Big Day… Big Dose…

Today after three weeks of no chemo, Cody got his big dose of Doxyrubicin in the form of a two hour IV drip. This is the second time in the protocol that he has gotten this particular drug, and although it is considered the Mother Of All Doses… he seems relatively unscathed. In fact the last time he got this he reacted more to the tranquilizer (which he did not get this time) and the prednisone they give him, more than the chemical. How do I know he is reacting to the pred and not the Doxy? Because I have monitored and seen his reaction to prednisone countless times and it is always the same. Diarrhea. And it goes away as soon as the Prednisone passes through his system. The Doxy is supposed to give him nausea, vomiting, listlessness, diarrhea, no appetite. He gets none of those things. In fact his whites bounce back right away with this one (at least they did last time) as opposed to the supposedly wimpy Vincrstine which kicks his ass and takes his name.

Butzer and I talked about that. The fact that it took three weeks for his whites to come back up from the last dose of Vincristine worries both of us, so he is going to consult with a veterinary oncologist to see if there are alternatives to that particular drug.

Otherwise he is still 66lbs, nodes are nowhere to be found, his whites were up to 7.45 and his reds are at 6.71. Platelets are holding steady at mid range. Butzer did notice the hair around his nose is going now, so he is kind of bald there and you can see his freckles, and he is losing large amounts of hair uniformly all over him. Otherwise he is great! I took him for a brief stint with the ball early this morning to get a little angst out of him since i knew this would be a test of whether he needed the tranquilizer or not to sit still for two hours. But he was great. They gave him the catheter in his hind leg this time instead of his front paw and he did great.

Cody was a bit worn out after chemo and on the way home he crashed out on the back seat of the Element. Poor guy… i can always see it in his face when he feels worn down.

We got home and he was acting normal…following me around the house as I took down Christmas decorations. At one point I was in the bedroom and he laid down in front of the open slider (it is 80 degrees here today by the way). So he laid down, and I laid down next to him, and as he does all the time he rested his head on my shoulder and licked my face…  He really is the best. He is such a sweet mild mannered boy and so loving and gentle. So I laid there with him for a bit and felt his head get heavier and heavier on my shoulder. He has such trust and comfort in me. I am Mom. There is really nothing like it.

I am reminded as I was leaving the vet paying my astronomical bill (which I will get to in a sec) a woman came out balling her eyes out. She said “we just put Jake down” and then she sobbed uncontrollably. I dread that day. I have horrible nightmares about that day. I have told my guy, and I am adamant about this that I absolutely demand that when that day comes, I want that person, Butzer most likely, to come to the house. I want Cody to go in the house, on his bed surrounded by everything he knows and everyone who loves him, where he was raised from a small puppy and lived every day of his life. I am not religious but I am spiritual, and I truly believe that his spirit could stay with me in the house once he is physically gone. I want that. My guy thinks it may traumatize the cats. I am not sure, they may actually comfort him and they may understand. Who knows? I need to think about that part more. I can always put them in a bedroom or something. But I absolutely no doubt in my mind want him to go in the house. And when I have him cremated I want that to be him. Not some scrapings of various strange animals or whatever. I want a promise that it is actually him. Regardless, the most important part is that he stays in the house. It is all he knows, all he has ever known and it is very important to me.

Ok enough of that. He is going to beat the odds and all the statistics and beat this nasty disease!

So the total for the vet bill today was a whopping $382.10! OUCH! Here is the breakdown although I was not charged for anything but the CBC test and the Doxyrubicin:

CBC   $60
Doxyrubicin   $322.10
IV Catheter Placement   No Charge
IV Fluid Therapy   No Charge
Dexamethasone Injection (steroid)   No Charge
Benedryl INJ   No Charge
Pencillin Injection   No Charge
Vitamin Injection SQ   No Charge

They boost him with antibiotics, vitamins and steroid so he does not have bad reactions to the Doxyrubicin. Better to be safe than sorry for sure. So the grande total now for Cody’s chemo is:

9/21 – $225.53
9/24 – $12.78
9/27 – $137.80
9/28 – $335.67
10/5 – $65.18
10/12 – $142.37
10/19 – $142.37
10/26 – $61.20
11/2 – $408.22
11/16 – $133.68
11/30 – $108.23
12/3 – $102.27
12/14 – $173.00
12/28 – $60
01/04 – $322.10

Total – $2430.40

Getting close to that $3000.00 mark. Kind of scary that we are almost to the end of the treatment protocol too. I was told about another supplement by someone who read my blog. It is called Protocel. I am looking into it for post chemo maintenance. If any of you have used this or know anything about it I would love to hear what you have to say about it. Please post here so that it informs everyone. Thanks!

Oh and I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I am training for the Miami ING Half Marathon at the end of this month (January 31).Butzer and another guy that works at the hospital are also running it so we have all talked about it quite a bit. We were talking about the price of the race and they have not signed up yet, so it gets more expensive as you get closer to race day. I told them I signed up in October so that I could customize my bib… it will say :

FOR CODY

I love my dog!

Happy New Year everyone!

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on January 4, 2011.

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