Status Update on the Dog

While I’ve tweeted about Lucky since the end of June, I haven’t written an update post about how he’s been doing.

The week after that post was was written, Lucky was down to 75 pounds–skin and bones. Over the next two weeks, we got him back up to about 83 pounds, where he held steady until our last doctor’s appointment four weeks ago. He received three rounds of CCNU three weeks apart and at the last CCNU, we suspected he was relapsing. Sure enough, he was. We responded with another elspar treatment followed by another chemo drug. At this point, the oncologist suspected that the lymphomas was affecting his nervous system. We took him for a consult and the neurologist didn’t know if the lymphoma was affecting his nervous system or if it was a disc issue in his spine. We elected not to do an MRI (at $2,000+) because he wasn’t a candidate for surgery if it was a disc and chemo would be the treatment if it was lymphoma. Either way, the oncologist recommended chemo every week or every other week as the best treatment to maintain Lucky’s quality of life for as long as possible. Remission was off the table.

At this point, husband and I took at step back to decide if we felt like we could continue (financially, emotionally, etc…) and whether we felt like Lucky could handle the increased visits to the doctor.

We elected to stop treatment and notified the oncologist last week.

The chemo drugs are now out of his system. He’s on supportive medications. The lymph nodes under his neck are already almost as large as they were before we started treatment in June and he’s stopped vocalizing and barking. We’re concerned that these enlarged nodes will eventually make eating, drinking, and breathing extremely difficult, at which point a decision will be made. He’s sleeping a lot (consistent with pre-treatment Lucky), but his weight appears to be holding steady.

For now, we’re just trying to enjoy every day with him because I never know when I’m going to come home from work and find him gone.

He’s such a good dog.

Sometimes You Just Have to Ride Things Out

Irene rolled through here during the last half of yesterday and over night. As I’m typing this, the rain is lessening outside and emails from friends checking in are coming in. Two natural disasters in one week (the earthquake and the storm) reminded me that sometimes all you can do is make the necessary preparations ahead of time and then ride it out.

pen stand.
Creative Commons License photo credit: theperplexingparadox

Speaking of riding things out, school starts for me on Wednesday. This will be my third (and last) fall semester and most of my summer to do list didn’t get done. Instead, I’ll spend the next few days and weeks making the necessary preparations (cleaning house, doing laundry, sleeping) so that when project start becoming due, all I have to do is work on them and ride it out.