IV Dose In The Books

Today was a draining day for both myself and the boy. Cody had his two hour IV drip appointment today at 11am.  I could not get an earlier appointment so I went to work which is 35 minutes south of me, for an hour and a half, then back home to get him to make it to his appointment. It was a ZOO in the vet today! It scares me when there are tons of animals in the waiting area because he has very little immune system to fight anything off so I need to make sure his exposure to any animals, healthy or not, is minimal. It is always a small battle to keep him away from the other dogs in there. It was a bit more stressful today since I did not recognize a single tech at the reception area! I don’t know how many people they have employed at Clint Moore but they were all new faces, so they did not know why I was there and did not usher me into a room like the normal crew I see every Tuesday does. So I stood in a corner for over 45 mins waiting for a room. Now it is almost noon… and they finally get me a room. Cody and I go in and sit for another 25 mins. UGH! Finally Butzer himself walks in to get Cody on the scale and get his CBC done.

Cody comes back and we wait again for another 20 mins or so. He weighs 66 lbs which is his normal weight, and then Butzer comes in with the CBC. Cody’s white cells are decent at 6.28, his reds are good at 6.63 and platelets are good at 269 which is mid-range. So we are good to go. I remind Butzer that Cody does ok the first few days after this dose but by Friday he gets violently ill… he pukes like crazy and can not keep anything down, including water, for days. His weight drops drastically and he looks totally haggard. I had tried Pepcid but he can not even keep that down. You can read about that horror a few posts back.

We discuss giving Cody anti-nausea meds starting today and throughout the weekend to see if we can combat this before it starts. I also have him look at the Staph infection which I can still see but seems to be getting a tiny bit better. He agrees. Unfortunately it is so busy at the vet that I can not hold the room so he says that he will take Cody to the back and that I should come back in about two hours to pick him up. I am horrified! I don’t want to leave him especially since he tends to get antsy if I am not  there and I absolutely DO NOT want them to sedate him. I had to carry him out of the vet and into the house the last time they did that and he howled the entire time. I was so upset that day I refuse to let that happen again. Butzer says they will not sedate him….

Ok I will be back in a bit…

So I very reluctantly leave him there and they take him to the back for his treatment. I happen to live right around the block from this vet, I can and have walked there with Cody before. So I go back to my house and walk in to a VERY quiet home. Creepy. All I can think of is that this is what it will be like if he is gone. I am really fighting with my head now, it is WAYYYY too quiet in the house, no tapping of his nails on the tile floor, no running to greet me at the door, no throwing the chicken at my feet. I have to get out of here.

Luckily my baby cousin (Ok she is 22 ha!) who is visiting for her spring break from college and staying with me for the week walks out of her room at that moment getting ready to go to the beach with my parents who are picking her up momentarily. We talk for a bit then my parents get there, and they all leave.

Again. Silence.

So I go back to the vet and sit in the parking lot in my car for an hour. Yes I am insane.

So now it is 2pm and I walk back into the vet. It is CRAZY in there! Wow I had no idea it got that busy… no wonder they need so many employees! So I stand there trying to get someone’s attention, and I see Ryan. I ask if he knows if Cody is done and he goes to check. I think i stood there for almost 40 mins. It is almost 3pm now and this has taken literally ALL DAY and I am not even done yet. Two more people I recognize say they are getting Cody for me and I tell them about the anti-nausea meds and not to forget them. Finally a girl at the counter waits on me and I cash out. $399.10! OUCH! I am talking to the woman checking out next to me and she comments that her 13 year old dog was just diagnosed with lymphoma and a protein deficiency, and she is not going to treat it. She asks me all about the chemo for Cody and while we are talking a tech comes out to give me meds. Only this is not the right amount. I paid for 20 tablets, he is handing me four. I tell him this is not going to work, that Cody needs enough to start him now and go through the weekend. And not to mention that is what I just paid for. He takes my receipt then disappears again. Now someone finally brings me my dog! He looks exhausted.

Then they come back and give me two different meds… so now Cody has to take four more pills per day on top of his antibiotic for his Staph infection and his regimen of vitamins and supplements. Geezus what am I doing to this poor animal. Then Cody starts to dry heave. Yay! Apparently he has been doing that but they think it is just because of a cookie they gave him. He is not supposed to eat cookies because of the carbs and sugars but what can I do if I am not there!

At this point I am just drained. I try to deal with the checkout again making sure, since I am not getting the meds I originally paid for that I am ok with my bill (hoping I get a credit), when in fact after much deliberation and more dry heaving they tell me I actually owe more money than what I have paid. Could my day seriously get any worse? I tell them to tack it on to my next bill in two weeks, I make my next appointment and get my dog in my car.

Holy Hell Batman!

I get Cody home as he gags in the car but no puke… and we get inside the house. He immediately passes out on his bed. Trust me buddy I feel the same way. It is now almost 4:15pm. Guess I am not going back to work today as I originally planned. So I cover Cody up and let him sleep while both cats walk over to him and smell him, especially his feet. It is obvious to me that they can smell the chemo through the pads of his feet. I have explained this before in previous posts that dogs sweat through their feet, and there are ways to pull the toxins from the chemo out through the foot pads with wet wool socks. I have yet to actually try that but if Cody gets sick this weekend even while on the nausea meds I may try it. I will keep you posted.

So as I said today’s visit cost me a whopping $399.10. I am now over my originally quoted $3000.00 chemo quote… which if I had any energy left in me today i would call and discuss with them. Regardless the breakdown is this for all that he was administered today:

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

And $17.00 for the Ondansetron 4MG tablets that I was charged for but did not get and instead got Tagamet 200 mg and Regulan 10MG Metoclopramide which I apparently owe them more money for.

Grande total for Chemo now 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
01/18 – $135.00
2/1 – $103.00
2/15 – $175.00
3/1 – $110.00
3/8 – $399.10

Total – $3352.50

I have to say again that regardless of the stress on me, and my wallet that this has and is taking… he is more than worth it. Proof of that is last night after getting home from dinner with my cousin we all crash out on respective couches. Cody is making the rounds to me, then to her, then to Tim, then to me and then he finally settles it… he climbs up ever so gently right next to Jennifer. He scoots himself ever closer and puts his face right up on her chest and cuddles. This big 66LB lover of a dog lays down in the smallest of spots just to be right beside her… so sweet!

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on March 8, 2011.

One Response to “IV Dose In The Books”

  1. Too bad you’re not in Cali any more – sounds like Cody could use some compassion club brownies! Poor baby…nausea is awful!

    You know you love someone/something when you’ll check up on them by smelling their feet! That’s love, pure and simple.

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