So... I know you're all waiting for an update... and I was very hesitant to post this one, but here it goes:
Mick's visit was horrible, to put it mildly. Not due to the staff or Dr. Correa (they really are the greatest people), but because Mick was a terrified mess. It took three of us to hold him down and they still almost lost his vein while they cleaned out the catheter w/saline solution. We did manage to hold him down long enough to administer the Vincristine, but it was literally touch-and-go... he howled and his eyes rolled back in his head while he tried to get away, and he started hyperventilating on top of that. The whole thing lasted maybe 5 minutes, but it was one of the longest five minutes of my life - and I honestly don't know if I want to subject Mick to that kind of stress for the next 19 weeks once a week.
Sedation is a possibility, but our Oncologist thinks it might be dangerous for him, because his blood pressure drops very low and they have a hard time reversing it afterwards. It's also an added $2000 to an already very expensive treatment, and while I am willing to beg, borrow and steal for this dog - I'm also wondering what all this is doing to him mentally/emotionally.
Dr. Correa told me this afternoon that she thinks Mick is very smart and will get "wise to us trying to trick him"... and will fight each visit even more. We have the option to switch to oral meds, which means less office visits... but it also means that the treatment won't be as effective as the chemo.
A part of me wants to continue the chemo to keep him around as long as possible, but the other part of me wants to do what's easier on Mick - even though that definitely means that we have no options left once he comes out of remission (if he goes into remission first, that is).
Katrina and I were "talking" about this earlier, and she reminded me that all the stress of each visit might hinder the actual effects of the chemo treatments anyway... and I sort of agree w/that.
Mick was terrified... and I hate seeing him that way.
And the killer was definitely the palm leaf he picked up in the parking lot on the way out of the vet office... he was still shaking, but he picked it up, carried it to my daughters car, jumped in the back seat w/me, nudged me - and gave it to me.
My heart absolutely went to pieces over that...
And I am sooo torn on what to do... right now the plan is to go back next week after giving him a combo of oral sedatives first, and see how he does. He'll also need blood work done before he gets his injection. I have a feeling that it will go the same way it did today.
My heart just hurts... for him, for me... and as much as I want him to live - I somehow can't justify to myself to go about it this way.
I do want it understood that this is not the "easy way out" for me... it's damned hard and I've already been second-guessing myself 50 times, just typing this. I haven't made a final decision yet... but my heart is telling me to switch over to the oral meds and just let Mick enjoy his remaining time w/us... he so LOVES life... and I so LOVE him.