May 17, 2010



"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
-- Mark Twain

Hi dearest friends,

This is me, doing what I'll be doing for awhile, at least 4 - 6 weeks any way, in my near naked state, resting, not moving, no jumping, no roaching, no playing....
"I might as well just be in jail, dang it." "Sorry Mona, this will hurt me more than it will you." "WHAT?? I'm gonna be in jail!!" It's just not fair, so I'm just gonna let Mommy fill everybody in of my condition.

{they stole my tummy hair}

Mona had her appointment this morning with an oncologist and it has been decided she will need additional surgery. This picture was taken before she was taken for X-Rays and an Ultrasound. Notice the difference in the picture above and the one below. She had to be shaved on both sides of her belly for the ultrasound. I am not good at explaining things in my own words so thankfully they gave me a summary report, so all you read was taken from that report. The (goods) and (not so goods) were my reaction to what was said.

Her diagnosis, per what Dr Briles had sent over to Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists was:

Grade 2 mast cell tumor removal from the axilla (armpit) with narrow surgical margins, mitotic index of less than one.

Dr Endicott, her oncologist, said the pathologist that had done her tests after her first surgery noted that the mitotic index was less than one which is a good sign. However her surgical margins were narrow at less than 1 mm (not so, good).

Mona had already had the blood work she needed but the X-ray and ultrasound was done to look for evidence of metastasis (spread). Per Dr Endicott, screening lab work performed prior to surgery where unremarkable (a good thing). Her chest x-ray showed clear with no evidence of lymph node enlargement (a good thing). On her abdominal ultrasound liver, spleen and abdominal lymph were normal (a good thing). However there was a fair amount of debris within her urinary bladder that could indicate a urinary track infection (not so good). As a precaution a urinalysis and culture were done. We are awaiting those results, hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday.

Per her doctor, for grade 2 tumors without evidence of metastasis, the goal is to address the tumor locally to achieve surgical margins greater than 2 mm with radiation therapy if complete removal is not possible.

Dr Endicott ( a woman doctor) said:

"In Mona's case her surgical margins are very narrow, so I am concerned about the possibility of local recurrence. I would strongly recommend a second surgery to archive wider surgical margins."

What this all comes down to is that my girl is scheduled for what is called "Scar Revision Surgery" this Friday. She also has to take several medications that are helpful in the long-term treatment of mast cell tumors....Benadryl and Pepcid AC. In 10 to 14 days after surgery, they will remove the new stitches, review the surgical results and discuss the long-term follow-up plan. So we wait again.

Mona will be upset about 2 things. She HATES taking pills!! I have tried many different methods over the years, usually failing most attempts.

This is the direct approach.........

this is the end result, after she spits the pill out.

This approach works every time..........

stick it in some peanut butter!!!

Yummylicious!! Lip smacking good!!

Not so messy, and since I didn't have any peanut butter, stick it in a "Kraft cheese bite", 2 pills = 2 bites of cheese.

The other thing, Mona will hate the most....for 4 to 6 weeks....she will have to be crated when I am not at home. The scar will be very long and according to the doctor she can't do any jumping or hard playing because she can't stretch her armpit or it could cause some damage (not sure what this means but will talk to the surgeon Friday).

I am so happy she had this last weekend to play and enjoy some fun time with her friends. She and Harley tore the face off this creature, not to mention some other stuff on it. It used to be a hand puppet.

She also played tug of war with this ribbon toy.

I tried all day yesterday and today to load a video of all the dogs playing where you could seem them all tearing up the puppet but IT WILL NOT LOAD!! It was too cute but I threw in towel in after about 5 times trying

We will give a complete report after this next surgery but Mona might have to stay overnight so it might not be until I can get her home Saturday.............Oops! Guess that's 3 things she won't like, and me either, we hardly ever spend the night apart.

Love, kisses and {{{huggies}}} from Mona & God Bless you all....Sarah


Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Paws are crossed for you! Mr. Bufus had 3 grade 2 mast cell tumors removed from him about 4 years before he crossed the bridge - once they removed the tumors he was cancer-free for the rest of his life - we hope the same for you!

