Posted tagged ‘Good Days’

Merry Christmas 2011 From Rosie’s Family to Yours

December 16, 2011

Rosie's 2011 Christmas Photo

 

Rosie’s Christmas photos came in last week.  This is another reminder of how blessed we are to have Rosie with us.  It was August 2009 when Rosie was diagnosed, the second time, with Grade II Mast Cell Tumors, with an estimated 2 months to live.  Here we are at Christmas 2011 and Rosie is alive , healthy and cancer free!  Thank you to the folks at Pfizer who made Palladia, Rosie’s vet and oncologists who have treated her through this disease, and to our friends and family who supported us.  Merry Christmas to everyone from Rosie and her family!

Rosie’s Cancer Survival Tail

February 10, 2011

Yeah….Rosie is doing wonderful and no visible cancer!  She had a great check up with her new oncologist.  Her previous oncologist moved out of state.  Her new oncologist said she saw no concernns re: Rosie’s tests and that she was a “sweetie.”  I agree….but of course I’m not biased!  😉

She has been doing much better.  The hind end weakness is only occasional and not very bad.  It has been much better since we stopped the Palladia for a week.  She has been back on it for 6 weeks and we just received another refill for 6 weeks.  She will go back to the oncologist in another six weeks.  That is the life of a dog on Palladia.  You get to see an oncologist every six weeks.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you whose furkids are dealing with the “C” word.  Good luck to all of you.

Update on Rosie’s Palladia and Side Effects

January 31, 2011

Hi everyone!  I wanted to let you know that Rosie is doing great. She restarted Palladia several weeks ago and has had no problem with the side effects like before.  The only thing I have noticed is she sometimes is a little slow getting up when she is lying down. 

It definitely has NOT affected her appetite.  She scarfed down 1/2 of my husband’s pizza in about 2 seconds when he stepped away from the table.  (No, Pizza is NOT on her diet.  She did not seem to care, though.)

She goes back to the veterinary oncologist in a couple of weeks for her regular 6-week checkup.   Taking a break from the Palladia for a week definitely reduced the side effects when she started back.

Uncurling the Side Effects of Palladia

January 12, 2011

Rosie’s 1-1/2 week vacation from Palladia ends tonight.  We took her for her 6-week check up a week ago Monday.  Before we left to go to the clinic Rosie was curled up nice and comfy on the sofa and then jumped off.  The problem was that, even though she was standing, her back was still curled in a “C” like she was on the sofa.  It took her a couple of minutes to “uncurl” herself and straighten out.  It scared me to death.  I think she was scared too.  She didn’t know what was happening.    I told the oncologist about it and she said let’s give Rosie a one week break from the Palladia and see if this gets better.

The good news from the visit to the oncologist was that she still showed no signs of cancer!  Yeah!  The bad news is that she had some protein in her urine.  So that was another reason to take a break from the Palladia.

During this week off of Palladia, Rosie’s hind end weakness definitely improved and she had no problems “uncurling” like last week. 

However, Rosie starts the Palladia tonight and I am nervous.  I am hopeful the side effects have subsided.  But we just have to keep a close eye on her.  I talked to the oncologist about what if we stop the Palladia altogether but 2 oncologists were very concerned that her cancer would return quickly since it was so aggressive.  That is the reason I agreed to have Rosie go back on it.

When I expressed my concerns about the side effects of long-term Palladia, the oncologist did tell me about another option I had not heard much about and that was metronomic chemotherapy.  It is a combination of 3 drugs, an antibiotic such as doxycycline, an NSAID such as piroxicam (or other similar drug) and a chemo drug called cyclophosphamide.  It is a lower dose chemotherapy that is not meant to cure cancer but to try to keep it from spreading or keep it from returning (as would be in Rosie’s case).   Dr. Dressler has information about it on his blog at:  http://www.dogcancerblog.com/metronomic-chemotherapy/  and at http://www.dogcancerblog.com/a-new-look-chemotherapy/.

We decided to continue on the Palladia since it has kept the cancer away.  However, if the side effects get worse, we will then need to consider other options.

