Today, we woke up early to bring Maximus to the University of Guelph for his first radiation treatment. We left at 7:00 a.m. so that we could be there for 8:30. Once there, we checked in and, while we waited, Maximus picked himself a comfy spot and cowered.
We spoke to the radiation oncologist who gave us the lowdown. This would be the first of five weekly radiation treatments for Maximus. Regardless of the results, five would be it. The treatment would target the tumor located in his right inside cheek, close to his throat. Apparently, in similar circumstances, radiation has shrunk approximately 70% of tumors. The treatment will be administered in conjunction with a bi-monthly anti-cancer vaccine that, if effective, will stop the spread of this particularly aggressive form of melanoma.
The tumor will be monitored with each visit. If the tumor actually grows rather than shrinks, radiation will be discontinued.
Side effects may include fur loss on the side of his face receiving the treatment and the development of a blister on the targeted area after the third or fourth treatment.
According to the doctor, with this treatment, we can expect Maximus to be with us for 6-8 months. Without treatment, it would be less than a month. In a very best case scenario, we’re able to get rid of the cancer. But this is, apparently, a long shot. Another side effect she mentioned was the possibility of Maximus developing cataracts – but that would occur a year or two after treatment and, if he’s around a year or two after treatment to get the cataracts then I’ll be happy to deal with them at that time.
We left Maximus at the small animal hospital and, with two hours to kill, headed downtown.
Yes, Guelph has a downtown.
We stopped for breakfast/lunch…
After lunch, we took a stroll through Guelph’s version of the Forum Shops…
Eventually, we headed back and picked up our little guy. He was happy to see us and, to our relief, seemingly none the worse for wear.