*kissey face*
-Fiona (and Abby, the Pest)

PeeEss: Hold out for the peanut butter - that's the ONLY way to take pills! :-)

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Focus on the good items!

The 2!

The unremarkable!

The let's be safe and go for more...


Khyra's Mom and Khyra
PeeEssWoo: PB, Cheese, and I've heard marshmallows are good too!

Sunny,Scooter, (sometimes Jamie) said...

We are sending POWER OF THE PAW right to you Mona!! And howling to heaven for you.
Our Mom knows your Mommy is really scared and very upset so she is Praying for your Mommy and you too Mona.
We will hold you both in our hearts.
{{{{{{{BIG HUGS}}}}}}}}}
Sunny, Scooter & Jamie too

Molly the Airedale said...

We think of you and your mommy all the time, Mona! We are hoping for the very best!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Abby said...

Hi, Mona & Mommy...

Khrya is right - Focus on the Good Things...

My paws are crossed for you & I'm sending Extra Special Lhasa Healing Vibes to you...

Mom says you & your Mommy are in her thoughts & prayers...

We All Love You...
Abby & her Mom xxxxxxoooooo

A MilShelb Mom said...

You're both in our prayers!
~Maggie, Milly, and Shelby

Mack said...

We just know you are gonna be FINE! (Maybe a little BORED, but just be sure and make your mommy give you some extra toys and nommies while you are crated!)

We love you.

Oh and my mom wanted to know if you have ever tried those pills pockets??

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I know the Hurry up and Wait thingy is difficult to deal with, butt it also give you time to catch your breath.
I think this all looks very Pawsitive.
Moma please tell your mom that being crated will be Ok by you. At least for a few weeks. She needs to hear that right now.
My paws are crossed and I know there are many many others doing the same.


Ruby and Penny said...

Hi Mona
We agree with Khyra, focus on the good.
This will be all over before you know it and you will be running' and roachin' agian.
Think positive and stay strong.
Love Ruby & Penny

Maggie Mae and Max said...

Great advice from Khyra! Focus on the good! We are still sending luvins and puppy prayers!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae and mom

Fred said...

Thank you for the update. We will continue thinking of both of you!

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly said...

Our paws are crossed for Mona. We are sending good thoughts and many prayers your way. Please let us know how she's doing.

Woofs and Kisses!
The Fiesty Three

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Mona, we are sending all of our positive thoughts and prayers your way. You can beat this girlie!!

Waggles & Chi kisses, Chewy & Lilibell

Zona said...

Most of that is greek to me but I agree with focusing on the pawsitive! We're keeping you and your mom in our prayers. We KNOW you'll beat the nasties because.. well... you're Mona and you're stronger than those nasties. :)


Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

Mona we are so sorry to hear of your sickies! You have 3 sets of paws praying for you here in KY!

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo
& Uncle Puppy

Southbaygirl said...

We have our paws crossed and keeping you in our thoughts, Mona and Mommy!!!! Power of the Paw!!!

Sending you Cattle Dog kisses!!



Southbaygirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Twinkie said...

Let's hope this surgery will be the last. I hope it's localized and this is soon going to be a bad dream. I'm very sorry you will have such a rough time ahead of you. We've been through it and sometimes it gets you down. Hold on to your optimism. As for the pill taking, I wanted to add Pill Pockets to your list of ideas. They're handy especially when you're in a hurry and don't have time to shape cheese :)
Twinkie and family and pack and...

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the prognosis is good :-)

Sophie (a short haired red doxie) has had many medical issues. so giving meds is a daily task at our house. While liquid matacam is a welcome treat (I want to know what they use to flavor it!) the pills are an issue. PB is good unless she is bored with it. Canned kraft cheese spread is an easy quick way to hide a pill as is a small piece egg yolk that can be not quite solidly fried with pam. (over easy to almost solid). I've been told liverwurst works, but too grossed out to try it!

Best wishes for a quick recovery!

Sophie's mom

P.S. she hated the crate until she had 8 weeks of crate rest. her toys a pilow and favorite blanket to snuggle made it easier, now I catch her snoozing in it sometimes.

