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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Oct 31

One chemo down—everything went well.


It was a very long day.  The Veterinary Cancer Center is close to 3 hours from home, but there were not many oncologists closer than that, and I really wanted the best for Fallon.  If we’re doing this, might as well do it right, I heard so much positive feedback about this practice, and about Dr. Sue Ettinger in particular.  Fallon, Maggie, Fallon’s Dad, and I left about mid-morning for a 1PM appointment, and got there with a little time to spare.  We went into the office and spoke with the technician, Suzanne, for a bit, then Dr. Sue came in to meet and examine Fallon, then discuss options.


Dr. Sue was lovely to work with.  She was compassionate but to the point, speaking frankly about timeframes and options—all the time giving us hope, but making sure we kept real.  I got all teary eyed when talking, but she made me feel comfortable, normal and appropriate.  All the time we were in the office, our dogs were able to walk around freely, and while she discussed serious business with us, she was loving on our girls.  The whole VCC was like that—any staff member who came close to us stopped to give our girls some attention, say a kind word, rub a belly—we were impressed with their love for all the pets that came in.


We looked at options and all the costs (all the COSTS—big) but I knew before we got there I wanted to go with chemotherapy, as long as Fallon was fit and appropriate—and she was.  Fallon went off for chest x-rays and urinalysis, then her first chemo with Carboplatin.


We had a few hours to kill.  We decided to get a bite to eat, so got directions to a patch of drive through restaurants close by—Maggie was with us, so we couldn’t eat in anywhere.  Then we went back to the VCC.  I wanted to be close in case there were any problems.  We took a mat in for Maggie and she camped out in the waiting area with us.  She LOVED it, sitting with tons of people who all loved pets who gave her endless attention.  It went well bringing her, she is so well behaved and she is good moral support for Fallon, so I think we’ll bring her again.  It’s a nice place to wait, despite the circumstances, nice people in the waiting room, and soda, water, coffee and chocolate available for people, healthy biscuits for dogs.


When Fallon was ready, we went back into the office to talk about what we needed to do next—antibiotics start in a week, we need to set up with our home vet for bloodwork to make sure the white blood cells are still  good after the first treatment so we could do the second.  We got immunity support treats for Fallon, and some meds to have handy in the event she has diarrhea or nausea.  Fallon had a bandage on where her IV was, we would need to stop in an hour to remove it.  We’ll hear from them about her chest x-ray and urine sometime in the future.


The drive home was uneventful—much more traffic as we were going during rush hour, but overall proved this was do-able.  Fallon slept really well most of the way home, other than when we stopped to take her bandage off.  Maggie was her usual back seat driver.  Once we got home, everyone was exhausted from our really long, emotional day.  Subsequent ones will be a bit shorter—we won’t always have chest x-rays, urinalysis, and long doctor discussions.  The next treatment is scheduled for November 20—5 more to go.

The Veterinary Cancer Center, Norwalk, CT

More to come…

6 comments so far

  1. Jesh
    2:29 pm - 10-31-2017

    I’m glad the chemo went well. Maggie is a jewel. All dogs react to chemo differently. Hopefully, Fallon will have no side affects. But, remember they have meds that will help if she does have side affects.
    Take care of yourself, too!

  2. Valerie Cintron
    2:41 pm - 10-31-2017

    So glad that you found such a wonderful place to get Fallon her care. These Cancer centers can be hard to find. We were also fortunate to find the Animal Cancer Care Clinic. The main facility was an hour away and her in between check ups were down the street. Actually I really lucked out Jazzy’s oncologist, Cardiologist and Eye Specialist all shared a local office on a rotating basis. So they would all collaborate on her care. Jazzy did get nauseous and took zofran but it gave her loose stool and they switched her to Cerenia.
    I am sending hugs for Fallon and you and belly rubs for Maggie for her moral support. Thank you Dr. Sue for taking care of sweet Fallon.

  3. rochar21
    12:42 pm - 11-1-2017

    Great job Fallon on round 1!

  4. benny55
    3:11 pm - 11-1-2017

    So glad to hear things went well for Fallin! It’s good to know Maggie enjoyed all the extra sttention too. I assume she got a dirve thru snack too?? 🙂

    I know this is quite a long day, but it gets more “comfortable” as it becomes more “normal”. Fallon probably thinks getting chemo is related to extra belly rubs and lots of attention, so she’s good with that! 🙂



    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  5. Suzanne
    6:41 pm - 11-1-2017

    So glad you all had such a great experience! Fallon and Maggie are such sweethearts and it makes me so happy to know that Fallon is doing well! As I mentioned, if you have any issues whatsoever please feel free to contact me!! <3 Fallon and so excited to see how well she does!!
    <3 Fallon's Technician Suzanne

    • dawn3g
      6:54 pm - 11-1-2017

      Thank you so much for all your support, Suzanne. You and everyone else at VCC made us feel like we were in really good hands. Grateful to have you on Fallon’s team!! <3

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