Showing posts with label metronomic chemotherapy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metronomic chemotherapy. Show all posts

May 10, 2011

And... We're Back

Sorry about the lack of blog update last week, but we were away on vacation. While we were away, Abby stayed with my sis, Terry, and her hubby and their corgi, Abby's cousin Lou. She had a good time there, and even learned to master their doggy door - which is pretty amazing since she is all legs and he is height challenged, as you may remember from the classic "Stubs & Stilts" photo. It's a bit blurry, being an action shot, but below is a pic of her coming in through the doggy door. There's also a pic of her cramming herself into a tiny space in their kitchen behind their table. Not sure what that was about, but she does seem to enjoy tight cozy spaces, as evidenced back when she was a pup and climbed into the kitchen cupboard. (Yes, if you linked to the pic, those ARE her dirty feet in my frying pans. I promise I washed them after... Then again, maybe I didn't...)

 Speaking of feet, here are my pink-toe-nailed feet on a gorgeous black sand beach we went to in Maui, plus a bunch more Maui pics (muy Maui pics, you might say):

Black sand

The black sand beach from afar

Two of the many pretty beaches we visited:

One of the MANY shave ices we ate...
A gorgeous sunset (love how the hubster's shoes are glowing)

Hiking the crater -- sorry, "erosional depression;" it's NOT a crater -- at Haleakala National Park

But enough about us... back to the dog, which is why we're all here. Back home, we gave Abby the shark we bought her as a sort of sorry-we-went-away-but-we-know-you-didn't-really-miss-us,-hanging-out-with-your-aunt-and-uncle-and-tormenting-Lou-and-going-on-your-three-walks-per-day! gift.

Dog Bites Shark
We thought a shark had a sort of Maui-esqueness to it (even though the only scary sea creature we saw was an eel... oh, and that naked old man at Po'olenalena Beach.... Don't go over the lava rock to the far right end of Po'olenalena... Just a warning. I mean, unless you're into that sorta thing...) We also bought her the shark because it sported a little tag saying it was rated a "7 on the Tuff scale" (a regular ol' store bought stuffed squeaky dog toy gets only a "2" rating). We knew she probably really needed a "10", but they didn't have any, and we thought the thing was SOLID. It's HARD - you could hurt someone with it, and it's triple stitched. it is a mere 15 minutes later. She did exactly what you are supposed to do when confronted with a shark - went for it's vulnerable part: it's nose. (We probably should have suspected that anything that rates toughness on a "tuff" scale was not actually going to be all that hard of a nut to crack...)
 Spoiled little girl ALSO got a pink stuffed doggy from her aunt Terry.
Here is what that doggy looks like two-days after: It's missing an ear, and two of it's legs have been gutted and de-squeakerized, but it keeps on smiling.
Actually looks pretty good for a 2 on the Tuff Scale (think the shark has deflected some of the chewing...)
In a final bit of news, Abby started back yesterday on her full metronomic protocol of Palladia/Cytoxan on alternate days. Yes, she's a solid citizen again. Hopefully she stays that way and continues to benefit from the meds. Take that, Lone Met! 

Keep smiling!

March 31, 2011

A Good Checkup!

Super model, ready for spring
Abby had a checkup yesterday with Dr. V at the Vet Cancer Group and so far, so good! He said her lungs and heart sounded great (this is good news, as the lungs can start to sound wheezy I guess if things are starting to get bad in there...) and she'd gained almost a pound. I never had a dog before who was so uninterested in her food - even back before she got sick - so I was glad she'd gained a little bit of weight. (So hard to convince a super model to eat!) They also took some blood and sent it off to the lab for a thorough check. They called back today and said everything looked good, which is important since she's on so many drugs. Dr. V. sent us home with enough drugs so she doesn't have to go back for a month. When we go back on Apr 27 they'll do another x-ray - that's going to be a BIG day. I'll post before we go to remind everyone to send positive thoughts that the lone met is still sad and lonely in there - and hopefully getting punier and punier!! If all is going well, she'll do 6 months total on the metronomic protocol and then take a break.

Playing life guard at Fiesta Island

In other news, the Orvis Cover Dog contest ends today, March 31. As long as there's no crazy last-minute voting surge, Abby will finish it out firmly on the podium in 3rd place for "Most Unique Voters." She also ended up 18th for the "Most Money Raised". Not bad, considering there were almost 14,000 dogs entered!! Now the "real" judging begins. The winners of the online votes contest will be posted on the web site (I'm not sure if they'll post the whole podium... maybe just the winners). But since she did so well, I'm sure the judges will see her photo and maybe she'll win and be on the cover of the fall catalog! Not sure when they announce that stuff, but I'll be sure to post if we hear anything. The site says the contest raised over $300,000 for canine cancer research! Abby did her bit, bringing in $590! Whoo-hoo!