Lastly, our loss is Arizona’s gain.  Rosie’s oncologist for the last 18 months is leaving the clinic.  She is going to practice in Arizona.  Good luck to you Dr. Endicott.  We wish you well.   I hope you don’t have a need for one, but in case you need a good veterinary oncologist in Arizona, go see Dr. Melissa Endicott.  She is excellent.

Good luck to everyone whose furbaby is fighting this disease, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rosie is Feeling Better

July 7, 2010

I wanted to give an update to let everyone know that Rosie is feeling better.  She has been back on her regular diet for the last 3 days with no problems.  We restarted the Palladia this evening.  So far so good.  No stomach problems.  So I am guessing it must have been something she ate and not the Palladia that upset her stomach.

One Year Since MCT Diagnosis

June 16, 2010

It has now been one year since Rosie’s initial diagnosis of Mast Cell Tumor, grade II, and Rosie is doing great.  Last year it started as a small lump on her lower abdomen.  The owner of our doggie daycare pointed it out to us and recommended we take her to the vet.   I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

The vet did surgery to remove the lump and was confident he got all of it and we didn’t need to do anything other than keep an eye out for any more lumps. 

Two months later in August 2009, it came back with a vengeance.  Another lump on her surgery scar.  Test results came back as Grade II MCT with a Mitotic Index of 20.  That was bad news.  The mitotic index can be an indicator of lifespan.  The higher the number the shorter the life span.  We took her to an oncologist who said if we did nothing Rosie may only have 2 months to live.

That was 10 months ago and Rosie is alive and well and doing great.  In August 2009, about 1 month after our oncologist received the initial batch of new drug, Palladia, we started Rosie on it.  3 times per week, two 50 mg tablets per day.  The oncologist warned me they did not know a lot about this new drug, but we could try it.  I’m glad we did.  For 10 months it has worked for Rosie. 

Yesterday Rosie went for her regular 6 week check up.  Her ultrasound was normal.  Everything was clear.  All her bloodwork and tests were normal.  Our oncologist was thrilled about how well Rosie was doing.   She said usually a dog with a mitotic index of 20 in August 2009 would not be here today.

Our oncologist recommended that we continue the Palladia treatment.  She believes the Palladia is suppressing the “mutation” (I assume of cells turning into cancer) and that if we stopped the Palladia the cancer would return.

So we continue on and Rosie’s life goes on.  Thanks to our vet, oncologist, doggie daycare owner, and Palladia, Rosie is still with us.  She brings a lot of joy and love to our lives.  We are so grateful that she is still with us.  

Good luck to everyone whose furbaby is fighting this disease.  Our prayers are with you.  Remember, there are success stories like Rosie’s.  There is hope.

Rosie is Our Christmas Gift Again This Year

December 24, 2009

Last year when we adopted Rosie  she was our Christmas gift to ourselves.  This year she is our Christmas gift again because she is still with us.  Back in August or September I wasn’t sure she would still be here by Christmas.  We are very thankful to have her with us this Christmas.  

Yesterday I realized how lucky we were to still have her when I took her to her regular vet to check her ears.  He was very pleased with how healthy Rosie looked.  He said he euthanized a dog yesterday that had mast cell cancer diagnosed about the same time as Rosie’s initial diagnosis. 

I told him that we adopted Rosie one year ago.  He said something that made me think.  He said some things (like her adoption) happen for a reason.  I think maybe we were meant to have her during this time in her life to take care of her.  Her previous Mom was busy fighting her own personal battle with cancer and it would have been extremely difficult for her to take care of Rosie as well.

Going through this process makes you take every day as it comes.  We have no idea what the future holds.  I don’t know if Rosie will be with us next Christmas, but I can’t worry about that.  We are just thankful she is here now and are thankful for each day we have with her.   Hopefully, there will be many more.  Our dogs can help teach us to enjoy the moment and not worry about the future.

For those fighting this cancer battle, our thoughts and prayers are with you especially during this holiday season.  May you have peace and comfort during this time.

Enjoy today and try not to worry about tomorrow.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!