Thursday, January 9, 2014
One complete set of treatment is now over - three more sets to go - four treatments in each set.
Audrey tolerated today's treatment well. The drug she was given --- ADRIAMYCIN.
This drug was administered via IV in her right leg. This is the drug that is most apt to have side effects. The drug can cause gastrointestinal signs like anorexia and diarrhea. The Vet's notes say this can happen a few days after the treatment. We need to watch for decreased appetite, lethargy, and watch the IV site for swelling, redness, lack of use, excessive licking or limping and as always, blood in the urine and/or stool.
ADRIAMYCIN - it even looks scary!
In humans this drug can cause Tingling Fingers and Toes, Muscle Aches, Fatigue, Chemo Brain (completely forgetting things), Loss of Taste, Joint Stiffness and Heart Palpitations. I have read that heart issues are a big problem with this drug and dogs.
Audrey's dose of Prednisone has now been decreased to 1/2 tablet every morning (down from two tablets in the beginning). H O O R A Y !!!! Prednisone is the drug that is causing the extreme thirst. Extreme thirst equals LOTS of potty trips during the day AND night.
The night that it was F I V E degrees, we went our four times....I slept in two pj tops, some pants I bought before I went to NYC - they are by Columbia and have a heat keeping thermal reflective lining!! In this unusually cold weather we are having, they are becoming my favorite pants!!
When Audrey needed to go out, I put on my biggest coat and my huge housecoat on top of that and my wool socks and fur lined boots....by the 4:30 a.m. request, I was most certainly in a fog...I didn't even care that I somehow put my boots on the wrong feet....they still worked! Audrey likes to go into the woods....in the leaves....at five degrees the leaves really crunch!!
Last night I had planned to spend the night with my daughter since she lives about 7 miles from the Vet.....the best laid plans.....about 3 in the afternoon, she called me. The water pipes in the apartment below her had burst and they had the water turned off to the entire building! SO, in our morning traffic, I drove the 35 ish miles --- my alarm rang at 4:30 a.m. and I dragged out of bed about 15 minutes later....took Audrey out, fed her and the cats, showered, ate and got on the road at 6:00 a.m. What a miracle, I got there in the fastest time I have EVER made it to that part of town - just under one hour...I was supposed to be there by 8 a.m. and I was there by 7 a.m.!!! If I had left 15 to 20 minutes later, the traffic would have prevented me from getting there on time. Luckily, I listened to the news as I was getting ready to go; my exit off the interstate was closed because a water main broke!! Knowing this in advance I was able to bypass that issue!
Even taking Audrey in a 7 a.m., they were not finished with her until about 12:30. The drug has to be administered slowly; not quite that slowly, but they have to monitor her afterward, plus they do blood work, etc. prior to the chemo and they have a HUGE patient load. They do not do regular Vet care - only specialist type work - some pretty sick animals.
There was an older man in the lobby when I came into the office to pick up Audrey. He had a Weimaraner; both front legs were bandaged where they had done blood work or other procedures; the dog did not look well and the owner looked worse...felt sorry for him. Audrey did make him laugh though....the HOUND that she is, it is her job to bark in the lobby just to let everyone know...."Audrey is in the building"! She does that when I check her in too! It's not a nervous bark...she does not even hesitate going in or going with the techs....she just likes to bark.
Yesterday I met a man that was telling me about his pet bird. They had a picture frame that had lead in it and the bird kept pecking at the frame and got a piece lodged in his throat --- $2500.00 later a Vet removed it and 8 years later they still have the bird. I'm surprised he didn't say something about lead poisoning. People DO love their animals.
I was gone most all day yesterday and my husband had "Audrey DUTY"....lol----when I drove back in the driveway, he was out on the side porch banging his tennis shoes together!! Yep, he had "Audrey DUTY" alright!!! lol
We get a two week break from Vet visits. Audrey doesn't have to be back until January 23, but I have to do another early morning drop off because the Vet wants to do another ultrasound to check the lymph nodes in her stomach.
My daughter asked me about Audrey today; if she could be the one that is cured. I read a blog the other day about a family's Basset Hound with lymphoma - I think the dog was about 8 years old; they clung to the hope for a cure...that he would be the exception. I am trying very hard to be realistic. I know what we are facing and acceptance is slowly creeping in. If I'm writing this blog this time next year, I will be very lucky. I'll do all I can until it is clear that enough is enough.....
My friends are being so kind, so supportive....Love to you all.
Cost of Today's Visit $280.07