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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Complimenting Duke's Momma's life after chemotherapy thread this is a Life During Chemotherapy thread. Please post any advice, suggestions and tips that might be helpful to forum members going throigh the chemotherapy journey.

After considerable thought, research and an in person consultation with one of Barkley's veterinarians we decided to try at least one round of intervenous chemotherapy with doxorubicin. We are nervous but his vet has helped me understand what to expect and I feel confident with this trial run. If/when we have complications or his quality of life suffers we will stop, reassess and decide the next course of action. The metronomic therapy can be considered at that time. This vet did Barkley's splenectomy and visually saw his insides and did not see other evidence of metastisis. Of course there are no guarantees but the radiographs, sonogram and visual inspection gave him confidence to advise me the intervenous therapy is worth a try and that Barkley's age isn't as important given his excellent recovery from the splenectomy. Barkley will go for his first treatment on Thursday morning.

We realize this isn't a miracle cure as this hideous disease is terminal and aggressive, but we want to give Barkley every opportunity to continue to enjoy his life as long as he can be it a day, a week, a month, or a year or more. He is such a fighter and has exceeded all expectations in his recovery from surgery. He got his staples out today, 5 days early! His hct is normal.

Any hints, suggestions, ideas or tips will be greatly appreciated!
 

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I have no experience with Chemo, but you and Barkley will be in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Missing Tasha, Sky, & Ral
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I think the best advice I could give is take one day at a time. All the treatments, information and side effects can be overwhelming. I never wanted my baby to become an experiment. Never let the vet forget that this is your baby. Whatever you decide is the best decision for you and your family.

Most importantly when it becomes overwhelming remember that you have many friends and support from GRF. We are all here for you. Keeping you and Barkley in our prayers.
 

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she'll always be the one
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Meggie didn't have any complications with doxy. She was being pretreated with anti-nausea meds the night before her treatments at that point in her protocol because vincristine had darn near killed her. The only anti-nausea drug that really helped her was Cerenia and we would use it a few days after the treatment too. Might be worth asking about having some on hand. Also be sure to have some metronidazole on hand for tummy upsets. Add pumpkin to his meals as well.

Expect Barkley to be tired, he is a chemo patient. He needs his sleep and good food. Be careful of giving immunity supplements during chemo as it can possibly interfere with the way chemo works. However, fish oil and arginine can be beneficial. Ask your vet before you give anything and be careful of snake oil salesmen on the internet.

I talked to Meggie all during the weeks of her treatments. I told her what they were going to do and why and how it should help her. We talked about the drugs eating up the funny looking cells and I made Pac-Man signs with my fingers. Yeah, silly stuff. But all the while I told her to let it get her well because I wanted her with me and couldn't imagine my life without her. Did it work? Can't say, but next weekend is her 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed t-cell lymphoma. We still make Pac-Man signs and talk about staying well every single day.

Give Barkley our love.
 

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Coley - my cuddle bug
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Watch for diarrhea and nausea. Nausea isn't only vomiting. Excessive smacking of the tongue/lips is a sign or even drinking water funny. And, licking the legs or feet if that's something he usually doesn't do. Keep a journal (or use your thread here like I do with Duke's) .

I almost don't want to tell you anything Duke went through (if you haven't already read his novel here :p: ) and have you ask questions as situations come up. I'm very anal and it really helped to know some but not all.

However, what Meggie'smom said was very valuable. They need rest. and, lots of it. I was concerned with Duke because he was sleeping so much until I think it was Moverking told me "he's on chemo and feels like ****!" Well, okay, then! lol

Drinking is very important as I just realized. Oh, Rusty in the "In Our Thoughts" section was also on Doxorubicin and had no side effects whatsoever from his first treatment. None. Duke on the other hand had nausea and diarrhea like clockwork. So, each is different.

Just please keep us informed as to how he's doing. Oh, no vaccinations during and again, as someone suggested - no supplements unless you ask your onco vet. Some supplements they're not sure if they actually hinder the effects of the chemo.

Good luck on Thursday and please, keep us posted!
 

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Coley - my cuddle bug
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Healing thoughts and prayers coming from here!
Oh, this is baby Jules isn't it? He was so darn cute!!!!! I love the last pic. I remember a pic of him after a bath. I wanted to just squeeze the little dickens!
 

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Anne -

Just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking about you all a lot.....especially with tomorrow AM and the first treatment approaching. I assume he will be able to stay at home tonight and will come home Thursday afternoon? Is the treatment at the vet or somewhere else?
 

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only advice I have is keep doing whatever you've been doing, he's never ceased to amaze everyone and that means you're doing everything right !
Good luck to you, you'll be in my thoughts tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. I woke up with a pit in my stomach, nerves going crazy.

We take him in at 7:30 ish without food (always hard as he loves his food) and they will get everything set up to go by 9 a.m. They said they would keep him 5 hours, but they may need to sedate him (he's a nervous nellie at the vets) so it could be longer due to the fact he's a slow responder. Toby will be following us around and nervous, we still have lots of noise from the workers (another 2 weeks) and we are expecting major rain storms today.

Belle's Mom: he gets to go to his regular vets so we are just 2 minutes away. It was easier for him and us to take him there than the animal cancer center that is in town. The protocol for the hemangiosarcoma is pretty standard and the vet we are using does all of their cancer consults and chemotherapy regimines. We had two bad experiences at the ACC with our Beau and don't have the confidence one needs in the oncologist there. Since we aren't getting radiation everything we need is at his regular vets. I'm finding as we go along trust in the people taking care of your dog is extremely important.
 

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Riley Roo!!
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Sending good thoughts your way. Sweet Riley had several chemo sessions (I never counted but it did cost thousands $). His remission wasn't long but we still had a wonderful time - believe it or not. He took his anti nausea pill (in a piece of turkey - yum!) before each session. We drove over an hour to the hosp. once a week for 6 months so it was an all day affair each time. I presented Riley with a new toy before each appt. and he would carry that toy into the hosp. and show all of the staff and all of the people in the waiting room (such a goofball!). The hosp. staff was incredible so Riley LOVED to go for the chemo - he always had a blast. I actually had a worse time than him. He didn't know he was sick - he just got more tired than usual - a lot. We really got much closer during that adventure. Relish every moment and make the most of it. Try to think like Barkley. And take care of youself.
 
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