*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 hugapitbull » April 24th, 2009, 8:35 am

Hang in there, Jen. You're entering the home stretch, just 3 days left next week. We're all here sending lots of good thoughts and hugs your way. Life WILL return to normal.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
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Postby Marinepits » April 24th, 2009, 6:22 pm

***Gross picture and discussion warning!***

It really has been a rollercoaster few days.

The swelling on Indy's leg started up again last weekend. He started on tramadol Monday for the pain because he was limping quite a bit and not using his leg at all when he woke up in the morning. On Wednesday, the doc and techs and I all talked and he was started on dexamethasone instead of the prednisone because dex has less side effects. So far, so good. No major problems with excessive appetite or drinking, but he is peeing a bit more than usual.

The wound on his leg has been oozing quite a bit since last weekend, but he was checked every day and no sign of infection was found. The wound would crust over and dry out then break open, over and over again. The doc started Indy on carrasyn gel to help protect the wounded area, but keep it a bit moist so it would stop splitting open. The ooze and the gel combined to make a rather thick scab and it mostly stopped breaking open to ooze more.

Last night, Indy jumped up out of his dog bed and somehow snagged the scab on the fleece cover -- the entire scab tore off and he was bleeding quite a bit. As I was cleaning him up and trimming off the bits of hanging scab, I put pressure on the bottom part of the wound and a lovely ooze of pale yellow green came out. Yea, infection! I called the onco vet immediately and Karen (the amazing radiation specialist tech) called in an antibiotic script at Dr Blabs' office which I picked up and started him on today. It's Baytril for the next week and hopefully that will take care of it.

Warning! Pics below are pretty gross!

When he started radiation April 6
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Around April 17
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April 20
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April 22
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Yesterday after the scab was ripped off
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We only went M-Tu-W this week and now he has a nice four-day break before he begins his last full week on Monday. Hopefully that will give him time to heal up a bit and give the antibiotic time to work. I'm very much hoping that the infection is clear enough that it won't delay his last five treatments.

All that has happened to him so far (the burn growing larger, the pain, the infection risk, etc) was explained to me and was expected. But it's still hard to see him go through this. I have to keep telling myself that this cancer is a CURABLE cancer and the couple of months of discomfort are worth having him around for many more years.

On a much lighter note, Dr Blabs went with us last Friday and got to view Indy's radiation treatment, then we both went on a tour of the facility. I was mightily impressed. Everyone is very professional!

We got to see the radiation and chemo areas, the digital x-ray machine (COOL!), the surgery and emergency rooms, the MRI and CAT Scan, and even the hydrotherapy room and hyperbaric chamber! Karen (the amazing radiation specialist tech) told us about a dog that was having problems healing a very large abdominal wound. Traditional methods like bandage changing and treatments weren't working, so they started the dog on hyperbaric treatments -- the dog has only had three treatments so far, but is already growing healthy granulation tissue.

The Compassionate Care Center is a wonderful idea and I hope more people utilize it in the future. You get a private room to stay with your pet overnight as s/he is recovering from surgery or getting chemo treatments or whatever other procedure is necessary. There is a bed for your pet and a large recliner for you to sleep in, you get a sink in the room and the bathroom is right down the hallway, plus there is always at least one nurse on staff for any emergencies or any questions. The entire facility is open with doctors on staff 24/7/365. The only drawback to the CCC is the price -- I believe it's about $200 per night. To me, that is worth the peace-of-mind you get by staying with your pet during the worst of health crises, but I can understand why some folks would be hesitant to use the CCC.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the entire facility to anyone who needs it.
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Postby Marinepits » April 24th, 2009, 6:24 pm

Oh, and here's a pic of Mr Grumpy-Ass:

Image

Somehow, he developed opposable thumbs and was taking the donut off his head at will. Now, he's wearing the bucket 24/7. He is NOT happy. :mad2:
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Postby hugapitbull » April 24th, 2009, 6:34 pm

Poor Mr Grumpy-Ass! How would you like to wear a bucket on your head. He'll be happy again in short time. Just humor him until then. It's worth it.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain--and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 24th, 2009, 7:33 pm

I'm so glad you guys found such a fantastic oncologist. They really seem to care for Indy and have his best interests in mind, as opposed to having your checkbook in mind.
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Postby blabsforbullies » April 24th, 2009, 7:58 pm

I was actually relieved when you called me to tell of the infection. :bounce: To me, it makes the swelling and effects more likely due to the infection than from anything else that would, say, be a less favorable prognosis. :greenRibbon:

And as yucky as the wound is, think of where he came from, and that big ol' wound that he healed from like a champ. :beerChug: This will be no different. :helloClap: And this is THE END OF THE STORY BECAUSE HE WILL BE CURED VERY SOON!!!!! :purpleBanana: :bananaDance: :purpleBanana: :bananaDance:

:heartbeat: Kick ASS Indy!!!! :heartbeat:
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Postby madremissy » April 24th, 2009, 8:29 pm

Come on Indy, just a little longer.
It is amazing how far he has come, don't let this little set back get your spirits down. Keep fighting!!
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Postby BullyLady » April 24th, 2009, 9:18 pm

You and Indy are such fighters, you are making it through this together. Indy, heal that infection up quick and finish up your radiation so you can work on living as hard and fun as you can!
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Postby Malli » April 25th, 2009, 2:49 am

awe, infection-insmection. He'll be fine!


Maybe this is the bad cells coming out that the radiation has killed?
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 25th, 2009, 2:51 am

It's almost over Indy!!! Poor little grumpy ass.
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Postby iluvk9 » April 25th, 2009, 6:35 am

:hug3: (Please pass along to Indy.)

:groupHug: (And this one is for you.)
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Postby CinderDee » April 25th, 2009, 7:42 am

Awww, poor bucket boy. :( I'd be a little cranky too. :groupHug:

I have to keep telling myself that this cancer is a CURABLE cancer and the couple of months of discomfort are worth having him around for many more years.


Yeah! Hang in there, Jen. It's almost over. :hug3:
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Postby Jenn » April 25th, 2009, 11:06 am

Awww poor bucket head :(

I agree, hang in there guys :hug3:
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Postby TinaMartin » April 27th, 2009, 8:52 am

Poor bucket head! Its almost over. The cancer WILL lose.
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Postby ArtGypsy » April 27th, 2009, 10:19 am

whispering to Indy::: you can do-it, buddy....just hand in there, sweetie..


Please take this "hug" from me........ :groupHug: !!!

Soon all of this will be over and just a bad dream...........

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Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 27th, 2009, 10:37 am

Indy...it'll all be better soon! The Reds are rooting for ya...and everything backs down from determined Aussies...even your cancer! You will win! :dance:
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Postby Marinepits » April 27th, 2009, 6:05 pm

Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone! They worked because we had a GOOD visit today. :rock:

The swelling has gone down significantly and Karen (the amazing radiation specialist tech) said that she was VERY happy with how his carpus looks. She cleaned up his wound while he was under anesthesia and it looks much better now. Lots of healthy tissue!

Top view:
Image

Side view:
Image

It's going to be one HELLUVA scar, but that's okay because chicks dig scars. :wink:
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Postby hugapitbull » April 27th, 2009, 6:18 pm

Four more good visits to go. You can do it, Indy. Kick cancer butt.

And, Jen, I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and this time it isn't the train :dance:
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain--and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
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Postby Pit♥bull » April 27th, 2009, 6:19 pm

:puke: But it does look better :)

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Postby Marinepits » April 27th, 2009, 6:21 pm

:puke: <------------ Same face hubby made, too. Some tough guys you are. :rolleyes2: :giggle:
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