My heart is breaking

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby pocketpit » June 15th, 2006, 4:58 pm

Yesterday while attemping to snap a couple of pictures of Brooks at the park I noticed something was wrong. I saw a slight swelling on her neck so I tooka feel and my worst fear it seems has come true.
I'm sure Brooks has lymphoma. I took her into the clinic last night and had a some fine needle aspirates done and sent out. The results won't be back until tomorrow most likey but I'm sure I know what they're going to say.
I don't know what to do. I've always said I'd never put my dogs through chemo but when it's your own dog that's been diagnosed you can't help but wonder if it's the right thing to do. I personally have only had experience with one person who was sucessful with it in regards to lymphoma but my vets all tell me that if we've caught it early that chemo can be quite helpful. However it's also expensive. It would be less expensive for me as I get a discount on the lab work and such that has to be done in conjunction with it but I'm sure it's still very pricey. I don't know if it's justifiable to spend that either knowing that if I'm lucky I'd get another year and really lucky maybe more. I'd give my right arm to keep her going if I knew I could but I have to be practical. It's just so hard. She's the one dog in my household that I'd give up everyone else for if I had to. I can't say she's my soulmate but she's pretty damn important to me.
There is the prednisone route which will of course only supress the growth rate and I'll likely lose her in a month. And naturally I've got to decide right now as you can't delay treatment but can't start the pred and then decide on chemo.
Purple, didn't you lose Petey to lymphoma? Perhaps you and Millicent could give me some tips or words of advise. I'd appreciate any information on holistic medications that may help her or make her more comfortable. I do have a friend in rescue that's worked in a holistic clinic so I'll also be consulting with her. In the mean time I guess I'll go cry some more.
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Postby Marinepits » June 15th, 2006, 5:00 pm

:hug3: I'll keep you and Brooks in my prayers.
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Postby Maryellen » June 15th, 2006, 5:04 pm

you are in my prayers.. hopefully it wont be what you think it is...
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Postby cheekymunkee » June 15th, 2006, 5:07 pm

Oh no!!! My heart breaks for you too. I am so very sorry and I know what ever decision you make will be the right one for you both. Hopefully you are just being a worrisome momma & she is fine. That is what I will hope for anyway. :hug3:
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Postby Jenn » June 15th, 2006, 5:10 pm

How devastating I'll be hoping for the best for you as well! :hug3:
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure....
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Postby babyreba » June 15th, 2006, 5:24 pm

oh no! god, i'm so sorry. i wish i had advice to offer, but all i can do is send good thoughts your way. :(
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 15th, 2006, 5:47 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that - will you keep us updated as soon as you know anything??? :groupHug:
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Postby msvette2u » June 15th, 2006, 5:51 pm

I'm so sorry - we're here for you either way. :hug3:
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Postby Malli » June 15th, 2006, 5:58 pm

I am so very sorry. :( I do not look forward to the time when I may have to look at decisions like this for my own dog, it must be very difficult. Try not to worry or fret and just give your baby tons of loves.

I am aware of at least one dog in my personal experience who beat it. He did pass on shortly after, but that was to do with some liver issues, not sure if related.

If I were in your position I would probably try the chemo and see how she does with it. If it seems to cause her distress and really make her feel terrible then it may not be worth it and you could stop, but if she takes it well, then there isn't much harm in trying

ultimately its your decision and if you spoil the sh!t out of her and keep her comfy until it's time, then you have really done whats best for her

Wich drug will they use? If you don't mind me asking. I know some of the chemo drugs are much more tolerable then others...

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Postby ellie@ny » June 15th, 2006, 6:05 pm

Hopefully the results will be something else...
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Postby cheekymunkee » June 15th, 2006, 8:36 pm

pm Concreterose. She helped her dog through cancer ( not the same cancer) naturally. She can give you some tips I am sure.
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Postby Purple » June 15th, 2006, 8:42 pm

Oh, my, my heart goes out to you and Brooks.

