We have had a pretty darn good weekend I am happy to report. It seems the illness, whatever it was, passed. Cody has been on the antibiotic Butzer prescribed him last week… but other than that just his normal vitamin supplements. He is feeling good, energy level is high as normal and he is a happy boy.


I have been concerned about his penis and the redness I see on the skin on the tip, but other than that all seemed well. Dr Butzer called me again on Thursday evening and we talked quite a bit about next steps. He agreed that the last dose of Doxyrubicin is not necessary and probably would do more harm than good. He mentioned a few other drug options as well and I asked him to look into them. He also mentioned in a very timid delivery, the possibility of using Chinese herbs. I would think at this point in our relationship he would know me well enough to understand that I would be ALL for that. But he was apprehensive in asking me what I thought about it.


I am a huge fan of Eastern Medicine. The concept of PREVENTION as opposed to treating established illness like Western medicine is amazing and makes total sense to me. Treating the whole body makes perfect sense to me. So yes Dr Butzer, no need to be shy… I am open to anything natural and holistic. I will try anything to keep him healthy. He is ordering me herbs for lymphoma and I told him I would be in this morning for a check up and CBC and possible chemo.

So in we go at about ten of 9am.  Cody saw all of his many fans and girlfriends. They all just adore him … and why not? What’s not to love? They clipped his nails for me and took his CBC and weighed him. He is 59lbs! That is up 3lbs from his last visit which makes this Mama very proud and happy! So then we sat and waited for the Doc for about an hour. This is what happens when you do not have an appointment.

So while we are waiting I am rubbing him down and I decide to look and see how his penis looks, since I want to show Butzer when he comes in. As I am rubbing Cody’s belly as he lays on his back loving it, I feel a lump in his penis shaft. My heart sank… So I start to feel his whole abdomen and the base of his penis. I can feel small lumps in the base which seems normal as there are two,  one on either side, and nothing else in his abdomen. But the lump in the base of his penis is right under the tip and only on one side, and it feels EXACTLY like his swollen lymph nodes. Ugh….

Butzer comes in around 10am and Cody as usual loses his mind… licking his face and just ecstatic to see him. He loves the Doc. After the super love fest I ask him to look at Cody’s penis. He at first says the redness is something strange that he has seen in some other dogs but it is not common. He pulls the skin back and the tip of what I call Cody’s lipstick (yes this is a medical term ;P) is PURPLE. WOW it looks painful and just awful! Then I tell him to feel the lump, which he says is normal… but I notice he is not in the right spot,  then I show him the one I am talking about and his voice changes. He says “oh that is not normal… what IS that?” He says it does in fact feel like his lymph nodes and it could be the cancer has spread there. He is just not sure. If it was just the red penis he has treated that before with of all things, Estrogen. He said that it is a hormonal thing. But he is just not sure about it now because of the lump. He thinks it COULD be just inflammation but is not sure.

Can't really see it but it is there...

We talk about aspirating it to test it… but really what will it tell me if I am going to give him a round of chemo anyway? His nodes are huge right now so regardless he is getting at least something for that.  So we decide to give him Asparginase which he has had once prior as part of the Wisconsin Protocol. It is a pretty heavy duty chemo drug but not as hardcore as Doxy, and Cody did fine on it. His CBC was really good too… so it is worth a shot. I will monitor the lump on his penis and if it goes down along with the nodes then we have our answer… the cancer has spread. If it does NOT go down… then it is something else and we will need to diagnose and treat it. I am pulling for the latter… I would prefer his cancer to not have spread obviously, even though it means another ailment.

Baby steps. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

We talked about the Chinese herbs and he thinks he will have them either tomorrow or Wednesday. And then I ask him the burgeoning question I have wanted to ask him for the last year and half but never had the nerve or will or desire to bring up. And I don’t even get it all the way out of my mouth… “so I don’t even want to think about this and I certainly don’t want to talk about it in front of Cody but since he is almost out of options and we are just flying by the seat of our pants now… trying different options… if and when the time comes….”

And he interrupts me and says he does not even want to think about it and whenever he does regarding Cody he puts it out of his mind… it is much too sad and he gets upset when he thinks about it, and Cody is so special and sweet… and then of course Cody reads this in him and starts licking his face.  So I just blurt it out and say “I don’t know if this is something you do but could you come to the house because I really want it to happen at home ” and he says “ABSOLUTELY”… and now I am tearing up and I look at him… and so is he….

I love this man. I know I have said this before but I honestly have no idea what I would have done without him. He is priceless and the absolute best there is. Period. Hands down. We are very very lucky….

We look at the CBC and his counts are all great: whites are 9.66, reds are 5.84 and platelets are 294. He can definitely at least clinically handle chemo. So he gets one shot on his muscle and we are good to go.

So out the door we go for $217 and the task of watching lumps for the next couple days. The glands, if they are going to respond, should shrink in 24-48 hours. I will keep you all posted…

~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on April 23, 2012.

2 Responses to “Options…”

  1. This is touching! I also have two dogs: Rodion Romanovich Raskonikov and Twinny Girl. They are mixes of Chihuahua and SPitz. By reading your blog, it made me love my dogs more!

  2. I’m pretty fed up with vets as a group. Thanks for reminding me that there are some good ones in there. This guy sounds like one in a thousand.

    I’m glad he’s feeling better, even if there are other concerns. But there always are, aren’t there? We all get lumps and rashes and all manner of things, but when you’re treating cancer they all take on a significance. It might just be one of those things. Kisses and hugs to Cody and his Mum.

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