We saw the oncologist last Tuesday and the prognosis is extremely guarded. They did an ultrasound and saw what looked like some evidence of the re-emergence of the fibrosarcoma on the heart. There is a small chance that what they saw was merely fibrosis and scarring from the surgery, but they think that is unlikely. Unfortunately, if this comes back again, surgery is not an option because the heart would now be involved directly.
Maggie had her first course of chemotherapy that day. There is literally no record of a fibrosarcoma in the heart sac in the literature, so the doctor has no way of giving odds of success. Maggie is doing combination therapy of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, two drugs that have shown efficacy in fighting fibrosarcomas, albeit in other parts of the body. In typical Maggie fashion, she showed no side effects from the doxorubicin. She slept for a while after the infusion and the next day she was right as rain. She's one seriously tough little bitch.
We have a follow up in two weeks to see if the drugs have had any effect and if there is any evidence of the disease growing. One thing that must be borne in mind is that chemo for dogs is not given at the same dosage (adjusted for weight) as for humans. When doctors first started treating dogs with drugs, the owners were appalled at how sick the dogs were getting from the chemo. As a result, veterinary oncology is more focused on providing as much quality time with the animal than on attempting to cure.
So, it is difficult. But Scottish Lass and I have taken the attitude that we are going to be as positive as possible and hope for the best. If the news is bad, at least we will not have wasted our remaining time with the MagDog in sadness. I've taken to holding her for long stretches an imagining my love for her cleaning her heart of the disease. Silly, perhaps, but it can't hurt.
For now, though, it's kind of a bizarre situation because Maggie is 100% normal. There is no evidence at all that she is sick in the least. She is jolly and active and happy and shows no signs at all of discomfort. So, at the least, I view that as a positive.