Woman here, posting for Norman.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already know that Norman has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on his upper palate. Norman hasn't been keeping up with his blog over the past year, and I don't want to be one of those people who posts the long, painful details of our dog's struggle with cancer, so if you want to get updates on Norman, please leave your Facebook username in the comments of this post, and I'll friend you. I will delete the comment after I friend you, so it isn't hanging around the Internet indefinitely.
The quick and the dirty facts - his cancer is not curable, but we are going to do all we can to push it back for as long as possible.
The more detailed facts - We suspected there was something wrong with him 4 weeks ago when he
started breathing very oddly, as though his right nostril was blocked. There was also a mucous discharge so we thought he just had a cold. When the mucous didn't improve a week later, we had the Vet examine him more closely, at which time she found a lesion on his upper palate. She biopsied it and learned about the cancer.
He had a CT scan at the University of Tennessee last week that revealed the cancer is far more invasive than they would have imagined, and has begun to break down the bone under his eye socket. The Oncologist recommended chemo and radiation, which would extend his life by 8-10 months. Without treatment, his prognosis is a heart breaking 3 months. The first treatment was supposed to start the next day. Unfortunately, after the CT, Norman's stomach began to bloat. The Vet put a tube down his nose to relieve the bloat and inadvertently punctured his stomach leading to an emergency operation to flush out the abdomen and repair the tear. They couldn't find a tear and suspect it was very small. He was put on antibiotics and sent home with the hope that he would not develop an infection. Five days later there is no sign of infection.
Due to his reaction to anesthesia, the Vet is now apprehensive to do the radiation. I, of course will push for that treatment option. We cannot start chemo until the foot-long incision in his abdomen heals, so we're in a holding pattern. I will call the Oncologist tomorrow to discuss our radiation options - I'm not giving up on that possibility.
I am a wreck, of course, but I am trying to hold it together as best as possible so I can enjoy the time I have left with my big man. Your prayers are always appreciated.