A quick update…

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Hi all,

First off, I wanted to let you all know how much the outpouring of support has meant to us.  It’s been a rough couple of days (for me), and I really have been buoyed up by the “Tripawds Cheer Squad.”  It’s one thing to have support from friends, but its another to have the support from people who’ve “been there” or are currently experiencing a lot of the same things we’re going through.

Secondly, I wanted to give a quick update…  Rio’s cytology came back yesterday, and there were no big surprises.  It was simply a confirmation of what we already suspected.  After two nights of Google-mania, I have decided that we will give the Kinivet (masitinib) a try.  We’ll monitor CBC and some protein-urine thing and recheck her ultrasound in 3-4 weeks.  If at that time there doesn’t seem to be a significant reason to continue the meds, then we will stop.  Fortunately, Rio has a wonderful dog-ter friend who has offered to get me the meds at cost, since they are newly approved and quite expensive.

Rio will also need to take benedryl and pepcid everyday from now on.  There is a significant risk of degranulation, in which the Mast Cells basically explode and send histamines rampaging through the body.  The risk at this stage is pretty high for stomach ulcers, bleeding, and anaphylactic shock, so the meds are precautionary. The benedryl makes her pretty sleepy, but I think the extra naps are good for her.  (Gayle said so!)

When Rio started this journey at the beginning of this year, I told my husband I wanted to do a road trip with Rio.  I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and I want her to be there with me when I do.  This summer has been pretty busy, and it’s been easy to make excuses for why it wasn’t possible to do this trip — who would take care of my clients, water my garden, where’s the gas money coming from, etc.  I want you all to know, we are going!  We are making the final plans and arrangements, but we are going.  We’ll probably leave in a couple of weeks, stop and see some family and friends along the way, but Grand Canyon or Bust!!!!  Those squirrels better look out!!!

The Wooooo!

 


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Two months later….

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After the last couple of days events, our oncologist wanted to see Rio, so we went to see Dr. Sarah this morning and…  and we are OKAY!  Good vitals, the appetite is back (with a vengeance, I might add) and her energy level is much, much better.  We even played ball out in the yard for a teeny bit today (it was so, so nice and it’s been such a long, cold, grey winter).

And (shout out for the Woo), it’s been two months Continue reading

The dreaded pathology report….

Last night Rio’s oncologist called with the pathology results.  As I already half expected, the results are less than great.  Since her cancer has resurfaced post-chemo, we knew going in that it was likely to be a more aggressive version of the disease.  Also since it was in the region of a lymph node we knew there was every likelihood that it could be in those tissues as well.  Continue reading

Road to recovery — Part I

Rio underwent the amputation surgery yesterday, February 8.   I’d been having a really hard time with the idea of her losing her leg, and I wasn’t positive even as we went to our appointment with the surgeon if I was going to go through with it.  I’d been trying to think about it from the angle of “if it was elsewhere on her body, what would I do?”.  If it was on her back or her haunches or some other easily operable spot, the surgery would have been scheduled within hours of the diagnosis, so what was my problem?  The surgery was imperative if she was going to survive this particular tumor. Continue reading

The next step

I have yet again grilled my oncologist and regular veterinarian ad nauseum about the pros and cons of the entire spectrum of treatment routes and their respective prognoses, and have gone ahead and scheduled Rio’s surgery for next Tuesday, Feb. 8.  Now I just have to stay busy and try not think about it too much between now and then…and remember to breathe when I do….

On a separate but related note, does anyone here have any firsthand knowledge of some of the holistic/naturopathic formulas on the market, specifically K9 Immunity, Transfer Factor or other similar?  Are they as effective as the websites they are sold on would have me believe?

Say it ain’t so….

My best girl, Rio (aka, The Woo), is almost 11.  I adopted her from the Humane Society when she was just 6 weeks old.  From the very beginning, we were soulmates, best buddies, inseparable.

We were told she was German Shepherd/Lab mix when we got her, but according to a recent DNA test, Rio is a German Shepherd/Whippet/Harrier/Pug/Mix. Continue reading