Normally my mom, Jackie, writes these things, but today, I’m taking over. Yep, it’s me – Abby, super model tripawd girl! Mom says she is sorry we haven’t posted on here in a while, but she has another blog too and she forgets to update them both! Anyway, something super exciting has happened! A few days after my 2nd birthday, I got the bestest present! (Am I overusing these exclamation points??! I don’t think so!!!!) It was a box full of fun things and a super stinky purple dino! My mom introduced us and said his name is Barney.
I’ll let the pictures tell the story:
Don’t worry that we are treating him too nice. Mom says we are lulling him into a “false sense of security”… whatever that means. All I know is, once he is “lulled” there, I get to have him! But Mom says I still have to wait… She says she is taking him to the zoo! I’ll leave you with this last pic of the stupid dino at the spa:
Yesterday Abby had a follow up with her oncologist to see how she was doing on the Palladia. Since she’s been doing well (only lost about 1/2 a pound and only had some fairly minor GI trouble), we decided to add in Cytoxan, Piroxicam and Lasix to her routine. So now she has something to take everyday. Yes, everyday is now Big Scoop of Peanut Butter Day. Hoorah for Abby. And everyday is Met-Ass-Kicking Day. Hoorah for ass-kicking!
Hopefully this stuff works…
In other news, I wanted to give a little update on the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest that Abby is entered in, since I know some of you voted for her (thanks again!!). She’s doing amazingly well! She’s not only raised $565 for canine cancer research, she’s in third place (third! Out of almost 13000 dogs!!) You can check her out in the standings here. The contest ends March 31 and hopefully she’ll maintain her spot on the podium.
Finally, here’s a cute pic. Just cuz she’s cute. (This is her at my sis’s house, where she stayed while we went away for the weekend. My sis says any time someone leaves, she stands out by the gate and watches them go. She is a very tall girl!)
As I noted in my last post, Abby started taking palladia on Wed, 2/16/11. She’s supposed to take it every M/W/F, along w/ Prilosec OTC every weekday to try to offset GI troubles. Well, she took her pills again on both Friday and this past Monday, but then Tuesday the diarrhea started in. I called our oncologist at the Vet Cancer Group and he said not to worry – he’s seen dogs take a little while to adjust to the meds. He said to just skip today’s (Wed’s) dose and we’ll reassess on Friday whether she’ll take that dose or continue on her little break.
I told him that part of the problem could be the wide variety of things she ate over the long weekend. (We went to the Canine Cancer Walk on Saturday and everyone was handing her treats left and right. I blogged about it – w/ lots of pics – here, so won’t repeat all that except to say it was really fun!)
Anyway, today she is on a bland diet and she seems to be improving in terms of how often she needs to go out. Even w/ the diarrhea, she’s still hungry and still FULL of energy (Monday we went for a 90 min. walk/run at her fave dog beach, Fiesta Island), so overall I’m not too worried about her (yet…). Hoping we’ll just have a little palladia break here for a dose or two, and then be back on it. Hoping that with greater consistency in her diet she’ll adjust a little better to the pills and do well on them.
In related news, I entered Abby in the Orvis catalog cover contest. Abby has an Orvis bed which she loves. We bought it just before we found out about the cancer (pic posted below) and the bed came in VERY handy during her recovery. Anyway, there are two different aspects to the contest – one part (for the cover) is w/ the Orvis judges, but the other part is a ‘popularity’ vote to have your picture included on the Orvis site. In order to vote, you have to make at least a $5 donation ($5 = 5 votes), but all the money goes to the Morris Animal Foundation’s Cure Canine Cancer campaign – the same folks behind the Canine Cancer Walk we did this Saturday. So… if you want to donate money to that cause anyway, please consider donating it via a vote for my pretty girl. Click here to Vote for Abby!
After a lot of research, and talking to folks on Tripawds.com and the bonecancerdogs listserv, we decided this weekend to go for it and try Palladia for Abby. I went with her today to get her baseline weight and blood cell counts and picked up the first batch of the drugs (plus the plastic gloves to administer it with – powerful stuff!).
We’ll have to keep a close eye on her the first coupla weeks and see how she does. She did so well on the carboplatin that I’m hoping she’ll be OK with the Palladia as well. If she is, we might add in cytoxan on T, Th, Sat’s. (Right now she’ll take the palladia on M/W/F.)
