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Old 06-27-2007, 11:47 AM   #43
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Steph,

So glad to hear she is doing well. Keeping all of you in thoughts and prayers.

Marie
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:09 PM   #44
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Thanks everyone! She is doing pretty well now, except she hates the cone because she can't scratch her own ears with it on! Just a week to go until she gets the stitches out.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #45
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Tremendous to hear she is doing so well. May you have long happy times together.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:48 PM   #46
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Poor little thing...Penny hated her sat dish too.

She is cute as a button though...dish or not.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:44 PM   #47
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Steph

Great news to come back too. Glad the little lady is doing so well. She sure does look like she's just ready to get back to a normal life in the pictures.

Barry (and Donna)
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:57 PM   #48
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We got more good news form the vet today - she gets her stitches out Monday, and she can have the collar off as long as she's leaving the stitches alone. So all day she has had the collar off and been VERY happy! She licks her back feet and uses them like giant q-tips to stick in her ears and clean her ears out, and she was doing that (since she hadn't been able to reach her ears for days) and making happy groaning noises - cracked us up!
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:47 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
She licks her back feet and uses them like giant q-tips to stick in her ears and clean her ears out, and she was doing that (since she hadn't been able to reach her ears for days) and making happy groaning noises
My Labs both do that. I can't help but laugh. I'm so glad she's doing so well.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:38 AM   #50
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Great news Steph. Thanks for the updates. Bring her along to the BB IV, I know 3 kids who would love to play with her.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:10 PM   #51
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We got more good news form the vet today . . . She licks her back feet and uses them like giant q-tips to stick in her ears and clean her ears out, and she was doing that (since she hadn't been able to reach her ears for days) and making happy groaning noises - cracked us up!
Don't you love it when dogs get happy! Its so good to hear she's doing so well.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:30 AM   #52
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Here's the latest Alki update: she is doing well, and has recovered completely form her surgery. Even the 'leaking' problem has resolved itself, which the vet said would happen as she healed up. Now there's nothing but a little scar left to remind us this even happened, and it's only been a little over three weeks!

Tomorrow we have our big appt with the other doggie oncologist, who will advise us as to doing chemo or radiation therapy. I am not sure what to expect, the vets so far have been very positive about radiation therapy, but I want to make sure it really has a chance of helping her before we do it. It is extremely expensive, and the radiation clinic is about an hour away. The last oncologist said the usual treatment is five days a week for three or four weeks, and they would have to knock her out everyday to give it to her. But then she would wake up and be able to go home. So I want to be pretty confident it will have a good chance of helping her before we commit to something so drastic.

I guess if they go with chemo it would just be pills. The surgeon said that's an option, and not to read anything on the internet or get discouraged. She said there's too much bad information out there. She said to wait and talk to this oncologist tomorrow, because she's supposed to be the absolute expert, and she has the best equipment in the NW for cancer treatment.

So we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Here's Alki with her hedgehog, ready to go to bed. If we don't go to bed when she's ready she'll come out and stare at me and sigh. As if to say 'if only you guys would hurry up and come to bed, then I could go to bed...'
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:41 AM   #53
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First off, what a grand gift that she has come through her operation and healed so quickly and that she's back to normal. They sure do steal our hearts. They are so full of innocence and show us nothing but love.

The oncologist will be an interesting visit. I'd be frank with her, tell her your concerns, mention costs and wanting to do the right thing but at the same time also the absolute need to know you are doing the right thing for Alki without causing her a lot of grief and pain for minimal payback for her. At that point you have to go with your gut feel on what she's told you. If you are in the waiting room for a bit and there are others there as well, ask if any of them are already going through the process and if so, what they are experiencing. Are they glad they've gone ahead with the treatments and is there anything they would do differently now that they are part way through?

When the time comes for each of us, human or almost, the one thing we can all only really hope for is that we are allowed to move on to our next step in a graceful and as painless as possible manner.

I can tell you, Steph, that from a human standpoint having the radiotherapy was very difficult. I know in the past 17 years things have improved significantly and that's very good. Had I not had it I wouldn't' be here today so it has given me many years beyond what anyone anticipated. At the time though, going through it, that last week I was at the point where I did not think I could take one more treatment. Between my wife and a couple of dear friends they made me get up and took me in each day, brought me home, and let me sleep until it was time to go the next day, even though for them it was also extremely difficult. One week after those treatments were completed though I was up and about, very tired, but already feeling that something very positive had happened. Had I even only gained a year or two it would have been well worth every moment of it.

Good luck and our thoughts and prayers are with you two and Alki.

Barry and Donna
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:01 AM   #54
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Whatever course of treatment you choose, I pray for you and Alki a good outcome with minimal side effects and an extended life. She is a precious pup. I'll be thinking about you.
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:51 AM   #55
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That is great news Stef....she looks GREAT!
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:57 PM   #56
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We met the vet and she explained all the options. Her recommendations were to do the radiation treatment. She said she has only done about half a dozen dogs with bladder cancer who had the surgery followed by radiation, but one has made it five years. That dog's tumor was not quite as spread out as Alki's. But still, she felt that was the best option for her, since the surgeon de-bulked the existing tumors in the bladder and removed the largest concentration of it. They cannot give us any kind of timeline - like about how long has she got if we do nothing, compared to if we do the treatment. She could just say that this is most likely the best option for her. There were some other plans, stuff that was not as drastic and less likely to make a big difference. She felt that since Alki was active and healthy, going after it in the most aggressive manner would get the best results.

So we signed the papers and Monday we start. Alki and I will be driving to Beaverton, Oregon every weekday for the next month. They'll knock her out, give her the treatment, wake her up and send her home. It will take about 45 minutes, plus an hour driving each way, so a good three hour chunk out of my day, and I hate driving over there. But I'm sure we'll get through it.

After radiation treatment, the vet might want to follow up with chemotherapy to destroy any cancer cells that traveled outside of the area covered by the radiation. She said this particular kind of cancer can travel to the heart, lungs, etc, but all the tests so far say it hasn't. However chemotherapy could finish off any microscopic cancers in other parts of the body.

If all this gives her another couple years, I would be very happy. The vet seemed to feel very positively about it.

We all had a laugh because the vet said there is some evidence that a high protein/high fat diet is helpful in cases like hers. So she suggested giving her chicken meat or cheese as a treat. I told her Alki was going to think this was the best vet visit ever - no one poked at her or tried to take her temperature, and now the vet was prescribing cheese! All right!
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