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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Mar 27

Six months ago was one of the most difficult days we’ve had to get through—the day of my best friend Fallon’s x-ray revealing her osteosarcoma.  There were tons of tears, constant research, lots of conversations with anyone with some level of knowledge/experience who would talk to us, lots of drinking…Six months ago I would have never believed we’d be where we are now.  But after an amputation, completing a course of chemotherapy, and starting metronomic chemo, Fallon is just rockin’ this; she really seems happy, healthy, and feeling greyt…Maggie too. 

Nothing has changed in their friendship.

We’re vacationing back at Dewey Beach in a week.  I wondered whether we’d ever go back together.  Despite all the angst, we’ve made the right choices so far.  There’s a comfort in believing that, anyway.

 

So catching you up, all Fallon’s testing came back awesome from our last oncology appointment—bloodwork and x-rays included!  While we were at our last appointment, Dr. Sue and I discussed next steps.  The VCC site visit from Aratana regarding the Osteosarcoma Vaccine was postponed to March 28 due to one of the multiple snowstorms hitting and interfering with their travel.  Dr. Sue and our family are both away the first week in April (! Did I mention Dewey Beach for us !), so the next possible appointment for us would be April 10…and that is when we could get the vaccine.  So given there is this bit of a lull between possible next steps, Dr. Sue and I discussed Metronomic Chemotherapy to bridge the gap, and possibly continue beyond.

 

This is low dose chemo meds administered by us at home, by mouth.  The goal is to slow down tumor blood vessel growth, it will hopefully slow the progression of any new spread.  So that seemed like a good plan, we decided to go with it.  We’re thankful we have Dr. Sue to guide us; we have the utmost trust in her.

 

So Fallon is on 4 new meds now.  The chemo med is Cyclophosphamide, and we give it every other day.  You’re not supposed to touch it, so we were provided with a large supply of nitrile gloves, and instructions how to dispose of these safely, what to do if it touches us, or gets in our eyes, very serious shizzle.  Plus she will probably need to pee more.  We’ll deal.

Fallon is smart, she does not hop in the really sharp snow. Thankfully it is finally melting.

So we have four administrations experience with it so far, but I don’t think it will be a problem, I shake it from the bottle to the bottle’s top, then sink it into Fallon’s delicious home cooked breakfast and she eats it right down without any issue.  Fingers crossed this continues.  Other new meds (an NSAID, antibiotic, and some omeprazole for her tum) we have also been hiding without issue—so far, so good.  She continues to enjoy Omega 3 oil as part of a healthy breakfast. (I also mix in glucosamine, MSM, vitamin C and chondroitin powders and a squirt of Yucca—have been adding this for mobility for years)  It sounds more complex and confusing than it really is.  She’s still on her Apocaps, but a lower dose because of the NSAID, and still gets her favorite K9 Immunity Plus treats.  Busy girl!

 

I am still having major anxiety due to the vaccine cost—which has not been officially made known to me yet by the VCC, but I am a girl with the internet, so I know ballpark.  Devastating, just like everything else has been.  So while I have been 100% solid behind wanting this vaccine for Fallon, seeing it as an opportunity that has come along now for a reason, sleeping at night (and doing most everything else) has been rough while stressing and obsessing over money.  Nonetheless, if she is eligible, we’ll pay for it somehow.  Results have been way too encouraging for us not to take a chance on this.  Buy insurance for your dogs.  Trust me.

 

Despite $, we’re off to the beach soon—it’s a greyt time to go, quiet, cheap because it’s off season, life at the ocean is always better than the Albany suburbs, the beach is open to dogs, restaurants are open and not overflowing with people, other greyhounds will be there—win, win, win, win, win, win.

(This video is our last September trip, so warmer looking than we’ll have next week.  The other dogs are from the Appalachian Air Canines group.  Maggie felt as one with them.  Fallon still had her limp and mostly watched from her beach blanket, it is a week before the x-ray.  We have a plan to go back this coming September also)

Plus, we all need a break.  I am getting crazier, time to rein this in.

4 comments so far

  1. Michelle
    2:03 pm - 3-27-2018

    Congrats to Fallon with her completion of chemo. I did see Fallon’s picture on FB with Dr. Sue. 🙂 Keep an eye on the Cyclophosphamide as it can cause UTI. That happened for Sassy around the 5 month mark. We then changed to Leaukeran.

    Keep us informed on the injections. That looks like a promising thing

    Enjoy your vacation.

    Hugs
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. jerry
    11:40 pm - 3-27-2018

    Wow there’s a lot of six month milestones happening in the community right now. I’m so glad that Fallon’s is a celebratory affair! Congrats on coming so very, very far! No doubt she will have a pawty fit for a queen at the beach. We hope you have a blast.

    I just love that she is under the care of Dr. Sue. Everything you mentioned about the treatments for Fallon are exactly what Dr. Sue recommends in her lectures to vets. We are so glad that more and more vets are getting to see her suggestions and help other dogs in the process.

    Metronomics isn’t too hard. Yeah, just watch for UTI signs and stay on top of any suspicions, but otherwise it’s easey peasy.

    Keep us posted on the vaccine study at the clinic. We hope she can be part of it!

  3. dobemom
    1:38 pm - 3-28-2018

    Ditto the UTI with cyclophosphamide…or rather, blood in the urine. Nitro was on this for about 10 mos before he started with the urinary symptoms. I’m a lab tech, so I could monitor his urine every week (and I did!). As soon as the red blood cells started showing up in his urine, he was taken off it immediately, and could never have it again. In hindsight, I’m not sure I would go this route again….he developed kidney disease, and we’ll never know if it was from the metronomic therapy or just old age. Kidney failure is what eventually took him from us, so I tend to second-guess that decision a lot. Can’t wait to hear how the vaccine goes, good luck. Also, have a great, relaxing vacation!

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

  4. paws120
    2:53 pm - 3-28-2018

    Dawn and beautiful Fallon!
    She looks absolutely wonderful, and I am so glad to hear that all is well. Your story is so inspirational, and you have worked so hard to get and stay there.
    Enjoy your vacation, I hope the weather is wonderful for you!

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Jackie and Huck

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