Done with chemo!!!

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June was insane, and July was beyond insane.  But I promised more details about how Rio’s been doing.

She finished up her last chemo on Wednesday.  I expected fireworks or champagne or something for our trouble, but it was very anti-climactic.  Rio didn’t even get a “Cancer Survivor” bandanna like she did the last time.  I was joking with the vet tech about it, and she said they’d been talking about ordering some, but just hadn’t yet.  I told her, navy blue on a black dog didn’t really work all that well, and that bright pink was really more Rio’s color…

She’s really doing well with the chemo this last few doses.  No nausea, no lethargy to speak of.  We haven’t even needed the Cerenia or metronidazole the last couple of times.  Her appetite is still really good, too.

On the other hand, she had another urinary tract infection and had to go back on the antibiotics for three weeks.  We’ll do another check next week to see if it’s cleared up.  She’s also been having a heck of a time getting around.  I’m not sure if she tweaked her knee or if Zeff knocked her down and hurt it, but I had the doctor look at it and she said there doesn’t appear to be any “structural” damage.  She’s on an NSAID to see if it will help.  Five days now and she’s a little better, but still having troubles.

Her hair has grown back on her hiney, finally!  She’s a little patchy still where the worst of the calcinosis is, but it’s so nice to see her shiny black furry butt again!  Her numbers looked really good on the last ACTH stimulation test that they did a few weeks back.  Exactly where the doctor wanted them to be!  Her muscles are starting to beef back up, and the bloated belly has gone away!  So we don’t have to retest that for another three to four months!

Rio will have an ultrasound in a month as follow-up, but for now, she’s got a clean bill of health!

One more thing, and maybe this is something worth asking in the forums:  Rio’s lipomas have mostly all disappeared.  I wonder if it’s the change in diet or if the chemotherapy took care of them.

 


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Life update

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Holy Cow!!! it’s JULY!!! Not really certain how that happened.  Must have blinked….

Yesterday was Rio’s last dose of CCNU, and per normal, she’s a bit tired this morning.  Today is milestone #5 Months since her surgery.  Yay, Rio!!!  Only one more Vinblastine to go!

She’s got a downy new coat of hair, although its still pretty patchy in spots.  I’m really pleased at how well the Trilostane seems to be working.  She’s got lots of energy and is really playful — like her young self, pre-Cushings.

Day before yesterday, we took the girls to the beach for the first time this summer.  It was almost 80 out and it just seemed like the perfect place to be.  The tide was out too far for Rio to really swim (cuz I can only throw the squirrel so far….), but she had a blast in the water!  The Golden Hippo swam so much, she can barely drag her carcass around the house.  She and Zeff have been in a coma for the last two days….  Dogs just don’t know how to pace themselves…  🙂

They had a great holiday with friends and family.  I think they were all too tired to even hear the fireworks (which is good, cuz they don’t like them very much).  Dad turned on a loud movie, too, so that helped cover the sound of most of the ka-booms.

A moose emerges from the surf

Another chemo, another day…

Rio had her nearly last chemo this week (only two more left, YAY!!!), and so far, she’s doing pretty darn good.  She slept a lot today, but still had a good appetite and was pretty playful in between the naps.   Her tummy’s a little upset this evening (I need a gas mask), but I’m confident that she’ll be back to her self in a day or so. Over the last couple of weeks, she’s been making some definite strides in the right direction — she’s been seriously funny, crazy, wanting to play, lots of energy, lots of silly.  She seems to have more strength in her remaining rear leg and (pause for effect……..) she’s even started growing hair — truly!  She’s got tiny little whiskers along her back, and when she stands in the light, you can see the new growth.  Again, YAY!!!

Happiness is .... the Woo!

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Another day at the vets (a rant or two)….

So today we drove down to Tacoma this morning to go to the oncologist.  It was time for Rio’s bi-weekly CBC and we’d also planned a recheck ultrasound.  Sounds like a quick and mostly painless appointment, right?!  Rio and I arrived there at a few minutes after 9 this morning, and didn’t leave until nearly 4:15!  Seriously!!!! Continue reading

Update on treatment

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride the last couple of weeks with Rio’s treatments.  Last week, she had a couple of days where her appetite and energy completely disappeared, to the point where her oncologist asked us to drive down for an unscheduled visit because she was worried about her.  There was even talk about admitting her.  But then she turned a corner and started perking back up.  Her appetite returned with a vengeance and she played outside in the sunshine over the weekend.  Crisis averted! Continue reading

Two months later….

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 numbers are in….

So they’re not great, but they’re not so bad, either.  Rio’s CBC is back and her white blood count is at 2500.  Last time the white cells were at 3700 (when we started chemo, they were at 9700).  So yeah, they’re down some.  Her neutrophils and leukocytes are down, too.  However, the Cerenia seems to be doing the trick, because she DEVOURED her dinner this evening.  Appetite back, whew, mom can breathe again. Even so, the onco dr. was concerned enough that she wants to see Rio tomorrow.  So, bright and early we’ll be loading up for a trip down to Tacoma.

Me, I’m just thankful that the appetite is back (with a vengeance — I nearly lost a finger!) and the tummy has quieted.  The gas mask can go back on the shelf for a little while.  She’s a lot more comfortable, tonight.  Instead of laying on the couch, staring glassy-eyed, belly bloated and churning, she’s snoozing.   And even better for me, no bad smells emanating from the end that’s pointed my way!!!!

Till there was Woo….

It’s APRIL!  Rio’s birth month!!!!  We don’t know what day, but she was about 7 or 8 weeks old when I got her on Father’s Day, 2000.  I still remember that little face.  I tried to walk away.  I actually decided I couldn’t take her (we were selling our house and didn’t have a clue where we would live while we built our new house).  But my friend said, “you can’t leave without saying goodbye to the puppy.”  I convinced myself I was strong enough, but I knew deep down that if I went back to “say goodbye,” I would be taking that tiny girl home.

  • The day I found Woo
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    Chemo #3 and all’s well

    Today we administered Rio’s third round of chemo (CCNU).  She’s been doing really great, although last week’s CBC numbers were considerably lower than when we started.  Dr. Sarah, our oncologist, prescribed Cerenia for vomiting, since she did get sick on the Vinblastine two years ago, but we haven’t needed it so far.  Continue reading