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3 Jul 2014, 1:18pm
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Chemo…it’s just tough on everyone involved

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Good Morning Everypawdy!

When most of us think of Bart, we think Success Story, Happy-ness, Courage and Strength! All of these adjectives are well deserved and are not taken for granted, for sure. Today I feel compelled to write because I want to share with others the struggles that go on behind the scenes when our beloveds are going through chemo. Basically, chemo just plain sucks.

When Bart beat Osteosarcoma for the 1st time starting in 2008, we were faced with going through chemo at the same time as we were learning to live life as a Tripawd. That is a lot to take on…it just is.  Now that we are in the process of beating OSA once again, we are “only” having to deal with chemo. During Bart’s first couple of treatments, he was doing so fantastic that I thought, “Wow! Compared to going through chemo while also dealing with a recent amputation, this is simple.” Bart was eating well after just a few days of treatment and by his 3rd round he had gained 4 pounds!!

Then, after his 3rd round, which was Cistplastin, he developed incontinence. At first I thought he just couldn’t hold it because he was drinking so much water.  When I then made sure he had plenty of potty breaks and it was still happening, I thought, Oh Crap…chemo is messing with his bladder. My poor boy. He was also not eating “right” and it was getting very difficult to get him to eat much at all.  We were faced with the reality behind chemo and what it does to our fur kids as it is working so hard to destroy the cancer. What a necessary evil it is.

So, we met with his Holistic Vet, who is skilled with cancer patients beyond belief, who first and foremost convinced me not to worry about not feeding him the “right” food at this time, but continue doing what was necessary to get him to eat something, anything to maintain his weight. She was also going to help me fight the nausea head on and provided me not only with Cerenia, but a prescription for another drug to give with the Cerenia to boost its anti-nausea fighting ability (can’t remember the name at this moment).  Once we get the nausea under control, I can add the Mitrazapine for appetite stimulant but until he feels well enough to eat giving him that drug has been pointless.

Now for the toughest pill to swallow…no, cancer has not returned (want to get that out of the way right away), but the Cistplastin is most likely starting to give him stage 1 kidney disease, which is a potential side effect of this drug. Crap!! What’s worse is that a low protein diet is what is needed for kidney disease and that is the exact type of diet he needs to help ward off cancer. Not only that, but about all I can get him to eat is hamburger patties…pure protein!! Ugghhhh….this sucks!!!

Once we get the final results back of a more thorough urinalysis that is being done to “quantify” the protein found in his urine, we will know what we are dealing with and Dr. Wynn feels confident that his kidneys will still outlive Bart and we can deal with this and she will help me. I know she will. I will also meet with the Wonderful Dr. Abby Huggins, Bart’s long time vet, to discuss the results with her and benefit from her wealth of knowledge. She has been a rock to Bart & I during this…everyone who has a vet they love knows what I mean! Bart has only 2 more treatments left, but one of them, the next one, is Cistplastin and I need to know if the benefits outweigh the problems it is creating with his kidney. Yes, Bart is a fighter, but Bart is also a glorious dog who trusts me to make the best decisions for him, which I always try to do. I am pretty sure we are going to be able to complete the protocol since the damage has been done and the likes of Dr. Huggins and Dr. Wynn are in our corner.

So, Chemo Sucks! It just does! For us, it has been a tough 12 weeks. Chemo Sucks! The day in and day out of dealing with chemo is hard and tiring and sometimes it makes you feel like giving up…that is the reality. It makes you sit in front of a computer screen, like I am now, with tears pouring down my face because it just sucks. I find myself driving down the road hoping passerbys don’t think I am crazy as I cry hard about this. It sucks. I hate that my boy has to endure this…I hate it. But, I love him…so I put my big girl panties on and I dig deep to find the courage and strength to keep on going for Bart.

Courage and Strength…that is what gets me through all of this…Courage and Strength

Love to all,

Darcy & Bart

Barty.Strength.Courage


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I agree wholeheartedly, chemo sucks, cancer sucks!!! I hate cancer. I just. Love Bart though! He is so special, you can just se it through the pictures. I can totally relate to the driving and hope people are not noticing the meltdown happening in the car they just passed. Sometimes, it would make this so much easier if they could just talk and tell us what they are feeling. It is a heavy thing to try and make the best decisions for them. Whatever you do, don’t second guess yourself. You are making the decisions you are out of love, advice from his vets and your wanting the best outcome for Bart. I know, moot point! I had to stop Ty’s chemo because of the infection that took over his body. When we finally beat that, I decided that he could not withstand any more chemo. His body was so beaten up. He got a raging fever again about a week after we would have had his next chemo treatment. I would have blamed the chemo. I had already been second guessing my decision to stop. So, you see, does not matter what we decide, our emotions are going to take us on what I have heard many describe on here! a roller coaster ride. Hang in there, Bart is a fighter. He beat this once, he can do it again. Try to do something for ” you” it is so easy to get exhausted on this trip. Love from, Lori and Ty

