One look at her adorable Mohawk and happy smile and it’s hard to believe that Cassie has been through so much. When she arrived at her forever home with Sharon Powers, Cassie, a lovable cocker spaniel, was 1 ½-years-old and had already lived a hard life. She was rescued from a puppy mill where she was used for breeding. Sharon was happy to bring her home from a shelter in Las Vegas and give all the love and care she needed. In the years following, Sharon and Cassie have shared a wonderful life that has included many, many car rides, Cassie’s favorite past time!
Two years ago, when Cassie was eight years old, her vet found a tumor on the base of her ear. The tumor was surgically removed and testing revealed it was an apocrine gland adenocarcinoma, a type of skin tumor. Following surgery, Cassie did well and her prognosis was good. As a standard of care, Sharon brought Cassie in to her veterinarian for follow up every three months, but at six months, Sharon had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right. After ultrasound, her doctor found a mass on her gall bladder. Following the removal of Cassie’s gall bladder, histology revealed cholangiocarcinoma, bile duct cancer. This tumor was unrelated to her first cancer. This time, Sharon decided to bring Cassie to the Flint Animal Cancer Center for further evaluation. Doctors at the FACC suggested chemotherapy and Sharon agreed to move forward.
Cassie received four rounds of carboplatin over the course of two months and tolerated chemotherapy very well. She maintained a good appetite and energy level throughout. During her treatment, Cassie and Sharon formed a special bond with Cassie’s nurse, Lindsay and her veterinary oncologist, Dr. Lana.
“We love Lindsay and Dr. Lana! They are so kind and caring and they’ve been great at communicating with me about Cassie’s care. I would not take her anywhere else, I know she is in the most capable hands,” explained Sharon.
In September 2016, Cassie finished chemo and was feeling good. She has returned every three months for a recheck. After one year of living cancer-free, an ultrasound revealed a large mass on Cassie’s liver. CT confirmed metastatic liver cancer. After weighing the options presented by Dr. Lana, Sharon has decided to move forward with a different chemotherapy protocol to treat the new tumor.
“I feel so strongly that they are making a difference [at the Flint Animal Cancer Center] and as long as Cassie is feeling happy and healthy, I’m going to do what it takes,” said Sharon.
Despite going through chemo again, Cassie is still excited to jump in the car and go for a ride. She continues to be her happy self, wagging her tail with excitement when she arrives for her visits at the FACC.
“Cassie has been a trooper through all of her visits with us. She is always friendly, easy to work with, and she has a genuinely happy spirit,” shared Dr. Lana.
Through this experience, Sharon has learned that cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Many animals live a great quality of life in spite of their cancer and even the associated treatment and wants to let others know that as well.
“Cassie has been given a chance for a longer, quality life through treatment and I continue to be grateful for the care she has received at the Flint Animal Cancer Center.”
Your gift to the Flint Animal Cancer Center will support our mission to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in beloved pets like Cassie. Please join our team of hope. Together we can make a difference; together we can work toward a cure.