Monday, March 14, 2011

Chemo Round #3

Not looking forward to more Chemo
After the second round of Chemo it took Laura a few weeks to fully recover.   This past week however was one of her best in a long time.  She has been acting "normal" -- running, playing, and acting like a dog much younger than her age.   I almost dreaded taking her in for her scheduled 3rd chemo session, but I knew it had to be done. 

When I dropped Laura off this morning, I discussed with Dr. B my desire to give her a smaller dosage as he did during the first session so she wouldn't get so sick.  He concurred. 

Laura is starting to know the routine and definitely didn't want to stay with Dr. B this morning.  She actually tried dragging me out the door several times, as if saying, "please don't leave me daddy!".    I walked her back to the kennel area and said goodbye.   She started yelping and crying, but we both knew she had to stay.

Good Blood Work!
As usual, she had to have complete blood work done before the chemo could be administered to make sure she was healthy enough.   Her blood work again looked great.  It was normal.  Let the chemo begin to drip!

I picked Laura up after work and Dr. B gave her some more Reglan (anti-nausea medicine) as a preventative measure since she got so sick the last time.   We went home and Laura was starving.   She immediately begged me for her homemade dinner and I obliged.  She woofed it down in under a minute.   So far, so good with Chemo Round #3.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rough Times Ahead

On the way to the vet (again)
Today was another pretty scary day for all of us who love Laura.

I came home for lunch to check on Laura and to let her outside for a few minutes.   When she greeted me at the door she seemed fine.  Her tail was wagging and she was running around the house (as is typical when I come home).   A few seconds later she just collapsed -- fell to the floor like she fainted.   She got right back up however and was shaking a little, but within a few minutes was acting "normal" again.   I checked her gums.  My heart sank.  Her gums were white.   All that came to my mind was today is the day I'm going to lose my girl forever.   After 51 days and all the work we have done to help her, could this really be the end?

I immediately gave her a few Yunnan Baiyao pills (which supposedly stop internal bleeding).   I debated on whether to even call the vet.   I knew that if she was bleeding internally again there was not much they could do for her.   After a few minutes, I decided to go ahead and make the call.   Of course the vet wanted me to bring her right in.   I made a deal with them however, if I brought her in, there was no way I was leaving her there.   If she was going to pass away tonight, I wanted her to be at home in her bed and not by herself, alone, at the pet hospital.  They agreed, so I took her in.

By the time I got to the vet an hour later, her gums were nice and pink again and she was acting completely normal.   The vet examined her for a few minutes.  Her heart sounded strong and she couldn't feel any tumors.  Her weight was 54 pounds which is her usual weight.  The most likely explanation for the earlier collapse and white gums is that there is another tumor somewhere in her body that was bleeding but eventually healed itself.   They asked if I wanted to do blood work and x-rays and I elected not to when they told me that regardless of what they showed there wasn't much they could do for her at this point.  

Hanging out at Dad's Office
We left the vet together and she spent the afternoon with me at my office (she loves the attention she receives at my work).  She is at home now, acting pretty much back to normal, resting comfortably after eating her delicious dinner.  

The hemangiosarcoma certainly scored a point today, but Laura lives to fight another day.   That's all we can do is take things one day at a time from here on out.

I also want to point out that Laura was featured on another bloggers site earlier this week.   The author included a great article about Hemangiosarcoma (HSA).   Please check it out.  You can read it here.