A year ago, Rufio had a mast cell tumor removed. The surgery went well, removal was successful, and the tumor was determined to be low grade and therefore not much of a concern. We celebrated and I thought the ordeal was behind us. However, just 6 months later, another tumor appeared in the same spot, followed quickly by 2 more, and a cyst.
Although mast cell tumors are not uncommon for pugs, the aggressiveness of Rufio's tumors has left us with very few options. He is currently on several medications to keep the growth of the tumors under control, but this is a temporary fix, and it is starting to fail.
After speaking to the vet and the oncologist several times, we have all agreed that Rufio's best chance is if he goes through chemo to shrink the tumors down to a more manageable size before attempting surgery again.
I've spent the last couple months trying to decide if I want to put him through this, and more importantly, how I'm going to pay for it if I do. Once we start the treatments, it's important that he sticks to it and sees it through.
Over the past week, Rufio's tumors have started to bleed and I made the decision that I have to at least try to get him the treatment that he needs. He's in very good health with this one exception, and he's only about halfway through the average life span for a pug, so I scheduled his first chemo appointment for next week, but I need help. Once we start treatment, it's full steam ahead.
He will need to go through 4 weekly, followed by 4 bi-weekly chemo treatments that cost $220 each, including blood work to make sure the chemo isn't doing damage to his body. When the tumors have shrunk down to an operable size, he will need additional testing to make sure the cancer hasn't spread to other parts of his body (this will cost $675 - $823). Once he gets the all clear, he will be able to go back into surgery to remove the tumors and the cyst, this will cost between $600 and $900. Following surgery, the oncologist has recommended that Rufio go through radiation as a pre-caution, due to the aggressive nature of the tumors, but the cost of this will be unknown until post-surgery.
As you can see, the costs add up quickly. I am not the type of person who usually asks for help, but right now the only way to help him is to get him treatment, and I just can't do it all by myself right now.
How you can help...
Any kind of donation will help! If all of my friends donated $10, it would put a very reasonable chunk in the overall cost. Think of it as donating two Starbucks lattes to help Rufio get better!
Another way you can help is by sharing this site with your friends and family, animal lovers, organizations that help sick animals...really, just share it with everyone!
Every little bit will help, and we have a long road ahead of us!
(For anyone wondering how I came to the total number: I added up the total cost for one round of treatment, pre-surgery screening, and surgery; estimated the cost of post-surgery radiation, and accounted for the 7.9% that gofundme takes on their end.)
- Joni Tavares Hazim
- Jason Yillik
- Michael Sandell
- John Devine
- John Mulka
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