Since my last post, What Would Mom Want Me To Do?, which you can read here, we received the dreaded news that Callie definitely does have lymphoma. I’ve posted about it briefly on Facebook, and the outpouring of love and support, prayers and positive thoughts (“vibes”) has filled my heart with gratitude.
So where do we go from here? Chemotherapy, about 25 weeks of it total. The first round was administered this past Tuesday. Callie did better receiving it than I did waiting for the call that she was ready to come home. I missed my girl. Shadow missed her. Ducky missed her. Hubby missed her too, but he occupied himself with reading and watching the news.
Shadow, Ducky, and I played out in the yard to occupy our time; but it wasn’t as much fun without our big girl. Shadow especially felt Callie’s absence. The separation from her older sister is always hard on her, no matter how much I try to make up for it with extra love and attention.
The chemo, from what I’ve been reading, is tolerated better by dogs than by us humans. So far, Callie seems to have tolerated it well. No nausea, no loss of appetite, and a small amount of diarrhea. But, because she’s lost some weight, she can’t eat as much at one time. I’ve been feeding her about five or six times a day. (Learned that lesson the hard way. Anyone know of a good, non-toxic, carpet cleaner I can buy that won’t “bleach” a light tan carpet?)
The prednisone comes with its own set of side effects. Namely, increased thirst and increased need to urinate. Tuesday night I made the mistake of letting Callie have access to the same amount of water I always have. During the night she had to urinate. I don’t know if she tried unsuccessfully to wake me up; or, if she was unaware of her own need and had the accident in her sleep. All I know is that when I got out of bed Wednesday morning my right foot landed in a pee puddle.
Note to self Wednesday? Don’t give Callie access to water during the night. The most water I allowed Callie Wednesday night were three or four ice cubes. She kept me awake more than half the night looking for water and panting off and on; but there were no pee puddles when I got up Thursday morning. The stress Wednesday night from only giving her ice cubes and having her want more was worse than the stress of having stepped into a pee puddle. Asked the vet if I could reduce her dosage slightly, or find an alternative to the prednisone. He said no. Not yet anyway. Then he suggested giving it to her earlier in the day so she wouldn’t be so thirsty at night. I’m seeing a little improvement, but not much. Callie is like me in that regard. Do spayed, senior dogs have hot flashes at night? It seems like Callie does! Oh well, we’ve managed over the last 10+ years; we can keep managing.
Having a dog with canine cancer is hell, just like war. Every day is a new battle. BUT, I will do my very best to help Callie win every one of those battles. I will give her every chance I possibly can to beat this cancer that has invaded her body. And I will continue to give her love, love, love, and more love. All of it unconditional!
Now, as I close this post, I’m going to ask you to include my fellow pet bloggers – SlimDoggy Kate and Steve, and Maggie of Oh My Dog! – and their dogs in your prayers and positive, healing thoughts. SlimDoggy Maggie, and Emmett and Lucas of Oh My Dog! are all facing and fighting osteosarcoma. Let’s also keep Pamela (and her husband, Mike) and Honey of Something Wagging This Way Comes in our prayers. Honey had a growth removed from her leg on Thursday. Even though the vet is pretty certain it’s benign, the wait for the pathologist’s confirmation has been tough on Pamela and Mike. Honey doesn’t know what all the fuss is about; but that’s a dog for you.