Sams journey with Lymphoma

Discussion in 'Labrador health' started by kateincornwall, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    Hello there ! Some of you know me , some may remember me but it is a long time since I joined you here , so much has happened . Eight months ago , we lost our darling little Millie , a rescue terrier , who was a wonderful companion to our lovely Sam , who is a five and a half years old black Labrador . Just weeks after Millie died , I noticed a very small raised red nodule on Sams chest , so took him to the Vet the following day . I could tell by the concerned expression that the Vet was worried and immediately carried out a FNA , fine needle aspirate to gather blood and cells from the site , these went off to the Lab for testing . Two days later, we received the devastating news , cancer cells had been detected and so surgery was booked for three days hence . To be honest , we were numb with shock , having just lost one dog , we could hardly believe that life could be so cruel yet again . The surgery went as well as it could do , the lump removed and a large margin of tissue surrounding the lump was taken , all to go to the laboratory . Sam himself seemed alright , but the wound was in a difficult place on his chest , and took some healing . Five days later , the results were back but were inconclusive , pointing to lymphoma but not 100% , so we were told about further, more complex tests which would be accurate . At first I refused , I guess I didn't want to face facts , but once I thought about it logically , I knew that we had to proceed . The lab confirmed that sufficient tissue was available , and so it went to a specialist veterinary pathologist , for a test called immunohistochemistry , known as the gold standard of tests , and the waiting began . It took over two weeks , two weeks which went by in a blur , but then we knew , for absolute certain , that our darling boy had a rare type of cancer called Epitheliotropic t cell Lymphoma . Our vet, knowing how devastated we would be, had spoken directly to the pathologist , to ask if there were any margin for error , sadly there wasn't , it was a definitive result . The prognosis is poor , chemo and radiotherapy are usually no use at all in this type of lymphoma , the prognosis is taken from the time of diagnosis as no one knows how long the dog has been harbouring these cells , usually between 2 and 18 months . Sam is now five months post diagnosis , he has typically lost some of his beautiful coat , he has suffered a couple of blips but managed to pull himself back again . He is assisting with research being carried out by the Animal Health Trust , they were sent the sample of tissue , plus Sams DNA and full pedigree , all are being held at their molecular oncology department . We have to try and remain positive for Sams sake , he wont ever overcome, but he can still enjoy life, still loves his walks and on most days, his food . Thank goodness he is blissfully unaware , we enjoy each day with our dear lad x
     
  2. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    Dear Kate, so sorry to read your devestating news, I was only thinking of you a couple of days ago. There are different types of Lymphoma and haven't heard of Sam's. I have two friends with Lymphoma, both diagnosed 20 years ago, one is on 'watch and wait' and the other has had three sessions of chemotherapy over the years, we never thought she would see the year 2,000. I just hope Sam can last as long as possible and I am deeply sorry to read of Sam's Lymphoma. Will be thinking of you xxx
     
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  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    Oh, Kate, it's so lovely to hear from you on here again :heart:

    Your post had me welling up for you, for darling Mille and for your most handsome of boys, Sam.

    To those forum members that aren't connected with either of us on FB, I met up with Kate and Sam with my tribe a couple of weeks go, and we shared a lovely walk at Golitha Falls. Sam was on good form, our walk having been postponed a few days previously because he was poorly. I hope with all my heart that good days like those continue for a very, very long time. He is such a gentle giant. Honestly, he's huge :rofl:

    Look at the size of his feet!!!

    16299647_10158200795705370_4825623847680046355_o.jpg

    So gentle with the Squidge :inlove:

    16299590_10158200796335370_6783479334681655121_o.jpg
     
  4. FayRose

    FayRose Registered Users

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    Heart breaking. Thank goodness he's with you while he goes through this and gets the very best chance and life he can. Bless you x
     
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  5. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    I sorry about everything and have no words to offer that can possibly express what I want say. I hope you all continue to be happy together for as long as possible.
     
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  6. Debs

    Debs Registered Users

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    So sorry to hear about Sam, and hope that you can have more lovely walks and fun days together. xx
     
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  7. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    Thank you so much . The most frustrating aspect , as an owner, is that due to its rarity , there isn't an awful lot of information about this type of cancer, known in its shortened name as ETCL . We just enjoy every single day, love him to pieces and hope that his immune system can help him to fight . I do know that some lucky dogs can live longer than Sams prognosis would seem to suggest , so we hope upon hope that he will be a lucky lad x
     
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  8. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Registered Users

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    Oh I'm so sorry! How awful for you!

    What a beautiful lad and although he might have a slightly shorter life - at least you know he has a brilliant one full of love and walks and treats!
     
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  9. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Good to see you back here Kate.
    Sam has the best ever care with you and I'm convinced he loves you all to bits.
    Rooting for you all xxxx
     
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  10. Pilatelover

    Pilatelover Registered Users

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    Oh Kate, I don't really have any words to express how sorry I am. Sending you lots of virtual hugs. Xx
     
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  11. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

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    I'm really sorry to learn of Sam's diagnosis. Take every moment with him and enjoy it - life is precious xx
     
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  12. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    Ah Kate, we have missed you on the forum. So glad to see you back here, despite your devastating news. You say you were numb with shock with the diagnosis - I bet you were, so soon after the loss of lovely Millie too. You know I keep up with your and Sam's story on Facebook, and I have been stunned by the random cruelty of life at times. :( But - you still have your darling Sam and he is a fighter, as are you. I know you will enjoy every day with your gorgeous boy, and he is a lucky dog, despite his illness, to be a member of such a loving and caring family. Xxx
     
  13. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I'm so sorry to hear of Sam's illness. I hope you have more good days ahead with him.
     
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  14. Jyssica

    Jyssica Registered Users

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    So so sorry to hear this, i havent had the pleasure of "meeting" you on this forum so hello from Me. Sam is stunning and so brave by the sounds of it, as are you.

    So sorry for the loss of your millie. And well done for providing Sam with an amazing home and life and continuing to make sure the rest of it is as special as can be.

    Heartbreaking xx
     
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  15. DebzC

    DebzC Registered Users

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    Goodness, that's shocking. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Xx
     
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  16. Granca

    Granca Registered Users

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    Good to see you back, Kate, but so sorry it's with such devastating news. It's good to see Sam enjoying a walk with Fiona's trio and I hope he has lots of lovely times ahead. Thinking of you.
     
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  17. samandmole

    samandmole Registered Users

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    I'm so sorry to hear your sad story. What a shock that must have been. I'm glad he is still happy and enjoying his walks. Long may it last. And hugs to you.
    Sam and Mole
     
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  18. BevE

    BevE Registered Users

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    He is just a lovely boy. May the good days continue for you all. I'll hug my Bailey a little harder tonight. Thinking of you xx
     
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  19. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Kate,it was so lovely to come on and see your name in the New Posts,you know how sorry I am for you about Sam ,it was such a shock.He's a wonderful dog and he's in the best hands,we've missed him too so thank you for coming on and sharing his story with us all x
     
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  20. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

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    So lovely to see you back Kate :). A terrible shock for you, words fail me.
     
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