Hello 🙂 Just wanted to give an update since we are a bit snowed in here. Shelby got her stitches out a few days ago and the doc is super pleased with how well she is doing and how well she is healing!! She still has a few spots that are healing but her site is looking good otherwise. I think Shelby is just as excited to have the stitches out as we are, lol.
On Monday evening, we took her for her first round of chemo. Her first dose was, Adriamycin (aka doxorubicin). We chose to hold her food til after her injection cause the doc told us she may vomit right after getting her meds. We didn’t have any issues Monday evening, and even gave her a little bit of food once we got her home. I was surprised at how fast he gave the medicine to her. When we went thru chemo with our last lab, who had mass cell tumors, it was a lengthy process that took a few hours for the IV to drip. He did tell us that her next med dose would be in two weeks and it would be cisplatin this time. He intends to alternate the two drugs. Below is a pic taken the evening before we left to go to her first chemo treatment. She always gets so excited to go bye-bye’s, even when its to the vets office, whom I might add have taken a real liken to her. They all spoil her with love when she gets there since she has become such a frequent visitor, lol.
I will say, everyone in the docs office, raves about her harness!!! The doc, the techs, they couldn’t say enough great things about it. They like how easy she is to help and how much easier it is to handle her with it on, they even comment about how much added support there is with the “skidplate” as I call it, lol! They always take the pets on leashes and with her, they didn’t even bother, they were that comfortable and happy with the harness to just use it!Kudos to Tripawds for such a remarkable addition for these lovely furbabies <3 <3 I chose to add the emblems, because I am a little bit of an overprotective furmomma and don’t want anyone bumping into her and knocking her off balance, so I figure, they can see the warning just in case they don’t notice her beautiful uniqueness 🙂
The day after her meds was a little sketchy 🙁 It wasn’t as rough as I am sure some have had it so I am very grateful for that. She was tired and didn’t want bothered much Tuesday. I gave her food a little earlier than normal after not giving her much the day before and sadly, while she didn’t vomit, you could see her poor belly wrenching like she wanted to 🙁 🙁 Her potty breaks were normal and we didn’t have any issues with those so I will take any little thing we can get, lol. We are on day 2 of post treatment and she seems to be trying to get her spunk back, just isn’t quite there yet.
Doc plans to do bloodwork next visit prior to treatment, to ensure her levels are handling the chemo ok. He also said the next visit will be a little longer due to the med requirements.
Picture above is from Tuesday morning, she wasn’t feeling up to much 🙁
Well, that’s about it for now. Time to go enjoy my little superhero for a bit 🙂
What a crazy two weeks this has been, for both Shelby Lynn and us. In some ways its hard to believe its only been just two weeks and on the other hand it seems like its been longer. Tomorrow Shelby goes to have her stitches removed, I can honestly say I am not looking forward to that. I worry how bad it will bother her again after finally, today, just starting to seem like it is easing up. She is getting around really well, though she does tire very easy still. I am really hoping that with time and some weight loss, she won’t tucker out so quickly. The weather has been on and off again as far as temps and rain, and tomorrow they are calling for snow and ice, so I don’t know how much she will get to go outside for fresh air. She and her cuddle buddy, Yoda, generally just lounge all day 🙂
On Monday we begin chemo with her. Last time I talked to the doc, he said we will be doing two treatments and the course will take 13 weeks. Monday, she will be given, Doxorubicin, and he said in total she will get 6 doses of that one. Then two weeks later she will be given Carboplatin, which will be off set from the Doxo weeks. I will say, as i am sure many of you here can agree with me at some point, I am very scared. I will fight for her every step of the way, but I find myself questioning which poison running through her body is worse, the chemo or the cancer itself. My only “light at the end of the tunnel”, is knowing that we could very possibly beat this nasty illness. Only time will tell, so while I have time with her, I am going to enjoy every minute of it <3
On good notes though 🙂 She is walking on her ramp, albeit only flat right now, but that’s because I am not ready to risk her at any elevation just yet. With not being able to have her harness on her full time or still worrying about her stitches, I am worried if she would fall. But she does walk on it with it laying on the floor, so baby steps I guess, lol. It took a few tries but she does well with it. She was really good about letting me try her harness on her and semi fit her with it. She walked around with it on and it didn’t seem to bother since it has a bottom and a top to it.
