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Avi's Journey

May 15

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It has officially been 3 years since Avi had her front leg amputation due to a mast cell tumor. Post removal, it was confirmed that the mast cell cancer had not spread, and she was officially cancer free! That is up until now. A new lump appeared 2 months ago, and after an aspiration it was determined to be a new, independent MCT. Since the new bump was higher up on her leg (near her bum), the veterinarians determined they could surgically remove the tumor in it’s entirety. Overwhelmed and disturbed at the reappearance of a new MCT, I was relieved at the news that a simple surgery would once again completely eliminate the spread of cancer. After surgery, Avi was unable to walk (she was essentially down two legs). It was a two-person job taking her out, feeding her, moving her, etc. What I did not anticipate was the extreme level of pain she would experience with this surgery, more so than her amputation. She cried through the nights for a full week, and I felt helpless as I watched my baby girl suffer. She did not go to the bathroom for a full 72 hours, as the pain was so intolerable for her to be moved from her bed. When we did carry her outside, it consisted of non-stop yelping and crying, her suffering was almost unbearable. The vets prescribed her extra pain medication, which seemed to help, however it was determined that she is a highly sensitive dog relative to most. After 2 weeks of recovery, I finally started to see hints of her old personality coming back, and was hopeful that the cancer was gone. Avi=2 , Cancer = 0!

Fast forward 2 months (currently), I discovered a new lump, only 2 inches away from the tumor that was just removed, and about twice the size of the previous tumor. I knew instantly what it was, and accepted the fate of Avi potentially having a genetic predisposition to MCT’s. The most difficult part in all of this was the decision to put her through another two weeks of hell if I decided to go ahead with the surgical remove of the third tumor. Her quality of life is more important to me than her lifespan, and I was determined to prevent any suffering she would experience by undergoing yet another surgery. After much consultation with the vet and an oncologist at the University of Minnesota, it was decided that surgical removal would be the best option. Taking into consideration her pain sensitivity, I decided to go with the advice of all the vets and have her tumor yet again removed. They promised to focus on managing her pain through a block during surgery and heavy pain meds post surgery. This may have been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make, however Avi’s veterinarians have her best interest in mind and I was confident in their recommendations for her health. I’ll never forget the words the vet told me while trying to process the ramifications of yet another MCT: “judicious pruning keeps the tree healthy”. She is currently  in surgery as I type, and I needed some sort of outlet to process this all as she goes through this battle with MCT’s. I hope I’ve made the right decisions, and more importantly that her suffering is minimized. I will update later this week!

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9 comments so far

  1. linda8115
    4:52 pm - 5-15-2017

    Hugs to you and prayers that this surgery will be easier on all of you! Your girl has some of the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen. She’s beautiful!

    • alrohly
      5:56 pm - 5-15-2017

      Thank you so much for the kind words! She does have some pretty soulful eyes 🙂

  2. misterrustybucket
    5:50 pm - 5-15-2017

    Avi is just beautiful and I love her Wonder Woman outfit – how fitting. It is obvious how much you love her and want only the best for her. Sometimes it is impossible to know what that is but whatever decisions you make will be the right ones because they are decisions made with love ❤️ I hope that her surgery is a success and that they are able to help control her pain. Regardless of the outcome she will be delighted to see you and will never question your decision or your love for her. That’s the beautiful thing about these dogs of ours. We will be awaiting your update and sending you best wishes from Minnesota. Lots of Love – Amy & Rusty

    • alrohly
      6:06 pm - 5-15-2017

      Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement! For some reason this has been a more difficult decision than it was for her amputation, so I appreciate the kind words and affirmation. Thank you again! <3

  3. hester
    8:55 pm - 5-15-2017

    Hello – we were also, FYI, treated through U of MN. Sending lots of love for good pain management and outcome on this surgery from nearby. You have made the best decisions you know how to make for her and need to always remember that.


  4. kazann
    2:58 am - 5-16-2017

    I’m not sure if she was thrilled with her Supergirl outfit but she sure looks adorable! I understand that this third surgery was a hard decision for you. I hope the pain management plan works well for her. Perhaps some of her crying was from being stoned? I had a cat that sat with her head in a corner and cried after a surgery. I’ve never had a cat make crying noises before. Since then the vet has advised me to have the lights off or very low for a pet recovering from surgery. Perhaps that will help your sweet Avi. Hope all goes well.
    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

  5. Michelle
    12:51 pm - 5-16-2017

    What a beautiful girl. She is a fighter. Those darn mast cells anyway. Keep kicking butt Avi.

    michelle & Angel Sassy

  6. benny55
    3:07 pm - 5-16-2017

    AVI IS A ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR!!! And a real beauty on top of that! 🙂

    I know it’s frustrating to have to deal with this all over again. A tough decision indeed. It sounds like the Vets have a good handle on things though.

    Update us when you can, okay? We’ll all be cheeing madly for her! And include pictures of her! We love cuteness and beauty around here! 🙂

    Stay connected. We’re here with you!


    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  7. jerry
    4:38 am - 5-19-2017

    Here’s to you and Avi for kicking cancer’s butt and the courageous road you’re following. I hope surgery went well and she is feeling better than she did last time around. I also hope with all my heart that this “pruning” does the job. Keep us posted on SuperGirl, we’re cheering you on.

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