Pete had stage 5 T-cell lymphoma, the most aggressive form.
We were having his treatments done at Cornell. He died within 24 days of diagnosis.
I wish I knew then what I know now. I probably would not have done the chemo. Then, I did not know what stage 5 was, now I do.
My heart is still broken from his loss, I just dug up his paper work, so feel free to ask away, I haven't looked at it since I put it away.
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Postby luvmyangels » June 15th, 2006, 9:06 pm

I am so sorry to hear your unfortunate news. I hope everything will be ok.
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Have a great day!! :)

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Postby Patch O' Pits » June 15th, 2006, 9:20 pm

Hugs and Prayers for you both! Please keep us updated
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Postby lluksa » June 15th, 2006, 10:30 pm

Oh no, many many good thoughts and prayers for Brooks. That is just heartbreaking.
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » June 16th, 2006, 12:18 am

:hug3: I'm sorry I don't have anything to share, but I will keep you and Brooks in my thoughts.
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Postby Asta » June 16th, 2006, 6:42 am

Oh no :cry: Not your beautiful girl Brooks!!! I am keeping the both of you in my thoughts, and i will keep you in my thoughts!!!

Best wishes,

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Postby dogcrazyjen » June 16th, 2006, 8:38 am

My prayers are with you and Brooks. I am so sorry.
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Postby Romanwild » June 16th, 2006, 9:18 am

I don't know what I would do either. You're in my thoughts.
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Postby concreterose » June 16th, 2006, 3:27 pm

Hi Dawn,
I have a ton of info that I can share with you...it just depends on the extreme that you want to go with alternative treatments. I would also strongly recommend that you consider consulting with Carolann...she got me started with Pookie and held my hand the whole year and a half that we fought the cancer. Here is the link to her website: Princess Healthy Canine Consulting
When Pookie was initially diagnosed, they told me she had eight to twelve weeks to have a good quality of life with the grade of the tumors (she had dirty margins because the tumor was biopsied, not removed, and they graded it at a 3). She lived a year and a half.

From personal exprience, the chemo wasn't bad, but I wasn't happy with it. The positive side of chemo was that Pookie didn't have ANY side effects and it did dissolve the mast cell tumors she had. The cons were that is was expensive (I drew from my retirement to pay for treatments), and she had to have treatments weekly to bi-weekly depending on her CBC's. I also began noticing that it would dissolve the tumors, but within a week, they would pop up somewhere else.

I'm not sure what the difference is with chemo and lymphoma though. The majority of the people at the cancer clinic where I took Pookie had pets with lymphoma, and they were all in very good spirits while going through their chemo also.

One of the most important things you can do for Brooks is to change her food if it contains ANY grains. Grains convert to sugar, and sugar feeds cancer cells, which you do not want. Just making that small change for Pookie resulted in her not developing any more mast cell tumors for well over a year. In fact, she didn't develop any more tumors until we had to get her mammary tumor removed...her system went crazy after that surgery, but it was unavoidable. I know you aren't an advocate of feeding raw, but it was the best way for me to control what went into Pookie, and the results were so amazing that it made a convert out of me. Plus I was so desperate that I was willing to try anything.

She was healthier the last year of her life than she ever was. If you don't want to go that route, I would look into preparing a home-cooked diet for Brooks. Carolann can formulate a diet that is nutritionally balanced specifically for Brooks, condition.

There are SO many alternative therapies you can try that it would be too much for me to list them here. If you let me know what you are interested in, I can let you know what my experience has been.

I also have a TON of supplements here that I had for Pookie...many of them haven't even been opened. I would be happy to send you a list of what I have and you can ask your holistic connection about them, or I can give you links to the information I have on them. If you want to try any of them, I can ship them to you.

When Pookie was diagnosed with cancer, I always said that I wouldn't do anything unrealistic or try to stretch her life out any more than it should be. Boy did I put my foot in my mouth...I tried any and everything to keep her with me, and if I had to do it over again, I'd do it the same way. I truly know how you feel. Take care of yourself and give Brooks a HUGE kiss from me. Let me know if you need anything.
~Millicent
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