Finally, on March 29 it was Abby's 5-month Ampuversary. Hopefully she'll have many more to celebrate! 

Even though we won't have any official vet news for another month, I'll try to keep posting at least once a week. After all, she usually does something cute/funny at least every day, so I should have material - and possibly photos and videos. Also, if we ever get our living room organized, I'll post the before, during, and after pics of our construction project. (Seems like it ended so long ago... just taking forever for the furniture to arrive!!)

March 22, 2011

Pills Schmills

So, just like Abby said "Chemo-schmeemo" to her IV chemo a few months ago, she now seems to have a "Pills schmills" attitude to her daily doses of drugs. They really don't seem to be bothering her system much, if at all. (Um, I hope I didn't just jinx us...) She definitely enjoys taking her pills, since they are delivered in a big ol' spoonful of peanut butter. (I am giving them to her in extra big spoonfuls lately because we are on a mission to get a little more meat on her bones. The last few times we've been to the vet, her weight has been just slightly lower each time, and we want to reverse that trend!)

Here she is enjoying Monday's batch of pills:

OK, I admit that it's not the most exciting video ever; it certainly can't compete with the "Guilty Dog" video making the rounds these days (LOVE that video)--but what's not to like about a video of a dog eating peanut butter? 

Not much else to report, so I'll just post a pic I took at Fiesta Island this week, trying to be artsy. I kinda like it:

I also took this one. I don't even know these people, but the flowers and the sky were incredible at FI this weekend. When I get my new iPad2 (my most excellent hubby is getting me an iPad2 for my bday!) and my Brushes app, I might try to do a painting of this - minus the random strangers. I'll probably insert a cute dog, like, oh, maybe Abby, in their place.

Thanks for reading and keeping good thoughts for our girl.

March 16, 2011

Taking Pills & Making the Podium

No, the dog is not doing performance enhancing drugs to win a race. The two parts of that title don't actually relate to one another. Let me 'splain. (Or perhaps, just sum up.)

PILLS: Today Abby had a follow up appointment with Dr. V. at the Vet Cancer Group to see how she was doing on the Palladia. Since she's doing well (only lost 1/2 a pound and has had only mild GI trouble, easily controlled with a couple of doses of Flagyl), we decided to add additional drugs to our cancer-butt-kicking arsenal. As shown in the photo, in order to keep track of her myriad pills, I had to get her one of those things like grandma uses (no offense to anyone out there who is NOT a grandma and uses one of these things... Like, oh, my hubby - not cuz he takes a ton of pills, but cuz we are forgetful...).  

The main things we added are: Cytoxan (another low-dose chemo med, but it attacks the tumor differently than how the Palladia does, so it will be a one-two punch to that damn met) and Piroxicam (an NSAID, which apparently helps starve the tumor of the blood supply it feeds off of). To help with side effects, she gets Lasix on the same days as the Cytoxan plus a generic Prilosec each day. The plan is to try this for the next 2 weeks and then Dr. V. will check her blood and see how she's doing. It sounds like a lot, but others I talked to on the BoneCancerDogs Yahoo! group are also doing the every other day Palladia/Cytoxan thing, and apparently their dogs' tummies are handling it all well, so hopefully Abby will too. [I don't know if I mentioned it before, but basically this is called Metronomic Chemotherapy, which they explain quite well here if you want to know more.]

PODIUM: So, on to funner things. First of all, if you've been reading along, you know I entered Abby in the Orvis Cover Dog Contest. Well, as of today (the contest ends March 31) she is squarely on the bottom step of the podium for "Most Unique Voters" all by herself (for a long while she was sharing that last step with another dog). Yes, she's THIRD out of what is now up to a pool of 12,800+ dogs! That's a lotta poochness, and our girl is shining! Thanks to all who Vote(d) for Abby. As I've said (what, like a dozen times now?), one vote = one dollar and all the money goes to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Research organization.

PICTURES: In other news, Mike and I went away this weekend with his brother and his brother's wife for a quick visit to Santa Barbara. Abby stayed with her aunt and uncle and her cousin, Lou, as she usually does. Her Aunt Terry took these very cute pics of her, anxiously awaiting the return of her parents. (Which is not to say she doesn't have a great time there, cuz she does... I think the main thing she likes is pestering Lou.)
"Are they back yet? Thought I heard their car..."

Isn't it cute how you can just see Lou's little Shmoo head in the background?

PEDICURE: In one last bit of fun news, we stopped by her regular vet office today, just to say hi. Everyone there was SO happy to see her, as this is the first time they've seen her since she got her stitches out way back in Nov. Dr. Shaprut, her regular vet, came out to love on her, but I could see him giving her the 'vet-once over' - surreptitiously checking her gums and whatnot. He noticed her back dew claws were getting long, so offered to have a tech cut them for free. He said "Anything for our Abby!" So, we just stopped to say hi, but ended up getting a free pedicure (peticure?) as well.