Posted tagged ‘pets’

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!

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After One Year Rosie’s Palladia is Stopped (For Now)

September 1, 2010

After receiving Palladia for just over a year, Rosie is going to take a 2-week vacation from it.   This was decided with her oncologist after her latest 6-week check-up.  For the last couple of months Rosie has experienced a vomiting episode every couple of weeks and occasional loose stools.  During the first 10 months on Palladia she never experienced vomiting.

For the first time since she started Palladia Rosie’s lab test came back with an abnormality.  Her albumin (a blood protein) had decreased significantly.  So, the oncologist ordered a urinalysis which showed some protein but not enough to explain the entire protein loss.

The liver tests were normal.   The oncologist thinks that Rosie may be losing protein in her GI tract which may be related to the Palladia.   If so, if the Palladia is not stopped in time, it could cause permanent damage.  Therefore, she wants to take a break from the Palladia and check her again in 2 weeks.

A risk is that stopping the Palladia might allow the mast cell tumor with the 20 out of 10 mitotic index to come back.  That would be very bad.  Rosie has already beaten the odds of her diagnosis.  Initially she was only given 2 or 3 months to live after her diagnosis.  Now she has been doing great for a year.

All of this is hard to believe because if you look at Rosie she looks great!  You would not know she was dealing with something this serious.  Rosie has not acted sick.  She is happy, playful, and will eat as much food as you will give her.  She might get a little vomiting every few weeks but otherwise seemed fine.

So, I hope her blood proteins bounce back.  I would feel horrible if we did not stop the Palladia in time and caused permanent damage.  

We hope and pray that Rosie’s blood proteins will improve and that the cancer stays away.  I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks.

11 Months on Palladia and Still Going

July 31, 2010

Hi everyone.  I thought I would give you an update on Rosie.   For the most part Rosie has been doing great. 

After the July 4th vomiting episode she had a great couple of weeks and then some vomiting after that.  However, it was not nearly as bad as on July 4th.  We stopped the Palladia for a few days and took her to the oncologist.  She was almost due for her regular 6-week check up so we just moved up her appointment a few days.

The oncologist was very happy with how Rosie was doing.  All her bloodwork, liver enzymes, and ultrasound came back normal.  The oncologist said she went over Rosie extremely thoroughly to try to find any lumps and saw none.  She was extremely pleased with the results.  So were we!  The oncologist did not want to adjust the dosage of Palladia for the couple of episodes of vomiting.  She wanted to continue on the current course and see how Rosie does.  Rosie has had 3 Palladia doses since that trip to the oncologist and there have been no problems so far.

In summary, after 11 months Rosie is still cancer free and doing great on Palladia with just a couple of bouts of vomiting, but so far not enough to change the dosage or take her off the Palladia.

That is the latest.  I’ll update you after the next 6 week visit to the oncologist which will be just after Rosie’s 1-year anniversary on Palladia

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.

10 Months on Palladia and Now She Starts Vomiting?

July 3, 2010

Yes.  Rosie has been on Palladia for just over 10 months with no side effects.  Only once did she experience vomiting and that was early on when I was trying to change her food.  Therefore, I was quite surprised when her dinner and meds came back up last night.

We don’t know what has caused it.  Is it the:

  • Palladia  (Vomiting is one of the side effects.)
  • Mast Cell Tumor (The cancer itself can cause nausea.)
  • Something she ate (Vomiting occurred shortly after her walk.  Did she eat something outside?  Hubby says he didn’t see her eat anything.)

Of course this happens on a Friday night on a holiday weekend when all the regular vets offices are closed.  So I call the nearest 24-emergency clinic and told them what happened and that she was on palladia….and the girl asked me “what’s Palladia.”  I said never mind and called the 24-emergency clinic located at the oncology office.    They said not to give her any food or water for 6 hours and if she is still having symptoms after that to bring her in.  At 4:00 a.m. the next morning she was still having dry heaves. 

At 7:00 a.m. we went to the nearest regular vet’s office and luckily they have facilities to do testing.  So Rosie was seen by the vet, who was very good, and they ran blood work to try to see if possibly the cancer came back and was causing stomach upset.  Everything was in the normal range.  The white blood cell count was at the very lowest end of the range, but still in the normal range.  The vet said that was to be expected for a dog taking chemo.  They gave her 2 shots for nausea and vomiting and told us not to give her any food until this evening.  Only water for today, and then 1/2 her normal meal this evening along with her Prilosec and Metoclopramide for nausea. 

We are back home now.  Rosie is resting.  I’m wondering what she could have eaten that might have caused it.  I was chopping an onion yesterday.  Possibly did a piece fall on the floor and she ate it without me seeing?  Did she manage to convince DH to give her a Chicken and cheese ravioli last night?  DH says he didn’t.  Did she eat something while out on her walk?   We may never know the answer.   We will keep an eye on her this weekend and check with the oncologist on Tuesday when she is back in the office.

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!