Saving Cody: An Introduction….

My name is Michelle and Cody was my six year old Labrador Retriever (he was five when I started this blog and he was two weeks shy of seven when he crossed over). We live in a house with two other boys, an orange 15 year old cat named Jimi, and a 6 year old all black crazy cat named Albert. Since Cody passed I spent about four months dogless, but I could not handle it and I now have a “Black dog” named Oscar. I say Black dog because he is a rescue and a “Lab Mix” by default which basically means, they think he has Lab in him but really have no idea whatsoever.  I am completely outnumbered.

July 15, 2005 – June 29, 2012

This is the story, actually it started as a diary of sorts, a way to vent, that I had been keeping in another format on my computer. It is now an online diary/blog of our battle against Canine Lymphoma with Cody, since his diagnosis in mid-September 2010, and what is happening in our lives since he passed on. If you are not familiar with Blogs, the most recent posts are first, so page back to start from the beginning. I write here constantly, documenting his chemotherapy, diet, ups and downs,  the costs and the steps I took to, if not cure him, at least put up a fight like no other. It is a terrible prognosis. This disease spreads rapidly in dogs, they can be dead within weeks, and it is highly prevalent. The statistics are shocking. My boy was only five years old and I could not with good conscience just let him go. So this is our story. I hope this in some way helps other pet owners facing this long road.

As you may have seen in my previous posts, 2010 had been a year of Cancer for me. It started with a friend dying of brain cancer in January, an Uncle dying in May of Lung Cancer, my own terrifying battle all summer, my step sister fighting breast cancer and having a double mastectomy in August and chemo, and culminated in September with my boy and his diagnosis. As much as i felt down trodden and beaten… this is not something I was going to take sitting down. I have never fought so hard and i sleep well at night knowing I tried my hardest to keep him healthy, happy and alive, and I tried EVERYTHING. I made him a promise that I kept every day to the last…

As long as he stays the happy boy I know and love, I will keep fighting for him. But if he ever starts to suffer, becomes so sick that he is no longer enjoying his life, i will not prolong his agony for my benefit. I will let him go.

So this is our story….


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on November 4, 2010.

12 Responses to “Saving Cody: An Introduction….”

  1. your blog is really heart warming and heart wrenching. I pray for your recovery. and would love to read more about your journey

  2. Hi! Check out my latest post. I just nominated you for A Lovely Blog award and Very Inspiring Blogger award :)

  3. Hi what treatment did you do for Cody?

    • Hi Carmen,

      The main treatment we used was the Wisconsin Protocol for his chemo, but I also radically changed his diet and added a ton of superfoods and supplements. I also took him off tap water immediately and removed all carbs and sugars from his diet. It is all here in this blog.

      Feel free to ask any questions I am happy to help if I can.


  4. Hi Michelle:
    Thursday, August 7, my baby Tazz was diagnosed with Lymphoma. The way my vet tells me, it is a very aggressive cancer. I am reading your blog and hope that I will have the courage to face the chemo and treatments. Tazz is the loyal friend I have and the idea of losing him breaks my heart. I ask God to take care of him. I am very afraid and very lost.
    I know he is old, 14 years, I wished he lives longer.
    From an aching heart in DFW.

    • Hi Tito,

      I am so sorry about Tazz. It is always such heartbreaking news when the vet tells you about the diagnosis. And yes, lymphoma is very aggressive. It runs through the blood and lymph nodes and moves very quickly. Whether or not you choose to treat him with chemo, you can do some things that will help him feel better and improve his health regardless. Changing his diet, adding some good supplements, removing grains and carbs especially from his diet will help the cancer move slower. Carbs and grains turn to sugar in the blood and cancer feeds on sugar. Find a good grain free food like Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, or Orijen.

      Keep me posted on what you decide to do and I will try to help you if I can. Most of all give Tazz lots of love. Hang in there!


      • Hi:

        Thanks for these recommendations.
        This Monday I have an appointment with an Oncologist. Its around 1300. I will find out my options.
        My concerns are: Tazz is always scared and stressed out with visiting a Vet so I am not sure if its OK for me to have him do chemo every week for 19 weeks — this is what I was told initially by the Vet. The Vet also mentioned that there are “other”protocols so hopefully I will have a clear picture Monday.


  5. Decided to do CHOP protocol. We are going on our chemo week 2 this Tuesday.

  6. To you all – I share your pain, my best friend – Jaisy my just 9 yr old chocolate baby girl – was diagnosed with lymphoma tuesday. I noticed a lump Sunday, vets Monday, biopsy Tuesday and started chemo straight away!
    I don’t know what will happen but I must try for her, give her love and allow her to wag that tail for as long as she can ;(

    • Oh Rich I am so sorry for this devastating news. Please let me know if I can help you in any way. I unfortunately know a lot about this disease and treatments. Please read through the blog and see how I changed Cody’s diet etc… it TRULY helped him live WELL for a much longer time than was expected. His lymphoma was quite “hot” too… it really does help. I am also now a health coach and I wish I knew then what I know now about health and wellness. My boy Oscar is on a much better road than I even knew was possible for Cody, especially diet wise.

      Hang in there and let me know how I can help!


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