We lost our 2nd golden rescue (11-12 years old) to leukemia, which, unbeknownst to us, he had when we adopted him. Palliative care (prednisone, blood transfusions, a 'cocktail' of steroid/B vitamins, etc.) made him to feel better and have energy. 7 months from diagnosis to his passing.
Our 3rd golden rescue (also a senior) was healthy and full of play, but 6 months after we adopted him he quit eating and drinking one day. An X-ray showed a massive cancerous tumor in his stomach. We helped him to the Bridge that day.
Our current rescue, Andy, was 1 or 2 when we adopted him 10 years ago. He was diagnosed with lymphoma last December 1st. After 22 weeks on the Madison-Wisconsin chemo protocol he fell out of remission and was hospitalized for several days, refusing any food - even broiled chicken and his other favorites - for over a week. A big dose of a rescue chemo drug, Adriamycin, last April brought him back into remission.
Since April he's doing very well on a maintenance chemo protocol of 20mg of Prednisone daily, and every three week CeeNU (now every 4 weeks). I believe the Denamarin (a powerful antioxidant/liver protectant) is also helping to fight the lymphoma. It's his own body that really has to fight the cancer cells. Antioxidants are proven to help the immune system fight.
Cancer is such an unpredictable an insidious disease. Some respond well to treatment, others do not. Others doing exactly the same regimen Andy's getting have not responded as well, others have. I surely never expected Andy to live this long when we were slammed with the diagnosis last December 1st. However, some stories (like Meggie on GRF - link at top right in Most Viewed Threads, "Lymphoma" gave us hope.
Like you, I've poured over dozens and dozens of articles online, mostly in the early days. I must have read 400 pages in the first 2 days. Some provided hope he could live
with lymphoma, others not so much. Besides the medicine and supplements he's been prescribed, the only change we made was switching to a 'no grain' diet (glucose=sugar=cancer loves sugar) and double filtered water (Brita filter on faucet filtered again through Brita pitcher). We've added some lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower to his food and home cook for him 2 or 3 days out of the week (chicken/veggies/a little brown rice). His food is Natural Balance kibble mixed with Natural Balance and/or Soup For The Dog Lover's Soul canned. We had to try a few different ones because he turned up his nose at some of the other high end dog foods like Honest Kitchen. Every meal, we add something that smells really good (chicken, brocolli, and always splash chicken or beef broth on top). When he sniffs around his bowl and smells different things he really seems excited about eating.
Our MO is and has been: "Carpe Diem" (Seize The Day .. and any treats offered
). At any time the drugs could quit working and we'd have to say goodbye. Not today. Living in the 'now' - today - is something Andy's journey has taught us around our house. We learn so much from him. Like being reminded how little we need to be happy in life - shelter, love, food - and how every moment is a gift. As M. Scott Peck said so aptly in "A Road Less Traveled" - "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why they call it 'the present'.
BTW, Andy is somewhere around 11 or 12 now. He acts like a young boy except for napping more the past couple of years. Like middle aged me LOL.
We wish you all the best. What treatment/supplements is your golden receiving?