brief summary of options. He called back tonight to give me more information, then Critter and I talked it over with Flar. We've decided to give Ouchie the treatment that our vet offers, but not take her to a specialist. I have calls to make tomorrow to arrange her first appointment - she'll be going to the vet weekly for six weeks, and then hopefully less often. The treatment will involve an IV injection of one medicine, and then she'll also be taking Prednisone and another medicine. I'll post again with better details when I'm back in town.
We've opted for treatment because (a) the vet says that dogs experience few of the adverse side effects that trouble people in chemo. She won't lose her hair, is unlikely to suffer vomiting (but the anti-vomiting pill worked a treat for the antibiotics), and shouldn't even swell to much from the prednisone. and (b) we're still planning on our third road trip of the summer, to Canada; the vet says without treatment she might have a little as two months life expectancy with rapid decline. We don't want to leave her behind to get sick in the care of others.
So, we're treating her like a dog -- no road trip, kennel -- but we are choosing to try to extend her life somewhat by these treatments. A kind of balance or tension there.
Oh, and since her appetite was down, Flar has made the decision to switch her to gooshy food, which she's gobbling up. So she's also getting the Princesss treatment, as we care for her in sickness.
I would appreciate your prayers for us as we say good-bye (albeit slowly) to one of our family (albeit second-class, canine status), and especially for Critter, whose dog she is. Also prayers that her treatments would be successful in improving and extending what time she has left with us.