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Carly's Story

Nov 02

Chemo Treatment-Take 1

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Well, we had our first chemo appointment today. It was a long day because they ran more blood work and also did X-ray’s of her lungs again to make sure they were following the right path of treatment. So…blood work came back great! Lungs were clear of metastases! Yeah Carly!! I know that this still does not mean it’s not there, but to me, I take this as a very good sign that it has not progressed a lot.  I know that the road ahead is going to be tough, but Carly has shown so much strength and spunkiness in the last couple days especially that I am also more confident that we can beat this thing. She had a couple good drinks, chicken and rice dinner and is resting now, tuckered out from a long day, as the hospital is an hour away.  And we are waiting on our salads to arrive so that we can also head to bed.  The vet gave her an anti-nausea shot while giving chemo and we have some anti nausea and anti-diarrhea meds in case she needs them, but I hope she don’t!  Thank you all for your kind words and responses to my other post about the chemo medication. Time to cuddle with my pup!


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Nov 01

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As you can see from the picture above, Carly is doing well. She is insistent to let mom and dad know she is okay, and proceeds to climb the hill out back and just watch like she always has. There is no picture of it, but mom joined her after this picture, and we just hung out. Weather is nice, and she loves being outside. Carly is now sleeping on her bed (meaning mom and dad’s bed), which we lowered for her.  She has been less restless at night, which is good for her and I! I know getting back in the routine of things is going to help. And although I am scared to death, she reassures me every hour of every day that she is okay. We start out first chemo treatment tomorrow.  I spoke to the vet, and they use Carboplatin for osteosarcoma in dogs.  Anyone have any experience with this medication for chemo? I’ve done my research of course, and it seems to be one of the best.  Needless to say the word chemo scares me as much as the word cancer. I wish I had the gift that Carly does and not have to worry about what’s going to happen. But I’m learning to control my emotions and reactions because she is fully alert to how mom feels, and it affects her too. I’ve heard a happy dog fights cancer, and a sad dog doesn’t. So, we are all about fighting here in our home! Well, I will update after our treatment tomorrow. Everyone say prayers for Carly that she is one of the lucky ones to not have many side effects!

Oct 27

The day we brought Carly home.

 

Wow….the will power that animals have is something that I envy! We have had an up and down week, but, the downs were just us being worried parents! We praised Carly when she went out and peed for the first time. I’m sure we looked pretty ridiculous, but, we didn’t care! Then, we got worried when she hadn’t pooped, but, I guess it’s normal for them to not go for 5-7 days after surgery due to the medication and such slowing down her system. So, we praised the first poop when it came on day 6! Carly has never really had a no appetite day. She loves her chicken and brown rice. I’ve snuck some dog food in there a few times, but it did not go un-noticed! Then, we had a good scare with her back left foot, the one opposite from the one that was taken off.  But, after a few days of adding some heat and massaging, it went down.  The vet said it will carry the brunt of the weight now that her front paw is gone.  We have had bouts of insomnia, like the first week and a half, she couldn’t sleep at night. She slept like a baby during the day though! But, think we have her medications straightened around, antibiotic is gone, Rimadyl is gone. So I’m sure that is helping. Then, we noticed some episodes of trembling, like she was cold. So I would cuddle her wherever she lay, sometimes in the middle of the kitchen floor, cover her with a blanket, and she would eventually drift off to sleep. Come to find out, this was probably a side effect of the Tramadol, so we backed off on that and started the Gabapentin again, and this seems to have subsided.   Then, miss stubborn, decided that she wanted to climb the hill in the back yard where she used to go to poop. So, by golly, she did it. Didn’t hesitate, didn’t struggle. It was amazing. It was just like being a tripawd is second nature!  Got her stitches out, and she is allowed back on her couch, which is her favorite place!  So, definitely been an emotional week for us, but, Carly is doing well! Chemo starts on Monday, so I’m scared about that, but, I’ve heard good things about it, and if it helps give Carly some more time to enjoy life, then I’m all for it!

Oct 26

 

This is where they shaved her to get the biopsy.

This is where they shaved her to get the biopsy.

Well, once we got the x-rays back from the vet, and confirmed diagnosis from OSU, we decided to tackle this sooner rather than later and get our pup feeling better. We had been told that the pain from bone cancer will continue to get worse, and the medication will not help. It’s not like any other pain, and is excruciating for both animals and humans. We fought with ourselves in regards to going through with the amputation, but after a lot of research, and talking it over with my husband, that was the best option to end Carly’s pain the quickest. And from the time we dropped her off at the OSU Vet, until the time we got the call that she was recovering and everything went well seemed like an eternity.  We were referred to Ohio State University Veterinarian Hospital, and we knew that she would get the best care there. They had us drop her off the night before the surgery, because they do surgery’s really early. But, we got a call about 1 p.m. saying they had had an emergency and got behind, and it was not until 2:30 that Carly went in to surgery.  We got a little anxious when we had not heard anything by 4:00 pm, so I called. They said the doctor was finishing up, and he would call when she was in recovery. So, an hour later, they finally called us back. Said Carly did great, and was slowly waking up, and had even been up a little bit.  We were relieved, but missed our pup dearly. They said they would call in the morning and let us know how she did through the night in their ICU. I had no idea they even had animal ICU!

Oct 20

Carly Mia as a pup!

So,  I’m going to start a blog about my pups journey with becoming a tripawd and how our family is adjusting as well.  Carly Mia is a 154# 6 year old female Bull Mastiff who has recently been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  I was there when she was born, and I’ve fed her and cuddled her since then! She has always been a laid back dog, being a Bullmastiff and all, they have 10-15 minute spurts of energy and then they are done. She has always had such a good spirit and when we noticed her limping on her front right leg, and saw she had a hard lump there, we immediately became concerned, thinking she hurt herself getting up into or down out of our bed. So my husband took her to the vet. They examined her, and said she probably just sprained her ankle there, so he gave her an antibiotic and sent them home. Carly seemed to get better, but it was only temporary. October 2, we took her back to the vet, where the vet examined her again, and this time, took an x-ray of the site. What he came in and told us was nothing I had ever expected…..he showed us the x-ray where it showed a tumor in that leg, and said that he was leaning towards the cancer diagnosis. I lost it. She sure didn’t act like a dog with cancer! So, he sent the X-ray to another specialist to have a look, and said he would give us a call when he got their results back. That was the longest weekend of my life. We finally heard back from him on Monday, saying yes, the doctor agreed that it was in fact osteosarcoma, so we scheduled an appointment with the vet hospital where we would begin our treatment of this nasty disease. We had no idea what we were in for….but we did know we wanted our pup to be pain free and happy again!  She had surgery- amputation of her front right leg October 12th,  2015. It’s still very early in her recovery but she is doing great adjusting.  We are still trying to control her pain and get the doses right,  and having some side effects to them.  She is on Tramadol 1 twice a day,  Trileptal 6 twice a day,  Rimadyl 3 twice a day and also  an antibiotic twice a day.  I think she has some signs of phantom limb pain and have a call into the doctor about putting her back on the Gabapentin as I’ve read on here it helps greatly.  She seems to have restlessness,  some shaking and panting as well.  But it’s not every day either… So it’s tough to know what is causing the symptoms.  Well,  this is the start!  Thankful to have the support of so many others here!