It is sad and disappointing to know that Cody’s chemo is not working any longer, even the last big dose. He got up at 4am Friday morning and puked. I got him out to the patio just in time and he let go of some undigested food… and generally looked awful. Of course I was upset that this is happening again and so soon after what i thought was going to be a longer stint. When he felt a bit better and was back inside I got him to lay down on his bed in my room again and laid down with him…. and felt for his glands.  And there the little bastards are… back again. Those little nuggets from hell that just do not seem to want to go away for any amount of time… are back in his neck and hind legs. And they are getting larger by the day now. I laid there tossing and turning after that until I could not take it any longer and just got up. I think I had three hours of sleep that night.

In my zombie-like state I went about my day and actually accomplished the things I needed to even though I was exhausted. I have decided to try to go to Graduate school for my Master’s in Creative Art Therapy, so I am applying to Florida Atlantic University to take some Psychology classes as I need these prerequisites to apply for this program, wherever i decide to go. I am leaning towards Drexel University in Philadelphia as it is a prestigious program working with Hahnemann Hospital, and it allows me to be home near family and friends for support. Hopefully I will get in and can get Financial Aid and maybe some grants or scholarships. I have all of the interdisciplinary arts classes and the Bachelor’s degree to apply… just need these academics. So I got that all together yesterday and feel good about this goal. Better late than never to start a new career right? It has been a hard road since being laid off from XM Satellite Radio in 2008. I have been struggling and it seems the health industry is the only one still hiring, lucrative and seemingly unaffected by the economy. It is a good goal for me utilizing my art skills, talent and the bonus of being meaningful work.

So I got my application done and by the end of the day I was simply exhausted. I am worried about Cody and feel drained emotionally and physically knowing that my efforts in the last month have really been futile. The nasty chemo dose he just had and the money I spent on the last two treatments were barely worth it financially and beneficially. I know his body breaks down with every toxic dose and it makes me feel guilty. As I mentioned prior, since it has drained my bank account and especially since it is not working it just feels awful.

But it is what it is and regardless of how I feel bout it I will do my best for him. Hopefully there are other options that might stave off the inevitable for a while longer. I am stunned at how aggressive and smart his cancer is… meaning that it adapts itself and become immune to the treatments. Cancer sucks.

So after an exhausting day yesterday I sat on the couch and by 9pm I was out like a light. Woke up at midnight and drug myself to bed… and like a rock I woke up at 8:30am! That is sleeping in to me.

So that is where we are this morning. Cody is a lovey boy and has been my shadow all morning, he had a huge breakfast, we went running and now he is sitting at my feet panting and happy. It is a beautiful day after over a week of rain, and as steamy as it is outside I plan to spend the day in the garden with the boy.

One day at a time I suppose… and they are mostly good days… and I am thankful.


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on May 19, 2012.

9 Responses to “Disappointing…”

  1. I too feel your pain..my Labrador Blondie has contracted erlichiosis, while nowhere near as damaging as lymphoma, it’s nearly gotten the best of her. Her left side is now partially paralyzed, and while she struggles quite a bit to get around, she’s making it. At least she feels no pain. Should it turn for the worse again; I will let her go. For now; she is fighting. I spent the better part of Monday in tears at the vets office, holding my sixty pound girl cradled in my lap.. My heart aches for you. <3 Prayers and support, well wishes your way. And if I weren't succumbing to ever mounting vet bills myself I would donate in a heartbeat.
    Have you looked into Carecredit? It's helped absorb the most part of the debt we are incurring, most vet offices take it, it's usually a very low monthly payment- around twenty five dollars or so. Hope it helps…hang in there. <3

    • Thanks Jenny, It really does just rip your heart out to hold your baby in your arms at the vet. I know exactly what that is like and I wish it on no one. I am sorry you are going through a similar experience and I will look into the Carecredit as well. Thank you! You too, hang in there!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear this recent development. Please know that you have lots of love from our little house of people and pets up here north of the border. People I talk to about you (in our dog park) are amazed that you are going through all this and still have the energy to write.

    I think people (who perhaps find writing difficult themselves) don’t understand that writing itself (like art therapy, perhaps?) is not a chore in this context but a way of understanding oneself, figuring out the ‘message’ of the day, an aide in coping, something that is or can be therapeutic. It is Good Work as opposed to obligatory chores. I put gardening in the same category – work that is good for the soul. Feeding people – or squirrels. Brushing the dog. Turning the compost. Cleaning the windows to let in the sun. All good stuff because it is restorative.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us, sometimes painful, sometimes joyous. And love to Cody. Lots for you too.

  3. I just want you to know that I have been reading your blog for over a year now. You and Cody helped me get through the time my beagle Anabelle was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemo. Unfortunately, things suddenly took a bad turn and we lost her in September. You have done a wonderful job with your choices for Cody, and he is a lucky boy to have a mom like you. I am rooting for you and I believe that miracles do happen.


    • Thank you Bella! I am so sorry about Anabelle. Chemo just does not seem to really do much but put off the inevitable and I am so frustrated with the results right now. I am glad my blog could help you in some way.

  4. I feel for you and your furbaby. My Springer was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in March, 2012. I was shocked! He’s so young! Cancer is sad, scary and maddening. I keep searching for answers. I’ve now started him on Protocel as an added treatment option. I wanted something non-toxic.

    • How old is your Springer? I am stunned when I hear of more young pups getting this… it makes me wonder about diet and environment more and more. I don’t seem to recall hearing about so much pet cancer when I was younger. I could be mistaken… it may be worth trying to dig up statistics.

      All I can really recommend is the no carb diet and bottled spring water for sure. It’s tough but it really does help. Cody looks great… you’d never know he was ill unless you feel his glands.

      Hang in there!

      • Casey will be 7 in late June. My first springer, Maggie, lived to be 14, so I was really surprised. He was perfectly healthy until he wasn’t. We immediately went to a homecooked no-carb diet, used the Budwig protocol of cottage cheese and fish oil and then changed it to homemade yogurt and fish oil. He loved it. You are right about looks being deceiving. Casey looks healthier than he ever has – but his lymph nodes just keep getting larger. He’s still on prednisone to give the holistic treatments a chance to work.

        I wish you and Cody good days to share.

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