A few weeks ago we came home from the Arvada West graduation, and noticed that Loki, our 9 year old lab, was acting really weird. He ate dinner, but wasn't into it like he normally is, and wouldn't eat any peanut butter (his favorite) when we offered it to him. After watching him for a couple of hours and noticing him getting worse, we took him to the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital. They determined that he was bleeding into his abdomen from his spleen, and had to do emergency surgery to remove his spleen. That went off without a hitch with them finding a 2 inch tumor on his spleen. It took almost a week to get back the biopsy results, but the result was that it was hemangeosarcoma, which is malignant cancer, and by the time you actually catch it, there's a 99% chance that its spread already. Since it's in the bloodstream, and microscopic, it's impossible to tell. So we were faced with 2 options, either do chemotherapy, or don't do chemotherapy. It apparently works different in dogs than in people. They use a much lower dose of everything, so side effects are pretty rare, and it can't cure the cancer, just extend his life a little and give him a good quality of life.
Without chemo his average lifespan was told to be 2-3 months, with chemo it was 6-8, which obviously isn't a whole lot more, but our dogs are our boys so as long as it would not only do something, but give him a good quality of life, then there really wasn't a choice for us.
He finished his first round of chemo on Monday (has to go back every 3 weeks for a couple of months), and seems to be doing well. He's playing and active, and while he's not completely acting normal, he's pretty close.
This whole thing just really sucks though. It's hard for me to even think of him as being sick since he's acting like himself, but I guess that's just how cancer is. Hopefully we can give him a really good summer (take him swimming, hiking, etc...). I regret that Peter most likely won't be old enough to play with Loki before Loki dies, but we'll be able to tell him stories and show him photos and videos of our crazy black lab.