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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Another chemo, another day…

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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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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

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

Chemo Round 2

Today we went for our first dose of Vinblastine.  Rio had some episodes of nausea last time we had Vinblastine (2 years ago), and the doctor gave us some Cerenia in case it happens again this time.  So now we don’t have to go back to the oncologist for another month (fingers crossed).  We go for a CBC next week, then the next chemo is oral, so we’ll just do it here at home.

She’s now sacked out on the couch, exhausted after the long morning at the doctor’s.  But while we were there, we met lots of really tough dogs and the people who love them.  We met a dachshund who was recovering from a broken back, three dogs with repaired knees/legs, an elkhound with transitional cell cancer, and Jetson, another tripawd just like Rio.  He is somewhat of a celebrity to the local tripawd community (or at least to us!).  He was a K-9 cop prior to his diagnosis with osteosarcoma.  You can learn about his story here: http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/113246294.html.  Rio thought he was very handsome, yet managed to not appear starstruck, even though he’s way more striking in “person” than he was on TV!  Because of all of the publicity surrounding his retirement, he got enough donations to cover all of his medical expenses for the rest of his life!

 

Starting chemo

Today is Friday, three weeks and three days since Rio’s surgery, and yesterday we started chemo for the second time.  I must say, when I saw my “little waif in the cage” nearly 11 years ago, it never would have crossed my mind that we’d end up on this road. Not that knowing would have made me walk away without her….  Could you???  Look at this face!!!

The day we met!

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