Oh Bart….I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a rough time 🙁 We think about you often as you are one of our heros on this journey. Keep fighting buddy!!!
xoxo,
Erica & Tripawd Kitty Jill

Darcy,
Thank you so much for posting about Bart. I know its hard to write this and I am so sorry that this stupid nasty C word even came back and you & Bart have to do this chemo thing again. You and your vets will do whatever is necessary to help Bart and that I know. I just wish that it hadn’t caused the kidney problems that it did.
You are so right about Chemo sucks. I went through that with Sassy on the metronomics her whole taste buds changed. I began to cook for her some things she would eat and some things not. Sometimes it was 1 time she would eat it then the next nope. All because of chemo.

Thank you again for telling us about this part of yours & Barts journey. I know I have been praying hard & asking for a lot of help from our Angels.

Hugs
Michelle & Angel Sassy

Oh my Dear Darcy and Bart!

Yeah, ditto everything Lori and Ty said…..your jewelry is just lovely….. AND, you will be “guided” by Bart to make the decision he wants!!You always have and now is know different!!

You have shared your thoughts spot on.You know it’s about Bart’s quaility. You know there are no guarantees with, or without the chemo. You do kmow it’s taking a toll on him.

I agree with Lori. the darn second guessing just seems to be inbred in the genetics of humans! When I find myself doing that,mi e way I snap out of it is telling myself that the stupid piece of crap disease is still trying to rob me of my “time” (my great memories) with Happy Hannah and I’ll be darned if that will happen!!!!!

I am glad your team said to get Bart to eat whatever he wants for now!! Doing that for the short term is not going to interfere with any healing. “protein” can be your friend right now!

Darcy, we all feel the turmoil and fear as far as which path to take right along with you. This does, indeed, suck!!!!!

I know you’ve asked every question under the sun. Do the vets say that all these symptons of not eating, nausea, not feeling good, incontinenece, etc. will all go away once the chemo is stopped? Are you “just left” with the kidney “symptons” and what will they be and how will they affect Bart’s quaility. Is the treatment worse than the disease at this point? Is it possible to jist skip this treatment and go straight to the other one? Gosh, just stinks!!!

You are sooooooo tuned into Bart. Try and get in your quiet space of connection with him that you have on a soul deep level. Is Bart still able to “be Bart”? Does Bart mind the “compromises” that are being made in the way he feels if he continues with the treatment. Is it worth it to him? These are answers he may be able to give you.

My heart is pained that you are having to go through this .. to be faced with these gut wrenching decisions is just cruel!!!

You WILL do the best thing for Bart, this I know! And you know we are all here for you, all cheering you and Bart on.

Sending you love and clarity.

Sally and Happy Hannah

Darcy, this community wouldn’t be what it is without the time and courage it takes to be so open and honest about the cancer journey. Thank you for the update, I know it’s not easy to write and share news that isn’t so upbeat. You are as strong as Bart and then some, together you two will overcome this and go on to live long and strong again.

Lots of love and smooches and hugs coming your way. You’re both in our hearts, always.

Try k9kidneys yahoo group and utilize nutritiondata to calculate prot and more importantly phosphorus content ( ie glutinous sticky rice is lowest versus any other type of rice ). Prot does not need to be excessively low barring glomerulonephritis but more bioavailable forms…egg whites will become your friend as will full fat ground beef, dark chicken. Lots of tips for administering home lrs fluids and syringe feeding ( much like the chemo the RF will wreak havoc on his appetite ). My boy fought chemo induced RF and lost his battle with lymphoma. Good luck to your beautiful baby and you. It is a horrible battle. So hard on the heart and soul.

Thank you so much for everypawdy’s love and support.
Bart had a pretty good weekend with an addition of a 2nd anti-nausea drug as well as appetite stimulant. I can get him to eat a pretty full meal a few hours after their dosage.

As for the incontinence, he has now had 5 days/nights with none of it! Still waiting for the urinalysis results to see what is going on with his kidneys. Perhaps it might just be temporary…dare to dream.

Bart has been loving life as a pampered pooch and still barks at his brothers and politely growls at the new puppy when she gets on his last nerves. He loves to sit outside on the porch or in the grass and just watch, smell and enjoy the day. He is still Bart. He is still coming out of his crate wagging his tail like crazy and he still loves to give me an endless supply of Vizsla kisses.

thanks again for taking the time to respond to our post. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day he turns yet another corner into better eating.

Love, Courage & Strength,

Darcy & Bart

 

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