Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gilligan's outfits over time and summary of his doctor visit: No additional bad news

Gilligan and I sporting our boxer shorts. Gilligan is wearing his Homer Simpson boxers and I have on the smurf boxers. You also may notice I have both my running fanny pack as well as a backpack. In the backpack was Powder, Gilligan's girlfriend cat. She was there to score a second freebie scoop for Gilligan. All we asked for was 2 separate scoops for our critters (not dogs--cause she is not a dog) because we don't want to get banned from Brusters. They gave us 2 of which Gilligan essentially got both. Powder got a lick or two of ice cream but did not seem overally concerned when Gilligan helped himself.

This is Puffie watching Gilligan eat her ice cream. I think Powder (like Simba earlier in the week) did not mind sharing with Gilligan.

After Gilligan's vet visit on Thursday morning we went to Brusters for ice cream run #1. Later that day, we went for ice cream run #2 after my usual fun run at Fleet Feet. Everyone at Brusters was so nice to Gilligan. The lady owner of Brusters in Gaithersburg came out, chatted and gave Gilligan a hug (which I know he appreciated)then the gentleman owner also came out and chatted with us. We really like the owners as they are both very nice and friendly (and of course they are REALLY generous with Gilligan's portions....although then again they are really generous with the human's portions as well:-) Which of course I like because I see no point in portion control

Puffie decided to test out Gilligan's boxers but they were too large. Or perhaps she beat him up for his boxers (it's a tough call because we pretty much have no idea what the critters do while we are fact several times a month I see powder walking around in my somehow she gets into the hamper, grabs a pair of undergarments then we spot her walking around with them around her neck or stomach). Gilligan is like many children in that he will take off his boxers any time he can (or else perhaps he is preparing for naked hiking day this Sunday--this fun fact I learned from my running club because of a planned run near the AT where apparently this is quite commen)

Because Gilligan is scratching at his neck stitches we had to figure out how to cover his neck. Several bandana's sort of did the trick although this morning he had gotten this contraption off. We now have an ongoing battle RE: his boxers and bandana's. Perhaps he is discomfortable with his currently not very well put together ensemble (although he does make a statement with: Simpsons, patriotism and blood donation).

Thursday I took the day off from work so Tristan and I could go to Gilligan's oncologist appt. Getting ready for this appt I created a list of at least 25 questions. Tristan had zero. Then after the Doctor left the room he finally comes up with one that I have no idea the answer to. (I at least can answer some because of my years at Center for Veterinary Medicine--in fact some of my questions I knew the "right answer" but needed the doctor to confirm she was on the same page. For example, pain management pro or con---I am STRONGLY pro pain management having a background i which I had quite a few surgeries and knowing that many well designed and well run clinical studies suggest with adequate pain management prognosis and recovery time are improved).

Basically, this doctor was a surgeon. I also sadly have extensive experience with surgeons thanks to being hit by a car. They seem to suggest surgery as the #1 choice. It is understandable because that is their speciality. But after the pain Gilligan was in earlier this week, I am very hesistant to go for surgery very soon. While surgery after surgery is certainly a viable option for diseases in which time is of the essence, limiting the time between surgeries certainly increases certain risks. Also, considering he had this mass since Sept/Oct, it seems a week or two is not likely to be as critical as if this bump had appeared and grown in mere weeks or days (8 months +/- a few weeks doesn't seem to be statisically significant).

Since I go on a business trip next week, Tristan goes to Mt Rainier the next week (for over 10 days) and then I have VT100, we have decided to take a wait and see approach until the end of July.

Finally, considering the literature it seems benadryl or steriods may have a decent chance of slowing down progression to Mast Cell Tumors we definitely are putting Gilligan on Benadryl.

Apparently the vets here are not thrilled at steriods but a few articles suggest prednisone (a steriod) has a decent response (well at least reading the articles from a statistical perspective).
1) We know Gilligan handles prednisone because he gets shots about 1-2 times a year when his allergies get out of control (his last dosing was in Dec when he and powder both had e-collars on for the holidays:-).
2) Gilligan is not planning to be competitive in any sport (well except sleeping) so he can use steriods without fear.
3) Relatively speaking steriods are not as horrible a medication as others particularly for older critters (human or dog) and those not of or before "child bearing age" (Gilligan no longer has man berries so he is an ideal candidate for steriods)

Of course if his mass gets bigger (or any other mass gets bigger) we may alter this treatment path, but for now both Tristan and I are hesitant to put Gilligan through more invasive treatments. Right about now I think it would be easier if we did not have degree's in biostatistics nor additional knowledge about medical procedures/products. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But alas it does give us some knowledge about what we might expect.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Man, is there anything Benadryl can't do?

Gilligan looks pretty stylin' in his Simpsons boxers!

You could take a few fashion hints from him sister, because ...


You're embarrassing Gilligan!

Runner Tammy said...

You are right, Benadryl is like the duct tape of medicines:-)

I love the smurfs....even more when I realized how annoying them saying "smurf-tastic", "smurf-alicious" and "smurf, smurf, smurf" was to my parents.

In fact recently I was staying at my dad's and stumbled on a smurf marathon on the cartoon network.

I really had to dig deep but was able to hold out until my dad finally caved and demanded the TV be turned off or the channel changed. Stupidly I did not try to negotiate a significant amount of money/goods to turn the TV off because I was just barely holding onto my sanity (smurfs like roller coasters might only be good when you are a kid--or else quite inebrieted).

But really, how can one not love a show when there is only one female and she is adored by all? I know this is a step backwards for women's lib, but she totally had all the rest of them wrapped around her smurf finger:-)

Jimbo said...

Sounds like Gilligan is playing the "sympathy card" (and rightly so!)

So glad you have a plan - I know that once we had met with the oncology folks, everything came into focus. We went from absolute panic to "calm collected let's kill this thing".

Judging from the timing of your future actions, it seems that his prognosis is good?

Runner Tammy said...

Hi Jimbo,

Gilligan's prognosis is guarded. Oddly enough a "stage 2" Mast Cell Tumor can either be pretty good (many years of quality life) or else get malignant pretty quickly. We are keeping our paws and fingers crossed that he is in the positive survival group. Although if he lives until he is 14-16 years, we may start looking a bit bedraggled because he is a restless sleeper and takes up all our bed!