Remington said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers....

Pat Wahler said...

We'll continue to send postive thoughts your way. Although there will be moments of discomfort for a while, sounds like the most important news is good!

mayziegal said...

Oh, Mona and Mommy! I didn't realize you had posted on Sunday. I'm so glad I came over today, though. And I'm very much glad that, even though it's not the bestest you could hope for, it sounds like it's not *too too* bad. The worstest part is being all bored in your crate for, like, 127 years. But then hopefullys, once your time in detention is over, you'll be just right as rain (what does that mean anyway?).

Anywho...I've gotcha both in my heart and in my thoughts. And my paws are double crossed that everything's gonna be A-OK!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie (and her Mom)

ocmist said...

We are so far behind in our reading and just came upon several of our mutual friends that said we were needed to pray for you, Mona! We've read all of the posts since the problem was noticed up to this one, and are so sorry that things have been so hard for you and your Mommy!

Grammy will add you to our prayer list of doggy furiends, and we will be praying as we have for Max and so many others lately that have had problems. She spends a LOT of time praying for OC, too...

Your Mommy TOTALLY had Grammy in tears when she read the Doggy Ten Commandments!

With GOD, ALL things are possible, and we are praying that He touch you for we KNOW He loves "the little doggies under the table," too! (By the way, doesn't that scripture indicate that we SHOULD get some human tablescraps?! Are you LISTENING, Grammy!)

Sagira said...

Mona, our thoughts are with you as you go through this nasty stuff. I hope it is painless and you heal quickly.

Mom has been pulling the PB and cheese trick with Samick. She gives us all PB and Cheese though, so yummy!

Lacy said...

woofs, ooo Mona 4weeks is not so bad when its gonna save ur life...i am glad it hadnt spread...and hope they caught it in time..ur in me thoughts and u and mommy..

b safe,

♥I am Holly♥ said...

We heard the news from Sagira and thought we would visit you and give you lots of love and healing vibes. We do hope that all will be fine. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

Oh, Mona, I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but I'm also very happy that they can fix what you've got. The crating thing is a bummer, but really, it's not so fun when the humans are out anyway. Four weeks go faster than you'd think and it'll be so good when it's all over.

I take Benedryl all the time because of allergies. In cheese. When I see the pill come out I stand at attention because it's cheese time. Nothing wrong with peanut butter either, of course. You're totally entitled to your preference in the matter. We'll all be sending healing vibes. Everyone needs them sometimes.

Love, Lola

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Getting bigger clean margins is so important. You are so lucky that this can be done. When Phantom had his surgery done, he needed a 3 cm wide clean margin and the surgeon was only able to get 3 cm, which is a huge difference. Because of the location of the tumor, nothing more could be done without damaging other organs. This is a good thing for Mona to have done. All our paws are crossed for a successful surgery.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers Mona. Keep that cute chin up...and we are with Fiona...hold out for the PB!!

Smileys and Snuggles!
Dory, Jacob and Bilbo

little princess Luna~ said...

hello mona--i have my paws crossed for you~!! mum and i are hoping for the BEST~!!


Lorenza said...

Hi, Mona and Mommy!
The results show good and not so good news but I am sure the surgery will go perflectly and everything is going to be ok!
I hope Mommy has enough PB for your pills!
Paws crossed here for you!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Maureen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

Dear Miss Mona - I have a quote to share with you and your mommy. It's something that runs through my head whenever I might be feeling down or when things aren't going exactly the way I would like them to:

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." ~Colonel Harland Sanders

Keep looking for the good weather. You can often find it, even in a downpour. :)

Taffy said...

Mona, even though some of the things are in the not so good category we feel like the news is pretty positive all the way around considering what you were expecting the docs to say. It will be worth it to go through this 2nd surgery and the down time so you won't have to worry about this again!
A word of advice: Mona, make sure you milk this for all you've got! ;o)
We love ya and are still praying for you and Mommy!

Jans Funny Farm said...

Sending warm purrs and tail wags for Mona's surgery and recovery!

