Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Basset's Lymphoma - First Treatment

Last week, our nine year young basset hound Chase was diagnosed with lymphoma.  I was petting him and noticed he had swollen glands on his neck.  We were not surprised at the diagnosis.  We decided to treat it aggressively.  It's the difference between life for a few weeks or months at best to a year or year and a half or even longer.

His diagnosis is nonhodgkins lymphoma.  He has mild/moderate swelling in the lymph nodes in his neck, chest, underarms, behind his knees and his rump.  His liver and spleen are also enlarged, which is common with this.

Today he started the 19-week Wisconsin program for chemotherapy.  He will be given three different medications through IV plus prednisone that we will give him at home.  He will have one treatment per week for 19 weeks with a break after each group of four weeks.  Side effects should be mild.  Improvement should be seen after 6 weeks.  Hopefully, he will attain remission.

Recovering after his first chemotherapy treatment.

The other day Gumby asked when he would be feeling better.  He's been a little more lazy and a little sore, so has yelped if he gets bumped sometimes..  We told her he is sick and not feeling good and that we need to be extra gentle with him.  We told her he was getting some medicine to help him feel more like himself, but that he wouldn't really get better.  We will not be hiding the fact that all living creatures die.  We will go through this together, as a family.

Basset Hounds don't have the longest lifespan, at around 10-12 years.  I had always thought he'd make it to the upper end.  I wish Lil' Dove would be able to remember him.

He had a good ride to and from the vet hospital, riding on laps of friends who were kind enough to go with us and help take care of Lil' Dove because today's consultation was a longer appointment than most will be.

Gumby was fortunate to spend the day playing with her friends. 
Huge bubbles!
She had a great time.  She rarely spends time away from us.  On those rare occasions that she does, it's usually with one of the grandparents in our home.  This was different for her; she had a great time.  I had to ask for a hug goodbye!  She was ready to roll!

We are grateful for our friends' support throughout this time :)

In the three days that it has taken me to write this, Chase is doing wonderful.  I think his lymph nodes are going down already.  Yesterday, he had so much more energy that he has had in weeks.  He was more awake and alert during the day, more playful and energetic outside and his appetite is wonderful.  Well, maybe the appetite is him and maybe it's a side effect of the medicine.  I'd rather see him eat than not.  Last night, he ran into our bedroom and did something he has not done in a very, very long time.  He came barrelling out of our room, tail wagging with a sock in his mouth.  He loves playing chase, tug, keep away and fetch with socks.  And all of that we did.  I even took a video.  I will enjoy every moment that we have with him <3