Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rocco's Vet Appointment

Just to follow up:

Rocco went in on Monday and the vet checked his lymph nodes. They went down from the Friday chemo but not back to normal size. The vet speculated it could be from not enough time (only had been 3.5 days) or that was as effective as it was going to be. We chose this option with a drug called CCNU. It's an oral chemo medication and he took it Monday. He has to go back next Tuesday and we'll see if this drug is working (40-50% success rate). If it does he'll have another 2-3 months. If not treatment will be done for him. He's feeling okay. Today he went on a walk, had some short spells of playing tug and chasing his little brudda and he chewed some bone. I'll post back next Tuesday. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rocco's Endgame, His new brother

I'm resurrecting this blog. Not doing this blog was good for a while. It seemed sometimes just living life and forgetting about Rocco's cancer was best. There was no need to be constantly reminded of it, even if I was taking him every two weeks for Chemo treatment. Rocco finished his second round of the Wisconsin-Madison protocol for treating lymphoma for dogs 3 weeks ago. The treatment has been very successful overall for him. It's been over 27 months since he was diagnosed. The side effects have been minimal except for a bad day here or there. However 3 weeks after his last treatment I brought him in because I felt his lymph nodes growing since the last treatment. The doctor confirmed his cancer was back and also said the WM protocol was no longer effective as evidenced by the quick relapse. The vet gave Rocco some different chemo drugs and Prednisone this Friday and while it seems to have had an effect on the cancer it also has hit Rocco pretty hard. Today he hasn't wanted to tug or even go outside. So obviously he is feeling very bad but he is stoic and just lays on the couch. He still has his appetite and I've been making him fresh food since Friday PM. Tomorrow he goes back to the vet and we decide what to do from there. He has three different drug options, they range in price (from 800$-1600$ a month) and they range in side effects to his health. They have a 40%-60% chance of success rate (of course the 60% rate is the 1600$ treatment). Regardless if they happen to be successful it gives him just another 2-3 months. The vet and I are on the same page of "quality" of life and not "quantity". I'd rather have 2 weeks of him being his happy self rather than 3 months of what I see today. It's going to be a difficult time for Alicia and I (and Havana) but such is life.

We've been on the fence about adopting our foster dog Barney for a while now. He has fit great with Rocco and Havana and they all are best buds. Havana is very bonded to Rocco and we think it would be very hard on her when Rocco's gone. Having Barney here will make it better for her. Of course we thought about what is best for all the dogs, and we think it's best for Barney to live with us. He is happy here and we know we can give him what he needs to become a more confident dog. Alicia signed the paperwork today and Barney is now a part of the family. Not as happy an occasion as we would want it to be but we'll still have Margaritas tonight to celebrate Barney's welcome to the family. (Havana likes booze so she'll partake too.) Attached is a picture of the new boy with his "big brudda" as we say. We'll keep this blog updated until the end.