C.l.o.v.e.r. said...

Hello Mona and Mommy!
I am thinking good thoughts for you and keeping paws crossed too.
I loved taking my pill in peanut butter too (but now we know I am allergic) so cheese is the next best thing!
Take care friends.

Joe Stains said...

We are sending tons of healing vibes and hope everything turns out successful and they get all that icky gross cancer out of you.

Scout and Freyja said...

We are sending you hugs and licks and raised paws in PURRayer, too. Mona you MUST get better because your are so loved by many and many people and dogs all over this big world of ours. Do what your momma and dog-tor say to do and GET BETTER SOON!

i said...

Hang in there Mona. Before you know it you'll be able to prance around like before. Just make sure you keep the stitches in place ok? Keeping you and mommy in our thoughts and prayers.

Teddy Bear said...

Mona, we've got our paws crossed for a speedy recovery for you. You are one smart girl to hold out for the peanut butter. Cheese works just fine too.:)

Teddy Bear

Maxmom said...

Hey there Mona's Mom
I'm popping over from Scout & Freyja's blog to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you. We had to live through a similar thing in November last year so we can understand what you are going through.
Sending lotsaluv to you all.

dArtagnan Rumblepurr/Diego Hamlet Moonfur said...

We're sending you purrs!!

Molly the Airedale said...

You and your mommy are in our thoughts and prayers, Mona!
We love you!

Maggie and Mitch

Raising Addie said...

We are praying for you every day Mona.

Mom gives Lucie her daily pills with peanut butter and she loves it! We all get to like moms finger.

That is an interesting pill combination for treatment. We are praying that surgery goes well today and that you are home snuggling with mommy soon!

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie, Lucie and Hailey

Kea said...

We're sending you lots of healing purrs and universal Light, Mona!

Mrs. JP said...

Poor you and Mona. We'll be thinking of you and pray that you get good news.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Good luck, Mona! We are tail-wagging for you!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

We are still praying for you Mona and keeping our paws crossed too. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Ms. ~K said...

Scout and Freyja told us that Mona was not feeling well, so we came over to offer comforting hugs and positive thoughts.
Kit and Pups

Bandit's Pack said...

Mona: Mutual friends Scout and Freyja sent us over to say hello to you. We are very familiar with mast cell tumors as we used to have a black lab who developed several in her later years. She had surgery and prednisone treatment and did very well - we hope you do, too! Our Brandy lived a very full long life even after her diagnoses. Best wishes to you, and we hope you have a quick and speedy recovery! ♥

Brian said...

Mona, some friends of yours told us about your problems and I just dropped by to tell you that my sisters and I are purring for you sweetie!

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

We will add Mona to our purrs!!!!

Anonymous said...

All of our turbo purrayers are zooming over to Mona!!!

The Kool~Kittie~Krew

the booker man said...

hello there, mona's mama!
i just wanted to let you know that me and my little brother booker and my mom are thinking of you and mona today as she has her second surgery.
i hope you will find encouragement in the fact that i, asa, just had almost the exact same mast cell tumor as mona removed 11 days ago. mine was on my right back thigh. i know what you are going through. here's to getting those wide clear margins and then mona's incision healed ASAP!
gentle hugs to you and mona.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dearest Mona
It was early morning
when I heard
the trees singing
it was coming from the forest
I ran outside
to see
and listen
and there
before my eyes
I saw the forest animals
with hands lifted in the air
and they sang wongs
with the trees
and the words they sang were
the words were
the words they sang
to YOU my friend
I ran out
and joined in with them
as we sang songs
the power of the paws
to YOU
and all our love.
The forest and all my friends
send wishes to YOU

Snowie Baby said...

paws crossed for woo!! and hope for the very best for woo=))

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dear Mona,
I came to check on you.
How are you and your mama?

Unknown said...

Hi sagira told us about your surgery! I sure hope u get better soon!

Piappies World said...

Hello Mona,

Be brave little one and hang in there. We have all our paws crossed for you and your mom. We saw lots of "good marks" on the report and we are focusing on the positive thoughts.

-Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies