HI Rick and Bernie, So glad to hear Bernie is progressing. I know it seems slow, but when you write it all out to us, it sounds steady! Be sure and ask the dr. about the lump when you see him, but in the meantime maybe the hot compresses that Joe suggested will help. I imagine that must be scary to have read that his disc problem is degenerative. But maybe it doesn't necessarily mean he'll need more surgery. I hope the dr. can ease your mind about that. Bet Bernie is enjoying his new giant kennel!! Thanks for the update.