To Cancer or Not to Cancer…

UPDATE:  June 4, 2008:  LUCY DOESN’T HAVE CANCER!!  Her vet called me late yesterday to tell me that she does not have cancer.  Instead she has something called nodular peniculitis.  I about died when the vet told me what it was.  Lucy’s body is literally rejecting her fat pockets!!  She has these pockets of fat on her body (which we knew about) but for some reason her body has decided to identify those as foreign objects and it attacking it – just like it would if she had cancer.  So she is giving cancer-like symptoms (high white blood cell count, producing large amounts of antibodies, large tumor-like lumps), but the only thing under those lumps are pockets of fat!  How great is that?!?!

The vet was like, “I have never actually seen this happen before!  I’ve read about it, but I’ve never seen it!”  She is going to do some research to find out how to treat it and we should have more information by tomorrow.

Maybe this is what is happening to my thighs!  Maybe my body is swelling up on my thighs because it is fighting fat pockets!  This just explains so much…


Turns out that Chris was right to worry. I took Lucy to the vet first thing on Monday and it didn’t go well. The vet took blood and was able to run some tests on it in their own office right away. They ruled out that it was a bacterial, viral, or allergic infection. Then, she came out to me and Lucy in the waiting room and asked us to “Step into her office.”

Why do doctors always do that? Its like that Sex and the City episode where Samantha gets tested for HIV and the nurse asks her to step into the back. Samantha faint immediately. Just the idea of going back into a secluded location to talk quietly about health is enough to make anyone faint.

So, Lucy and I go (unwillingly) into the office with her. The vet tells me that she is going to send blood samples off to a pathologist for further testing. She said that she wanted to prepare me for what to expect so that I wasn’t thrown off guard when the results came in. “We are asking them to do a cancer screening, Katie,” she said in her most vet-like voice. “And I fully expect the results to come back positive.”

It sounds harsh that she would just say it out loud like that, but honestly I was relieved. I hate it when doctors withhold information from you. Just tell me what’s going on and I’ll deal.

Needless to say, its been a hell of a day already as we wait for the results to come back. Then, about an hour ago, the vet tech, Debbie, called to tell me that the doctor was in surgery all day but had sent her review of the lab results and had asked Debbie to call me with the news. There was no “immediate threat.” There were parts of the blood work that seemed “questionable,” but so far things seemed pretty good. So I say to Debbie (because I’m kind of slow about these things), “So it’s not cancer?” Debbie paused and then said, “At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any immediate threat.” Good enough for me! I immediately hung up and called everyone I knew to tell them the good news.

But… Ah, yes. The buts. No good news ever follows a but.

But, as I was on the other line calling my middle school bus driver to tell her the good news (that’s a joke, by the way), I got a voicemail from my vet’s office. False alarm.

The FIRST blood test was back and it looked good, but this one did not have a cancer screening on it. The SECOND blood test was the cancer screening.

And, unfortunately, that has been sent to an oncologist for further review.

And my vet wants to talk to me this afternoon in person.




Filed under Lucy, Random

2 responses to “To Cancer or Not to Cancer…

  1. Emily – Thanks for the thoughts and well wishes – Lucy is cancer free! She’s just too fat!

  2. Here’s hoping that the doctor has hopeful news. Keeping my fingers crossed for you….