Chie, Sarcoma

10-16 Chie 2On October 15 I was petting Chie & found a large bump on her side. The next day we saw the vet & had an aspiration done, which came back as “low grade soft tissue sarcoma.” Our vet then did a biopsy of said sarcoma, which yielded results of “low grade soft tissue sarcoma.” I’m a little pissed about this because we wasted 2 weeks on that biopsy, which involved Chie not getting to eat for 23 hours, being held at the vet’s for over 9 hours, a 3 inch, 12 stitch incision to get a rice grain-sized biopsy specimen, & all the extra sedatives (& therefore, cost) that went along with an apparently very extensive biopsy procedure.

When my dad saw the size of the incision, he looked at me sadly & said, “I guess he’s just not a very good surgeon.” On the bright side, the incision healed up with no problems & I removed the stitches myself. On the crappy side, Chie’s sarcoma continued to grow.

The surgeon 2 people had recommended was off island & it also took a few calls to get his office to call me back. When we finally got our appointment on November 20, he took one look at the mass & said it was too large & beyond his abilities/equipment. Fair enough. I had also booked a consultation with another veterinary facility for today (Veterinary Emergency & Referral Center of Hawaii) because I could feel us running out of time.

At VERC, the 1st VA to get me settled in with Chie was so kind that as soon as she left the room I burst into tears. I didn’t realize how stressed out I was. The canine oncologist explained to me that due to the size & location of Chie’s sarcoma, they would only be able to remove the main mass, & then target the remaining tissue with IV chemotherapy. I was looking at a $1500 CT to prepare for a $4500 surgery & $600 chemo treatments every 3 weeks thereafter, not counting medications, blood work, etc.

IMAG2339I didn’t cry. Actually, that makes sense, since I had to be in my brain for this.

I simply don’t have the money for an excision. The oncologist suggested chemotherapy management of the mass to simply keep it from growing further, since it’s not currently causing Chie any distress. Before starting chemo, we have to test Chie to make sure she’s not allergic to any of the medications. They also did x-rays & blood work. Today’s visit cost me $738 & that’s not including the meds, which I have to send away to Arizona for. That I could afford, since I’ve been saving whatever I can over the last few weeks in anticipation.

So Chie will have to live with a bump on her side, but hopefully it won’t get any bigger & it won’t cause her any discomfort. The side effects of chemotherapy, the oncologist told me, are minimal & not anything like what humans go through. I can still save up money to have the surgery at a later date.

Things could be worse. It’s not the end of the world.


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