Three Week Ampuversary…Chemo Started Today

Tate has had some really good, “new normal” days in the past week, and some days of long naps.  His paw licking is rising to new heights!  His appetite is ravenous.  And everyone once in awhile, he will just sit bolt upright and stare at me.  For a long time.  What’s up with that?

We met with the oncologist today, and he is sticking with his 1-year prognosis.

They did not assess any lymph nodes because they couldn’t find any.  They couldn’t find any lymph nodes.  They were so focused on (bla bla bla and all that) they couldn’t find any lymph nodes.  At least he had the decency to struggle with remaining unemotional while he delivered this news, because it sounds to me like someone screwed up and just forgot that, gee, maybe the lymph node would be important.  So we don’t know if Tate’s cancer is really localized.

So we are without that bit of information.  Doesn’t matter, our Tate is in the hands of a Power higher than either the pathologist or the oncologist (which is not to say he’ll live a normal life span because, after all, God is not Santa Claus…just my own personal theological hot button.)

We are proceeding with chemo, CCNU, the same drug almost everyone else with histiocytic sarcoma gets.  Luckily for us, it is pill form (much cheaper than the IV form).  Blood work in one week to watch especially his white blood cell count and platelets, then again on the day of his next dose in three weeks.  One risk of CCNU is it damages the bone marrow and this would affect platelet production.  With insufficient platelets, his blood will have trouble clotting.  This damage is permanent.  Of course, there are other potential risks but this one sounded the most troublesome to me.

Interestingly, he put Tate back on Rimadyl because it has cancer-fighting properties.  I asked about the risk of liver damage with Rimadyl and he basically said I spend too much time on the internet.  Needless to say, he was not big on any supplements, either.

I’d like to consult a holistic vet but the $170 consultation fee put me off a bit, still reeling from the $400 for a second opinion (they said it might be blasto…in January?)  I’m on the nutrition/diet research trip and boy, there’s a lot of information out there.  Thanks to everyone that posted their pup’s regimen, very helpful.

So for now, until I unravel this, we’re sticking with Taste of the Wild adding a bit of olive oil and chopped-up green veggies, adding sardines to his list of snacks or mix-ins.  Cutting out the canned pumpkin and all the fruit.  Tate loves fruit, bananas, pears, watermelon especially but we don’t want to be feeding any cells that we should be starving.  On the other hand, this feels a little bit like using a pea-shooter against, I dunno…maybe King Kong.