Kaylee (Fall 2013)
...by Lynette B
While vacationing in the Southwest in October of 2011, we noticed a slight swelling on Kaylee's muzzle. We thought that perhaps she had been stung by a bee, but when we checked inside her mouth, the swelling was a hard, olive sized area over her canine tooth. We sent IPhone photos to our vet, Dr. Don Canfield, and brought her in for an exam as soon as we returned home.
Dr. Canfield noticed that the tooth was beginning to get loose and suggested pulling it, which we did the following day. He sent tissue samples for pathology studies that came back reporting that Kaylee had a fibro-sarcoma. He suggested that we immediately call WSU, which we did that day and were able to get her an appointment in mid November.
Kaylee had surgery to remove several of her upper teeth, and the tumor, to the midline of her muzzle. She recuperated at home in Puget Sound over Thanksgiving and then went back to WSU for the month of December for radiation treatments. She was lucky enough to spend nearly every night with Kristi, a student who fell in love with her - which helped our frame of mind as much as Kaylee's!
Kaylee came home on Christmas Eve - best Christmas gift ever! Her face was raw from the radiation and was itchy as healing took place but she was good about wearing the 'cone of humiliation' and not scratching her wound.
We are now one and a half years post surgery and she has bounced back remarkably. We take 8-15 mile hikes in the Olympics, long walks on the beach and cross country camping trips. She proudly wears her crimson and grey "Cancer Survivor" scarf and name tag as she enthusiastically greets everyone with her "Elvis smile". We rescued a companion Malamute-mix for her, as well as the 3 cats that he had raised. The 5 of them are inseparable and sleep all piled up on each other and play endlessly together.
We are so grateful to all the doctors and staff at WSU for their care and compassion - toward Kaylee and toward us as we were trying to wrap our minds around her disease and its repercussions. She is now 10 years old and we have cherished every minute of our gifted 18 additional months, and look forward to many more months (and hopefully years) of laughing at her antics, hiking in the mountains and running on the beach.
Thank you WSU!!!
Doctors: Fidel, Choy, Campbell and Kennedy
Staff: Kay Glaser and Betsy Wheeler
Students: Kristi, April and Cori
Lynette and Craig, Kaylee, Buck, Toby, Tanner and Tucker