I was surprised at her weight – almost 48lbs. Pretty good, considering she was only 49.5 pre-amp & the 6 rounds of chemo. She’s been a rockstar through all this and will hopefully continue to be one.
In my last post I mentioned how I’d been bummed that I hadn’t taken my camera along when we went to her favorite dog beach, Fiesta Island. Well, this weekend I took the camera along and took many snaps. Here are two of my faves:
Will keep you all posted on how things go with the palladia. Figure the info will help others who might have to make the same choices we have.
. . . the cancer has spread to Abby’s lungs. A few posts ago I mentioned a tiny “damn spot” that was picked up on her x-rays. Well, yesterday we had her 6-week follow-up x-ray, post the end of her rounds of carboplatin, and it confirmed that the spot is growing and is indeed a met.
Her oncologist, Dr. V., says this is not all bad news — he said we should celebrate the fact that there were no other mets, so we are trying to hang on to that.
But still . . . it’s not great to know that it is officially in her lungs. Also, the fact that it’s there brings up more treatment options. He sent us home with info on two different drugs we could try: palladia and/or cytoxan. We are trying to do some research and figure out what to do. (I’ve combed through a lot of the mentions of each on the forums here.) The palladia sounds potentially promising, but also quite scary with the bad side effects. She’s in such great health otherwise, and has such great energy, that I don’t want to give her something that will mess that up. Not sure what we are going to do. Might try the palladia and see how it goes. Since she had so few side effects with the carboplatin, maybe she would be fine on the palladia as well. And if not, there is the cytoxan to fall back on.
Still trying to decide. The other potentially scary thing is that some folks commented online that when their dogs had bad reactions to the palladia and had to go off it, the tumors came back like gang busters. Don’t want to piss the tumor off and have it come back all Incredible-Hulkish on us . . .
In happier news, we are definitely going to enjoy every day with her. Today is a beautiful day here in SD (as evidenced in the photo above that I just took of her) so I took Abby down to Fiesta Island – her favorite place in the world. I didn’t bring the camera along because going by myself and carrying her water and her leash and keeping an eye on her seemed like a bit much to also be trying to snap shots of her. But then, of course, I wished I had the camera because (a) there was another tripawd there (not that she cared, because he was swimming and she was not interested) and (b) there was this 8-mo-old pup that she’s played with before and they had a great time racing around.
Abby is so energetic and rambunctious it’s hard to believe she is “sick.” Dr. V. said that her body really has no idea that little spot of cancer is in there. She’s certainly in the envious position of being blissfully ignorant. Of course, even if she did know, I’m pretty sure she’d still be racing around enjoying every minute to the fullest – that’s just how dogs are. Definitely need to take a cue from them!
Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2011 brings good things for all – especially good news for our tripawd pups.
Wanted to do a quick post about the perfect presents the hubby and I got each other for Christmas. First of all, he got me a ring from Fred Meyer Jewelers.
Yes, with 3 paws on it! How perfect is that? Someone had pointed it out on the forums one day, and it went right to the top of my Christmas wish list. It’s billed as a ring to “show off the love you have for your 4-legged extended family members.” And, yet, it doesn’t actually have 4 feet on it. It’s much better for showing off the love you have for your THREE legged extended family members!
As for the hubby, I got him a telescope, which of course came with a tripod. So, here’s the tripawd with the tripod. Perfect, no?
Tripawd & Tripod
So, if you are wondering what to get the tripawd pawrent in your life… look no further!
Well, today Abby had her lungs rechecked for the first time since her amp/starting chemo. The news wasn’t totally bad, but it wasn’t totally good either. As you probably guessed from the title of this post, there was one spot that the oncologist was concerned about. He said that it is not something we should really worry about or alter our course of action for . . . yet.
First of all, he said it might be nothing – possibly not a met at all, maybe just a little abnormality. He said he needs to get the original x-rays, taken by our regular vet, and compare to see what it looked like before. (When our vet originally took her lung x-rays before her surgery, he said her lungs were clear, but maybe he didn’t notice this small spot, or maybe it’s something that has recently appeared – which would probably not be good news.) On the other hand, if it is in fact a met, the oncologist said a single one is not terrible. He said it’s rare to only have one, but he knew of a dog that had one and it grew into a walnut-size-ish tumor, but wasn’t even what killed the dog in the end. He said Abby could have a single met and still be quite healthy. We’ll see . . .
