The Riley Report

Five weeks ago, Riley had his first x-ray after finishing chemo.  His last x-ray was on Halloween, and it showed clear lungs.  This one was not clean.  They took three pictures, and on one of them, they could see a shadow that they were pretty sure but maybe not but probably is a lesion.  So Riley’s cancer metastasized.  When we got his diagnosis at the end of last summer, they told us that with the amputation and chemo, his odds were 50/50 that he’d be cancer free in year.  Looks like Riley fell into the wrong 50.  They couldn’t tell us anything else (like how bad, how fast, how much longer) without a second x-ray, so that brings us to today.  His second x-ray was this afternoon, and while there’s still only the one spot, it has grown by 38%.  That only brought it to 2cm, so it shouldn’t be affecting him yet.  The vet says it probably won’t bother him until it gets to 5-7cm or unless more appear.  We started the metronomic chemo (low doses by pill) yesterday, in the hopes that it will slow the growth.  Our next x-ray is in 7 weeks.

John is upstairs trying to make an L-shaped cut into a porcelain tile with a hacksaw, I just finished cooking Riley some chicken, and he’s hanging out on his dog bed looking at me.  (I feel judged – I’m not being entertaining enough.  Or I’m in trouble for not giving him the chicken yet. It’s too hot, buddy!)

He’s still okay for now.  We are, too.


  1. momma betty

    Thanks for the update news. So, mixed news. It doesn’t sound terribly aggressive since it still seems to be confined to his lungs. With the chemo pills slowing the growth (assuming they do), you could have him with you for maybe another year. He’d be 12 by them–a good long life for a big dog.

    Maybe you need a kitty for his entertainment.

  2. Zannah

    He heard a kitty meowing at the vet yesterday – he was VERY interested in what was in that little crate. I thought it being in the lungs is the bad part – it’s just a matter of how much of the lungs have been taken over. But yes, if the chemo pills do their job, he’ll be with us for a while longer. If they don’t, we might be lucky to have 4 more months before he starts to feel bad. But still – 4 months is okay.

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