February 2013 - LucyOur Patient of the Month for February is Lucy.  She is a friendly and adorable spayed female Australian shepherd mix who is now 15 ½ years old.  Lucy was presented to our Oncology department at VRCC in August 2010, just have she turned 13 years old.  She had recently had surgery to remove a soft tissue sarcoma from the inside of her left elbow.  Due to the location and the size of the tumor, it was not possible to completely remove all of the cancer, thus the family was concerned about it growing back quickly.  Lucy was beginning to have a little weakness in her back legs at that time and therefore amputation was not a consideration.  The family was faced with a difficult dilemma.  They had the option of no further treatment but did not like the idea of this potentially curable sarcoma becoming the disease that would ultimately take her life. Radiation therapy was chosen as the treatment for Lucy’s cancer so that it would be cured, while saving Lucy’s leg in the process.  Lucy’s family notes that , “She had to undergo 18 consecutive cancer radiation sessions. She had to be anesthesized each time and despite this ordeal she weathered the storm really well and she was able to recover fully thanks to Dr. Elmslie and her fine staff.”

One and a half years later, Lucy developed another health issue requiring intervention at VRCC once again.  The family reports, “in March of 2012 she collapsed and could hardly stand anymore due to a ruptured disk. Thanks to Dr. Lane and his surgical skills she is now able to walk and jump again.”   Lucy is a trooper.  She has overcome cancer and back surgery.  The family says,  “She is 15 ½ years old and our sweetheart.”