Poor Jazz is so tired. She’s had a very stressful day. It started out great, being a Saturday and all, but then there was a vet visit, and that’s always an epic Greek tragedy, as far as she’s concerned.
Jazz had to go have her tumor checked. As you can see from the photo up there, Jazz has a simply massive tumor, a malignant sarcoma. The scale is a bit skewed in the photo, so just for reference, that thing is easily the size of a healthy cantaloupe, definitely bigger than her rib cage.
We took her in for a check-up because there’s a new raw spot on the tumor, like it’s getting ready to break open, and also because we thought we’d found a second tumor under her left leg, on her tummy.
The vet’s reaction was, as Jim described it on Facebook earlier, “Whoa, how is she still alive? Neat!” The vet took a bunch of pictures of Jazz because she didn’t think her colleagues would believe her when she told them about it.
So, Jazz has been growing this thing for about four years now. When we first discovered her tumor, back when it was still quite small, we took her to the vet (same clinic, different veterinarian than now) to have it checked, and the vet said she thought it was just a fatty tissue tumor, nothing to worry about. By the time we were worried about it, it was too late to do anything. It was an unfortunate case of there being too much tumor and not enough dog, complicated by the fact that the tumor was too well supplied with blood to be easy to remove, or even debulk.
Our current vet didn’t think that Jazz had a second tumor. She thought the odd bump we had had found was probably just a fat pad. It might be a tumor, or maybe a swollen lymph node, but she said it didn’t feel like a hard mass.
The vet also confirmed that there wasn’t a lot we could do about the reddened spot we’d noticed, that the tumor probably would break open, and probably sooner rather than later. She said that she’d had some success at getting splits like that to heal closed again, but they inevitably reopen, so it’s likely that when the tumor finally pops open and infection sets in that Jazz will unfortunately be out of time.
In the meantime, Jazz is doing bizarrely well. She’s otherwise healthy, she’s happy, and she’s in no particular discomfort that we’ve noticed. She’s still playful and has a great appetite, which blows our vet’s mind. Blows our mind too, to be honest. I mean, she’s like 25% cancer at this point, and still pretty frisky for a 13-year-old dog.
At any rate, that’s the update on Jazz. She has a ridiculous amount of cancer and is still weirdly healthy, and we hope she carries on that way for awhile yet.