He said we’ll check her lungs again in about two months and see where we’re at. If it’s all good/looks the same, we’ll go out probably 6 months to a year before rechecking. He said it often happens that after a year, you’ll start to see mets in the lungs. He said that’s not necessarily the end. We could consider another shorter round of chemo, which he has seen add another good year of health to a dog’s life.
Anyway, Abby is now 2/3 of the way done with her chemo. Two more sessions to go! If we keep going on this every-two-weeks schedule, we should be done by January 25th.
We’ll see what happens. I’m a little worried about that damn spot. Worried that we may only have another year or two with our little sweetie, but we’ll see what the original x-ray showed and see what the radiologist thinks.
Even with all that, Abby managed to have some fun at chemo. First of all, she loves to kiss everyone there, and they’re all for it, so she enjoys that. Then, we left to run an errand while she was having her treatment. It was quiet there today so apparently they let her have the run of the place while they were waiting for us to come back. There was a display of toys – a stuffed duck, a tiger, etc. – and other doggy items they’ve been collecting to donate to a shelter. When we first walked in, Abby tried to snitch several of the toys. Well, when we came back to get her, Abby was the proud owner of the stuffed duck. Some poor unfortunate pooch is now not getting a stuffed duck cuz our little cutie talked the gals at the cancer clinic into giving it to her. She is trying to de-quackerize it even as I type. (I don’t know why this print looks so tiny. I couldn’t figure out how to make it bigger! Hope if you made it this far in to the post you don’t need glasses now because of me…)
Abby had her one month ampuversary yesterday, and her second round of chemo today. Hopefully her reaction to the chemo will be as minimal as last time. She certainly seemed to have tons of energy afterward!
She did throw up a tiny bit this afternoon – but I think that was because the post-chemo popcorn I gave her didn’t go down well. I guess post-chemo popcorn is a bad idea, and will remember that in future. I need to get this posted and then go see how she feels about dinner tonight. Hopefully she’ll have an appetite. I’ve got everything in the house to tempt her with: turkey, salmon, cottage cheese, and good old plain pasta.
She continues to amaze us with how well she’s doing. The oncologist also said she’s doing great, so we are going to move her chemo appointments to every two weeks instead of every three. Take that, Cancer!
Here’s a picture of her from over the weekend, at her favorite place in the world – Fiesta Island. I’ve also posted some additional pictures and a couple of wee videos of her momentous visit to F.I. on my other blog, here.
Hope all the tripawds and their pawrents had a great Thanksgiving! We sure did. We’re very grateful that our little pup is doing so well.
So, I go to get the dog a biscuit last night, and this is what comes out of the box:
Yes, it’s a one-legged man cookie. Nice.
Now, if I’d just had a limb amputated and someone handed me a handicapped gingerbread man, I think I’d fail to see the humor. I’d probably burst into tears, in fact, since it’s pretty darn mean. But not Abby. She took it stride, accepted the cookie gratefully, and bit his head off.
We have a lot to be thankful for at our house this year! Happy Thanksgiving to all the Tripawd Community!
So, we are 5 days post Abby’s first chemo treatment and she’s still doing really well. Haven’t had to give her any of the anti-nausea medication and she hasn’t been sick at all. This weekend though, we did have to give her a bath, due to a side effect of a chemo side effect.
We’ve been really lucky and it seems the chemo has only affected her appetite. She still has one (which amazes me really, because she’s just never been much of a chow-hound), but it’s hard to know what she’ll eat on any given day. Every day we have to play a little ‘Guess what the dog will eat.’ Something she wolfed down one day, has no appeal the next. We’ve been feeding her different things everyday: wet food, salmon, cottage cheese, plain pasta, whatever she’ll take. Unfortunately, all that variation in her diet meant that when she went to do “her business” yesterday, there was a bit of the “business” on her leg when she came back inside. So into the bath she went. (Which she hates. Truth be told, this was only her second bath since we got her almost a year ago – although we do hose her down post visits to the beach. She’s funny – she loves the water, but hates a bath.)
I posted a bunch more pictures of her here and here if you want to check them out. We think she’s just the cutest thing! We’re so happy with how well she’s doing so far!