Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Always on Guard - A Barkley Update

Barkley hangs out in my home office a lot. There's a little bed there where I often bed down after reviewing reports or staying up late on the computer. The bed is comfy, if small, and smells like me. PLUS he can see the walk up to the front door, from dawn to dark, always in wait for his arch enemy the UPS man (who might be delivering a package of live squirrels, you know).

The pathology report is in. Not good news, but not grim.

It IS definitely cancer and it's malignant but distant metastasis is very uncommon in this one. Meibomian Epithelioma. Basically, it's a tumor of low-grade malignancy arising from the meibomian glands (modified sebaceous glands which are located on the inner surface of the eye with a preponderance of basaloid cells and a few sebocytes and ducts). These holocrine glands have a duct which opens at the eyelid margin. Dr. H. has only seen one in 12 years of her practice. The pathologist said the basaloid cells show marked mitotic activity (the abnormal cells have spread to the margins) so it will likely come back. He's doing better now (though I caught him surfing the web for C4, a shovel and some article about Cone disposal) but the first 6 months after surgery are crucial during which constant monitoring is a must. So that I will do. I don't love very often, but I love hard, and this dog has got more than a bit of my heart.

It's not the best news, but it's time, hopefully lots of it.

Just a reminder if you have dogs and cats, check their eyes. If you see any growths, in the corner as this one was, looking like a tiny black pebble, or on the lid, don't just say "oh it's just a sty or a fatty tumor". A visit to your vet could save a life.

Would we all be like the dog, our pain hidden deep inside
where unkind thoughts and fear and loss are buried with our pride
With someone - stalwart friend, kind soul,
who shows us wrong from right
with rebuke soft, a gentle hand,
unfair judgment far from sight.
Would we know that secret place, where playful thoughts abide,
waiting only for that one true friend, in whom we can confide
- Brigid