*Updated 4/27!* Indy's Radiation Therapy

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby blabsforbullies » March 31st, 2009, 7:23 am

:helloClap: Good luck today at the oncologist Indy (and Jen and Steven)!!!! :helloClap:

We are thinking about you and please remember, we are all here in it with you! :heartbeat: (oh, and don't forget to have your Mommy call Dr. Blabs when it is over, k? :wink: )
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 31st, 2009, 7:57 am

What she said!
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Postby Jenn » March 31st, 2009, 9:36 am

Yep, what she said. Good luck guys!
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Postby TinaMartin » March 31st, 2009, 11:24 am

Good Luck!
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Postby CinderDee » March 31st, 2009, 11:32 am

Good luck!!! :groupHug:
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 31st, 2009, 3:54 pm

I hope the waiting room is big enough for all of us!

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Postby Pit♥bull » March 31st, 2009, 4:15 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:I wore my bracelet until I started interviewing for jobs.
Makes ya look like you escaped from that 'place' :P

Wearing mine for Indy :|
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Postby Marinepits » March 31st, 2009, 5:44 pm

Well, we visited the oncologist today. Dr Elpiner is wonderful -- very knowledgeable and she answered all of our questions before we even asked them, LOL. The staff was great as well, especially the front desk ladies.

Radiation therapy will consist of 18 visits to the clinic in Long Island, three weeks of five visits and one last week of three visits.

Indy will be sedated with propofol and the whole process from knock-out to wake-up will take approximately an hour. No food from midnight the night before a visit until after his therapy.

The radiation will be targeted on the surgery site. The site will be bombarded with a heavy, constant dose of xrays for approximately two minutes each time.

The way Dr Elpiner explained it to me was: in the first week, we probably won't see any changes at the surgery site at all. The second week, the targeted area will start to become very pink to red, like a sunburn. The third week, the site will look like a "hot spot" and will be weepy and scab over. The fourth week, much of the same as the third week. After that, he should start healing.

Dr Elpiner wants to start the therapy as soon as possible -- it's already been seven weeks since the surgery and she doesn't want the cancer cells to start growing again. Unfortunately, Indy's surgery site hasn't healed up completely. Once the radiation starts, Indy will probably have a fairly severe "radiation burn" at the surgery site and it will take some time for him to heal up. He'll be on tramadol and metacam to help with the pain, more antibiotics to stop infection, and will have to wear a bucket on his head 24/7 so he won't lick the "burn" site. The site probably won't be covered with bandaging. We'll have a burn gel to help treat the spot and I'm sure I'll be learning a LOT about wound care and pain management in the next couple of months.

So, if all goes as planned and he responds well to the radiation therapy, we can expect to have him around for at least another five years. That makes this all worth it.

(Oh, and the $4,800 fee does include the anesthesia, so that saves us some money.)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 31st, 2009, 6:22 pm

I'm glad you liked the staff so well! That has to make such a huge difference and take some weight from your shoulders. :)
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Postby hugapitbull » March 31st, 2009, 6:37 pm

Five more years is a great thing. I'm so glad you liked the oncologist and staff, it is so much easier when you can communicate with the one treating them.

My bracelet is in place for the next 4 weeks. Show 'em how to fight, Indy.
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Postby CinderDee » March 31st, 2009, 8:01 pm

I'm really glad you liked the oncologist & staff, Jen. :hug3:

I pulled my bracelet out yesterday. The troops are all ready. Give em hell, Indy! :biggun:
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2009, 9:40 pm

I can't find mine :(

Can you use Silvadine cream on dogs? I used it for the 3rd degree burn that Connor gave me last summer. It helped a LOT.
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Postby madremissy » April 5th, 2009, 6:20 pm

I just put my bracelet back on. :) I don't know how he is going to feel about being a buckethead 24/7 but 5 years is great.
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Postby blabsforbullies » April 5th, 2009, 6:43 pm

I will be sending everything I have to you tomorrow!
Give 'em hell Indy!!!! :biggun:
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby Patch O' Pits » April 5th, 2009, 7:58 pm

Hugs , prayers and a ton of well wishes.

I'm so glad that the prognosis is good! Hang in there

I can't be of any help unfortunately with the financial end. I've had my own run of Huge vet expenses lately, but I certainly will be here for emotional support. Please keep us posted.
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Postby CinderDee » April 11th, 2009, 7:48 pm

How is Indy? :dance:
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Postby madremissy » April 11th, 2009, 9:04 pm

CinderDee wrote:How is Indy? :dance:


What Dee said.
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 12:24 pm

Indy has completed his first week of radiation with just a few small bumps in the road -- he had a little diarrhea the first two days, but it has cleared up, and the skin on his wound site is fragile and has broken open a few times. It's hard to keep him quiet enough to NOT bend his ankle and split the skin, but we're trying. The site cannot be covered due to the radiation so we're just keeping the area clean and dry.

He seems to really like the techs and specialists, and they seem to love him. It's nice because many of the people at the radiation center have rescued pit bulls. :woowoo: Apparently, Indy goes right in for treatment, puts his front paws on the table, and doesn't make a fuss when it's time to knock him out. That's my boy!

For comparison, here are progress pics of his wound site (warning -- gross pics ahead!):

March 6
Image

March 20
Image

March 30
Image

April 6 Radiation starts
Image

Image

And here are the pics from April 8 -- he started to break his skin open on the 9th, so the small scab on the side is about double that size now.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
(In the last pic you can see that his dew claw has healed well, too.)

The blue lines in the pics are the guidelines for the radiation. Normally, radiation is done from one angle and a large margin around the tumor site. Because Indy's tumor is/was deep and surrounded the front of his leg, he's getting radiation towards the top and bottom of his leg (picture this as him laying down on the treatment table). There is a small area on the back of his leg under his pad that is not getting irradiated to allow for drainage from his lymph nodes.

Indy's really been a VERY good boy through all this, especially during the travel time. He just snores away in the back of the Jeep and doesn't care how loud I play the music!

A few things that I've learned from driving in NYC:

1. Driving over the Throg's Neck Bridge in the fog in the early morning is REALLY cool and kinda scary -- it's like you're driving in midair through the clouds.

2. Driving over the Throg's Neck Bridge in a thunderstorm with crazy winds is not something I care to repeat any time soon.

3. The Long Island Expressway is ALWAYS busy. And the forsythia bushes are lovely this time of year.

4. Driving through NYC is like playing a video game with real cars -- you drive fast, you make instant decisions, and you don't leave any space between you and the car in front of you because a tractor-trailer truck WILL try to fit in that space.

5. New Yorkers make their own travel lanes if traffic is stopped.

6. Easy Pass rocks!

7. The Cross Island Expressway is really pretty, but it floods in the rain.

8. 684 SUCKS. Period. I've been on back-country dirt roads that are easier to drive on.
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Postby Pit♥bull » April 12th, 2009, 7:02 pm

WOW... Indy's bo bo is lookin good :dance:
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Postby Mickle » April 12th, 2009, 7:41 pm

Yeah It is !! Go Indy!!
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