Monday, June 15, 2009

Gilligan's Biopsy Results: Not Good

Today Tristan and I went to the vets to get Gilligan's drain removed and to have his arm/wrist bandage changed. The biopsy results also came in. You know it is bad news when the results are going to be given to you straight from the doctor.

Gilligan's paw is a Stage 2 Cell Mass (or something...I just can't think clearly anymore, I didn't even bother bringing a pad and paper because I have been functioning at about 50% of capacity since my mom passed away and declined to 30% after Gilligan's surgery). Basically the mass is malignant. We go to see an oncologist sometime (the appointment has yet to be made). Sadly in the past few days I have felt more bumps.

Now considering he had 17, of which 5 were removed (1 of which was malignant), but now he has 2 more (one on his neck area and one on his side/belly) we are now starting to fight what I might suggest is a losing battle.

The only bright side is that Tristan was supposed to tell me on Friday if Gilligan started biting at his wounds he was supposed to get dressed in a T-shirt and boxers (Gilligan, not Tristan...although frequently Tristan is just dressed in a T-shirt in boxers, which is fine, right?). Well anyway, in my car I had my American Red Cross Blood Donation T-shirt so we could put that on Gilligan.

After getting home we tried to put on a pair of Tristan's boxer shorts. Lets just say Gilligan clearly is WAY better endowed than Tristan.

So we had to go out and get a larger pair of boxer shorts for Gilligan. We decided to go novelity boxers. We so wanted to get a pair in pink that said "Juicy", but that was not to happen.

What we did end up getting was 3 pairs (so if he whizzes or bleeds to much on any pair we can swap out and wash them). Gilligan's three pairs of boxers include:

Simpsons, with pictures of Homer and all sorts of duff beer related products

South Park, with the caption "Rock Star"

Smurfs, with smurfs all over. In fact I considered getting a pair of jammie bottoms with smurfette all over so Gilligan and I could match but "the bank" (aka Tristan) said he would not subsidize our cuteness.

We also considered (but did not buy... cheap bank!) a pair of boxers with Stewie from Family Guy and two different smiley fact boxers (one with a bunch of yellow smileys and one with a psychodelic rainbow with smileys all over).

In fact the psychodelic smiley boxers might have been appropriate if Gilligan had gotten some pain meds. During his visit today, I tried hard to earn him some morphine (or other strong painkiller). Gilligan has been whimpering but the vet suggested it could be that he keeps scratching at his stitches/surgeries (and Gilligan hasn't whimpered since the 2 weeks straight of whimpering he did when he was a puppy).

Since I didn't score him any good pain meds, maybe his new outfit will help. I sure hope so.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

O, I am so sorry to hear that the news is not good. I saw this post quite some time ago and resisted clicking on it once I saw the title. I knew it would sadden me and remind me of the time when we had bad news about Sushi, our last dog.

But I am heartened to see that you are keeping your sense of humor, sister, even if it is at Tristan's expense. (I'm sure he can take it!)

I'm still hoping for the best for Gilligan.

And for you, too, sister. You have received quite a few hard blows lately, and I hope you are faring as well as your sense of humor indicates. But I also know the shock of these things can take a while to set in.

Please try to be prepared.

Take care, sister!

Kim said...

So sad to hear that. Is Gilligan an older dog? We lost two dogs to cancer, and they were getting elderly.
Just give him lots of love and pampering (although I don't know how that dog could get any more pampered!!) and hang in there.

Jimbo said...


Sorry to read this :(

If your experience is anything like ours, then it will be very tough to predict any outcomes or prognoses until the oncologists have taken a look at him and explained treatment options - because I am sure there will be options.

Best wishes

Runner Tammy said...


Thank you. It is so sad that we cannot explain to Gilligan what is going on. And so far no matter how hard I try I have not been successful at getting some extra pain medications.

I know Gilligan is being so sweet and good about this. Last night he ended up climbing in bed with us. This time it was Gilligan, Tristan then I with cats randomly staking claim to bits of bed real estate. I liked our last sleeping arrangment which was Tristan, Gilligan then I, although Tristan suggested Gilligan would kick him occasionally. Tristan needs to toughen up!


Gilligan is 7.5 years old. He is a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog which I knew had a high rate of cancer. But I convinced myself that he would not be a statistic. Different literature/organizations have different numbers however, I know one place suggests Berners average life span is 6-8 years. Another book suggests 8-10, so relatively speaking he might be longer lived then some.


Thank you for your encouraging words. We have an oncologist appointment on Thursday so will be able to hear what she has to say. I am quite worried because he is not recovering well from his surgery (my comparison is puffie's spaying this past Dec when after about 1 day she was back to CRAZY!).

He also is now not eating and is whimpering a bit. Hopefully he will be on the mend soon and perhaps some treatment options might help him be more comfortable.