Saturday, January 2, 2010

Decision Time 3-6th December 2009

Mum and Dad have spent a lot of time trying to decide what to do. Mum's mum had radiotherapy for a brain tumour and survived six weeks after the treatment finished. The treatment made her blind and affected her memory, and didn't fix her cancer problem. Mum is worried.

They watched a video showing another dog's radiation therapy and listened to what his parents had to say.

Then they made a list of what's important:
  1. Gromit's quality of life during and after radiation treatment
  2. Gromit's likely survival with or without radiation treatment
  3. The family's ability to deal with the side effects of radiation (what if Misty put her nose into Gromit's face and a fight ensued? Should Misty be boarded out?)
Then they made a list of what's less important:
  1. The cost of treatment
  2. The logistics of getting Gromit to treatment (thank you Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre for offering day hospitalisation)
  3. Everything else going on right now - work, Christmas etc.
Dr Rod answered all of their questions. The average survival time of dogs with oral fibrosarcomas without treatment is 6 months, with treatment the average survival is 18 months. This sounds bad, but my tumour is in a "good spot" meaning that radiation will reach the right tissue, and it will minimise the damage to other tissue. BUT my tumour is described as high grade, which means it will invade locally. 

Everybody's decision at this point will be different, because their list of what's important and what's not important will be different. But I truly believe everyone makes the right decision for them.

One wise soul helped Mum and Dad immensely with their decision making. They said "When you make your decision, you need to know you aren't choosing between the good option and the bad option. The good option is off the table. You are choosing between the bad, the very bad and the ugly options." This did help because they were trying to choose the good option.

Yet another really long weekend as we all wait for the Monday appointment. We took a trip down to the beach at Wynnum and enjoyed the sunshine and tried to forget about Monday.

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