We also went outside for a bit and she was finally able to go to the front yard!! YAY!!! You could tell she was happy to have all her normal smells back again. We have been taking her to the backyard only so she didn’t overdue activity, there are 12 steps to go out the front door and only 3 out the back. Its a little bit of a walk for her from the back yard to the front, but she was more than satisfied when we got there 🙂 Of course, she decided to lie down for a bit while there, but the weather is nice today so she loved the sun.
Well, just wanted to give a little update and post a few pics since she is doing well. Hopefully the news continues this direction after Monday!
Just wanted to give a little update on Shelby Lynn <3
We are 6 days post op now, and so far we haven’t found anything from 7 days ago that she cant do. We struggle to keep her from jumping, her favorite spot is in our bed with us , so she takes it upon herself to climb on up through out the night while we sleep. We do try to limit her jumping so we know she wont injury herself, but she gets something in her head and there is nothing or nobody going to stop her.
I have noticed she is hesitant to eat the last day or so, I am not sure if that is due to pain or she is just tired from being so active and still learning. She used to eat 3/4 of her food as soon as you gave it to her then would pick at the remaining, now she seems uninterested and will pick little bits here and there and still have some the next day. She does take her meds, antibiotic and pain, twice daily, so I am hoping the pain med is strong enough for her. She does take two supplements (vet is ok with them) for immune system to help her fight her battle.
She is moving around good and doesn’t seem to be slowing down in that area. In fact, quite the opposite, we find ourselves guarding her more so she doesn’t fall because of how good she is going. Her surgical site is healing good, no inflammation or stitches are alarming.
We did order her some fancy new gear, both for her benefit and ours <3 She now has a raised food and water dish, the ruffwear webmaster plus (its put together but not on her yet), and a new ramp to help her get in and out of the vehicles. I am going to start today working with her on the ramp. I opted to go with one that had heavy rubber and ridges, over the sandpaper lined ones. Not sure one is better than the other, just a matter of what I think Shelby would be comfortable with and how comfy I feel with using it for her. Hopefully I can atleast get her walking on it flat and then the goal is to slowly raise it til she is comfortable walking up it with assistance.
Well, that’s all for now…. Hopefully Shelby gives me some good news with this ramp and I can let you guys know how she handled it.
First to tell you about the beautiful member of our family this blog is about. Shelby Lynn is a 7 year old Labrador Retriever, whom we have had since she was 6 weeks old 🙂 She is full of life and a best friend anybody would be glad to have.
In Jan. 2017, we noticed a lump/mass on her right front paw 🙁 We watched it for three weeks, as it wasn’t causing her any pain or effecting her in any way. We got concerned after a month (we lost our prior lab to mass cell tumors after 6 months of chemo), so we decided to error on the side of caution and get it checked out. On Feb. 4, 2017, we took her to the doc, who did an x-ray and diagnosed the worse, osteosarcoma. As my heart and tears fell to the floor, I knew right away we had to fight for her. We were told even with treatment, we should only expect to have our gorgeous girl for roughly 6 – 9 months, but as long as she wasn’t suffering, I was fighting right along with her. Doc explained treatment would be amputation of the complete leg and chemo. We chose to biopsy, so that we were 100% sure it was in fact that dreaded illness. Honestly, I still think I was holding hope that it would come back different 🙁 We had the biopsy done two days later, and results came back 2 weeks later. Biopsy confirmed sarcoma (cancer) but stated “while clear cut osteoid formation is not seen, the eosinophilic matrix, multinucleated giant cells and indication that bone was sampled in clinical history are suggestive of osteosarcoma”. She was given a prognosis or guarded to poor 🙁 They obviously don’t know Shelby lynn, she is a fighter 🙂 She fully expects to show them what she thinks of their prognosis, lol.
