So Honeydog weighs 62 pounds. Pretty impressive for a dog who was at an all-time low of 42 during the thick of definitive radiation side effects last year. It looks like we're out of the woods side - effet wise now, nothing should pop up, and she doesnt seem to have any sores or pain. We've been keeping her on tramadol in case she's hurting but so far it seems all good. She did feel bad Sunday, and we all just stayed in bed and watched movies until she got up, then we took her to petsmart for some noms. The vet said we can go ahead and start weaning her off tramadol and then off prednisone after about a week. She'll get some follow up xrays in July to look at her lungs.
Hun had her last dose of palliative radiation Monday and has (as of Wednesday afternoon) no side effects. I don’t think we’re out of the woods totally yet, we’re waiting until next Tuesday when she has her follow-up vet visit to clal a victory, but she can already breathe out of her nose and sleep through the night and apparently had a BLAST going to the vet every day and made a friend, Candy, who also has nasal chondrosarcoma and even looks like Honey. Boyfriend didn’t manage to get a picture because they were licking each other and wouldn’t hold still, but I’m impressed, since she started losing sight in her left eye she’s been pretty mean (scratch that, downright catty) to virtually all other dogs. Case in point - last night we had to wake her up and bribe her with duck jerky to take her for a walk at like 11pm, and she was seriously dragging – giving us these looks like ‘I cannot believe you would be so cruel as to make me ride an elevator and actually take multiple steps, you obviously live to torture doggies and don’t love me’ but its all an act, as soon as Maybelline (a grey pit-bull rescue that live in the building, about 3 years old, and mega-submissive, really a doll) and her human walked outside Honey launched herself across the sidewalk snarling with all her hackles up and teeth showing. I had to catch her in mid-air as she flew by me.
We’ve been giving her tramadol and prednisone and we’re both glad we get to start weaning her off. I think another few days on the tramadol to make sure no sores pop up and any that might be inside her sinuses have time to heal and we’ll cut the does. She’s acting completely fine though, playing tug of war and fetch, nosepunching the food container when shes ready for dinner (which is about every 45 minutes) and attempting to eat all the other dogs she can see. I think we’re going to take her to the beach over memorial day, or at least to get some pinkberry. I need to take some pictures of her for the vet, they have her day-by-day side effects photos from first round radiation and I wanted to give them the same for palliative, I think it would really help anyone whose dog is going through this, to see how hun reacted to both kinds. The problem is she wont stay still long enough for me to actually take a decent pic. Its always like honey mid-run or honey chewing on a ball or honey eating. I’ll really devote some time to it tonight, and I’ll post so everyone can see her xmen ‘do.
I was sick yesterday and spent the entire day in bed. Honey helped me by making sure the blankets were firmly held in place and that there were a sufficient number of balls / squeaky toys in the bed with us in case I woke up and wanted to play. This morning I was getting ready for work and she kept trying to herd me back to the bedroom. I'm not exactly sure where she learned this, but maybe from Savannah, the huskie we fostered when I was in college. She gets between you and whatever it is you're doing and looks at you, wagging until you back up. If you don't back up fast enough, she barks. And then takes a step forward, until you're effectively walking in the direction she chooses. Every time I walked into the bedroom she would hop up on the bed and lay down, and when I left again she would jump down and give me a very exasperated sigh like 'CLEARLY there's something wrong with you that you don’t want to spend the day napping with my toys.' The kicker was when I was in the shower she made a nest with the clothes I had just ironed, rocketed snot all over my shirt and then lay down on them. Like 'you think you're going to work, don't you. Cute, human. really cute.' so I was late because I had to find a snot-free getup and then iron it. Cam is taking her to the vet for her next-to-last palliative treatment today, she apparently has doggie friends there, rumor even has it that she LICKED ANOTHER FEMALE DOG ON THE NOSE AND SNUGGLED WITH HER which I find amazing because we can't get within 35 feet of another dog, regardless of gender, without Honey acting like a land shark and trying to eat someone's face. I guess the sedative the vets uses really works.....
So we started palliative radiation yesterday. There really was no option, the tumor is bigger and stopping her breathing through her nose, but other than that she’s still my little war pig. So it was do this and slow / stop it growing for a while or have a dog who can't breathe. If the tumor was anywhere else, it wouldn't be necessary, but this will physically prevent her from breathing before the cancer becomes systemic. She came home from the vet with her face shaved and a green sharpie grid across her head to help them line up the 'zapper' and was totally her normal spunky self. We went for a walk and ran into a neighbor who had just been to the corner store and was walking home eating an ice cream, then another neighbor with a mini-bag of lays potato chips left over from lunch. Needless to say, she got the minibag of chips AND 3/4 of a vanilla ice cream bar, which she ate off the stick. So that, coupled with the fact that C has been calling her 'warpig' since she started taking prednisone, resulted in the xmen name 'HoN O WaR'. I totally want to get it in rhinestones across the back of her collar.
Palliative is really different than definitive, which is what she had in February 2008. The definitive radiation is 30 doses (!!) and has the goal of killing the tumor completely. Side effects, other nastiness insue. Palliative is 5 doses, and the goal is to reduce the inflammation around the tumor, and maybe stop / shrink it a bit. it's not a 'cure' like definitive intends to be, but to preserve the quality of life when it's necessary. The chances of side effects is vastly smaller. The doc predicted 'lots of snot, you may want to cover your furniture' (I told him that I didn’t care last time, I don't think he believes me). So she'll have her last dose Monday, and for a week or so after apparently will be a snot rocket.
I just heard about Sophie, the dog who's blog was the best guide to what honey went through, and she's been diagnosed with an additional cancer in her pelvis. So awful. The extra time you get is never going to be enough.