Guest Blog

This is a post that Tiffany shared on Facebook....

"The day after Thanksgiving we received word that Scarlett had a malignant neoplasm in her left cheek. She was completely asymptomatic; we noticed a little lump in her cheek and had it biopsied the next day. The tumor was highly vascular & growing very rapidly, so Scarlett underwent surgery two weeks ago to have the tumor (including her upper left jaw impacted by cancer) removed. Her initial post operative course was a little rocky, but within one week she was acting like her normal happy energetic self. 

Much to our frustration, the cancer cells obtained in the biopsy and tumor/tissue/bone removed were all too poorly differentiated to diagnose the specific type of malignancy. We ordered additional testing and had a dozen extra specific stains performed at Colorado State University (the #1 oncology Vet hospital in the country) and Purdue University (for a second opinion) searching for etiology (including carcinomas, specific types of sarcoma, histio, melanoma and endocrine tumors), but the cancer is not revealing itself. 

What we know: 
Lymph nodes and tumor margins have all come back clean. Hallelujah! 
There is no evidence of metastasis upon x-rays, ultrasound & CT scans. More rejoicing! 
Scarlett’s siblings are healthy & living active, full lives with their wonderful families. YAY! 

What we don’t know:
The exact cancer type, Scarlett’s prognosis, or why she developed a malignancy at age 4.5. For those who have followed the iPup litter from the beginning, you might remember that Scarlett was presenting but not proceeding to birth (ie: she got stuck in her mom’s birth canal). Veterinary intervention was required and aggressive jaw traction was utilized to pull her out. It was so aggressive that the veterinarian warned the puppy could be badly damaged. Scarlett was handed to me (I was lucky to be there for the whelping) and I suctioned her out and gave her oxygen while the veterinarian and our breeder, Mary-Ann, attended to Scarlett’s mom, Zoey, who was exhausted and had puppy #9 yet to deliver. It is awfully coincidental that Scarlett ended up with a tumor in this same place, and per one vet “possible that the jaw trauma at birth may have in some way contributed to this cancer developing (i.e. some micro-fractures may have been present that elicited chronic bone inflammation and subsequently cancer).”

The plan:
We started chemotherapy today in hopes of annihilating any potential remaining malignant cells. Scarlett ran 4 miles the day before she got diagnosed. She wanted to go for a canoe ride a couple days ago, so we did. The UPS guy just rang the doorbell while dropping off a package and she barked up a storm, just like normal. She doesn’t look or feel ‘sick’. 

Making sense of it all:
There are things in life we simply can’t understand, including why some dogs - and humans - get cancer... especially at ridiculously young ages. I felt leveled the week before and after surgery & cried until my face hurt. Am I praying for a miracle? Yes. But maybe our first miracle is that Scarlett survived a traumatic entrance into this world and has lived her life so far full of love and adventure with a family who adores her. So our plan is to keep soaking up every minute we get with this beautiful, loving, fiercely loyal, amazingly fun girl... and tell any potential lingering cancer where it can go. No regrets!"

 

 

5 comments

by Kathy L on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 07:09

I’m so relieved Scarlett is doing so well. How blessed she is to have found the Greens to be her family. She looks fantastic. Let’s let that damn cancer have it! You go team Scarlett.

by Tiffany Green on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:32

Thanks so much, Kathy! It was a tough first week, but Scarlett turned the corner and has done so great this past week. Hallelujah! We absolutely have plenty to say to that damn cancer. Most importantly (after some expletatives)- DON’T COME BACK!
Scarlett is a fighter and has a great team behind her. If anyone can kick this thing, it’s her.
Thank you for the support!
XOXO
T.

by Kay on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 10:26

We are rooting for Team Scarlett. She is lucky to have the perfect family to see her through this.

by Tiffany Green on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:54

Thank you, Kay. I’ve thought a lot about the A litter these past few weeks. The mind is quick to think things like, “ it’s not fair to get cancer at 4!” But it’s also “not fair” that Cruiser died so prematurely (around 2?!!) while Aspen lived to be just shy of 13. We took good care of her, but really, we got lucky. We are so hopeful this is just a set-back for Scarlett that can be overcome. We are certainly doing everything in our power to help her fight this & win!
Lots of love your way & Merry Christmas to you, Sue & your crew!

by Jill on Sun, 12/24/2017 - 08:56

Sorry to hear this but happy to hear the margins are clear. Sending hugs to Scarlett and
Her family along with best wishes for many more years with her.

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