A day after receiving the results, Feb. 23, 2017, our beautiful girl went in for surgery to remove her leg. Me, well, I went home and did what I had been doing for the last two and a half weeks, research, educate, and learn as much as possible. Watching our sweet girl that day, who was oblivious as to what was going to happen, told me I had to be there for her now, like she has been there for us so many times. As soon as doc was done with surgery, we got the call that she was doing very well, though she was sleeping and not in any pain, thanks to pain meds, the surgery went very well and she would be able to go home the next day.
The morning of Feb. 24, 2017, doc called to let me know that Shelby had gone to the bathroom and they were getting her some food mixed up. They wanted to see how well she could walk and ensure her food would stay down but he felt there was no reason for her not to come home 🙂 🙂 He would call me a few hours later and let me know. As soon as we got the all clear phone call, though he did caution us, she struggled with smooth and slick flooring and would need assistance, we went to get our girl 🙂
Pick up time 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 One thing I will mention, while I was doing all the reading, 2 important things stuck out at me:
we as humans are more hung up on the fact that an animal has three legs than they are. Dogs don’t look at other dogs and think “oh…you only have three legs”. I read that statement, and it rang true. I started to think about the bigger picture, what she is fighting and suddenly realized, she is a fighter, she is a great friend, and she is my biggest support system, its time to put the stigma behind and let non-furry family friends think whatever they want.
the other thing I read, which helped me prepare, was, be prepared for what you are going to see when you pick her up. Yes, the cut is over a foot long, no its not bandaged. Shelby would have never understood, if I would have hesitated any love for her when I got there. She knows she is loved, she knows she is happy to see me when I greet her, she doesn’t understand anything else. I wasn’t going to let her feel anything but what she expected on the day of pick up. I will admit, it is a shock, to say anything other than that, would be untrue, but to know she was going to be ok, was enough to get me past whatever I saw. Plus, her actually on her feet charging to me, well, there are no words for that, simply tears.
When we picked her up, doc went over care instructions, and we made arrangements for suture removal in two weeks and plans for chemo to begin in three weeks. She was sent home with antibiotics and pain meds. While biopsy was unclear as far as whether sarcoma was osteo or not, he suggested we follow osteo treatment, chemo type and such.
WOW…is all I can say. Through out these last few weeks, so many people would tell me she was going to walk out of there, and I wanted to believe it, but yet I was scared of expecting to much and placing a huge burden on her if she wasn’t ready. Shelby is 97 pounds, while we are working on her weight, that is still a lot to move around in this situation and I didn’t want to make unfair expectations on her. She never stops amazing me, she walked out of the vet office and hasn’t stopped since!!! Grant it, she is a little slow sometimes, but she is doing fantastic!!! We have rugs all thru the house now to accommodate her, and we made sure she has very few steps in her travels in and out of the house to potty, but we struggle to keep up with her already. She has 3 steps, and she handles them like a pro!!! Our biggest concern right now is her surgical site and making sure she doesn’t open or bust any stitches.
We are on our first full day at home today, Feb 25, 2017. Yesterday, when we brought her home, she was still pretty sleepy, which is understandable, due to anesthesia and pain meds. She was a little woozy when walking as well, so we tried to be extra cautious helping her with a towel under her belly to assist with lifting when needed or to help her with balance. However, today, she doesn’t give us time to get the towel in place, lol. She is ready to go and marches along well. She gets tired easy when we take her outside and she is still working on the balance side of things, but I couldn’t be more proud of her so far. (We originally put a shirt on her when we got her home, but it seemed to be more cumbersome for her than helpful. So we have since taken it off and just watch her site carefully)
Well, this is our journey so far. We have a long road ahead of us but Shelby is planning on making a statement 🙂