October 16th 2010 4:37 pm
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I don't see Dr. Shaw until October 28th, but I wanted to tell you that my lymph nodes have felt normal for over a week now, so my parents are declaring me in remission even though they aren't in the medical profession!
I'm finished with taking prednisone for now which makes us all happy because when I'm on it I just want to eat and drink, eat and drink, eat and drink, and eat and drink! I ate something again that I shouldn't have when I was out walking with Dad that upset my tummy for a few days, but I still wanted to eat and drink, eat and drink, and eat and drink! Dad didn't have the crowbar with him during our walk so he was unable to get whatever it was out of my mouth and I'm not telling what it was, either!
Now, how about the World's Coolest contest? We've always been so impressed with the entries each year. I only have one picture entered and we're still looking for more. Mom has all the cats entered and if you're voting for them you might recognize me in some of their pictures. This is a test!
I have the winning photo from last year's contest on my page, which reminds me of how I once had much longer fur, but that's okay because I can still eat and walk without it!
Good luck to all my pals who entered the contest!
October 7th 2010 9:00 pm
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I went to see my "girlfriends" at the hospital early this morning. I passed my usual physical exam and in-house CBC so I received my second dose of Mustargen and Vincristine. I have to continue taking the Prednisone and Procarbazine for another week and then I'll go see my girlfriends again two weeks after that!
During the past week, those "cherry tomatoes" on the left side of my neck went away but they're still hanging around on the right side even though they've gotten smaller. So, this time my report card says I'm in partial/complete remission, but they still say I'm responding well.
When we were paying the bill, Dad let go of my leash so I wandered behind the counter to say hi to all the receptionists. The hospital is a pretty high-tech looking place with a huge reception area like you see in the movies. One of the receptionists said that next time I see them I should wear my Halloween costume! Little did they know, until Dad told them, that I'm a Gangster! That's when I realized I had forgotten to bring my business cards which shows the url to my Dogster page so we'll have to bring them next time. Wait until they see the cats!
I get extra hungry and thirsty on the Prednisone, so I'm getting Wellness WellBars as snacks. One flavor is with crunchy peanuts and honey and the other has whitefish and sweet potatoes. They're yummy but they're bite-sized and a big guy like me has to have alot of bites to be satisfied. I still get plain boiled chicken breast, and I really owe it to the cats for having that on the menu regularly.
Oh yeah, I know how to turn myself into a ton of bricks! When I spot a tennis ball somewhere that the human eye doesn't see right away, I REFUSE to go any further until I can get the ball. The great hunter must bring home his trophies!
That's all for now. We'll keep hoping for complete remission again.
October 3rd 2010 10:38 am
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My Procarbazine capsules arrived yesterday. The package was addressed to Canine Quincy C. from a place called Diamondback Drugs in Scottsdale, AZ. There's a special compounding pharmacy in our area but I guess they don't compound this particular drug. Anyway, they included a paw-shaped magnet and best of all, a little Milkbone cookie!
I got my first capsule this morning and Mom will be watching me all day today while Dad's at work. I'll be getting the second MOPP treatment next week and hope it'll shrink those cherry tomatoes around my neck! So far I am doing okay and Mom and I will be going out for a walk soon to hunt for tennis balls!
I've always been allowed everywhere in the house, yet I never go upstairs at night to sleep in the bedroom with my parents. The only time I go upstairs is when I glue myself to Dad or I have something important to say to my parents while they're sleeping like, "Excuse me, but I need to go outside, please!"
The carpeting upstairs makes it too warm for my taste so I stay downstairs on the cool floor or my vinyl/leather bed. That's one of the reasons why I don't own any warm and fuzzy beds. The other reason is because any warm and fuzzy bed would just end up being a cat bed!
There's an angel kitty named Scooter on Catster, and she posted a link to an Etsy shop I really wanted to share with you because of the precious dog paintings in addition to the cat ones. Here's the link to the dog paintings but you can type the word "cat" or a breed on the search bar. If you have trouble opening the link, try holding the *shift* key down at the same time:
Off for a walk! Maybe I'll puff my cigar along the way...
September 29th 2010 10:59 pm
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I was jumping up and down this morning while Dad was getting the car ready to take me to my appointment. Dad said I sure don't act like a sick dog!
Originally, I was supposed to have my in-house CBC done today by a nurse so I could get another DTIC treatment tomorrow, but since my lymph nodes became enlarged, Dad called them on Monday to ask to see Dr. Shaw today as well. He spoke to a nurse who told him that Dr. Shaw was actually on vacation this week but that I would be seen by Dr. Kiselow. I saw Dr. Kiselow once before when I had those heaving episodes that turned out to be nothing major. The nurse then said to Dad:
"He'll be seeing a different doctor but he'll still have the same girlfriends looking after him!"
Now my parents know my secret! I have girlfriends! But, they are happy to hear I have girlfriends to love me during treatment, so they told me it was okay!
Dr. Kiselow confirmed I was out of remission. My in-house CBC was okay and showed no abnormalities, so my treatment was changed today to the MOPP protocol. This is a combination of 2 injectable medications (Mustargen and Vincristine) and 2 oral medications (Prednisone and Procarbazine) that are administered in 2 week cycles (2 weeks on, 2 weeks off). The Procarbazine had to be ordered from an outside pharmacy in Arizona and is a capsule that will be given to me at home. The pharmacy called this afternoon to confirm shipping information, so it will be here soon.
I ate while at the hospital today, some more when I got home around lunchtime, and then dinner. Dad wanted me to just take it easy today and I didn't complain.
Dr. Kiselow and Dad talked for about a half hour today after my treatment. He said that the focus should continue to be my quality of life and that I was a "happy-go-lucky" guy that has tolerated treatment really well even if my remission times have not been as long as we've hoped. It was nice to hear a different doctor make that observation about me, and once again, my report card said that I was an excellent patient as usual!
If this new treatment puts me back in remission, it will likely be for an even shorter timeframe than the last time. There is basically only one protocol left after this one.
Well, tomorrow is another day and I'm gonna be happy because my Dad doesn't have to go back to work until Sunday! I like when Mom is home but it's not nearly as exciting as when my Dad is home. Then I get to see my girlfriends again next week!
September 26th 2010 2:25 pm
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Mom checked the lymph nodes around my neck last night after Dad had already gone to bed, and she could feel that they're enlarged, so I'm unofficially out of remission again.
I'm scheduled for treatment next week and because the recent appointments have been so long, Dad talked to Dr. Shaw earlier this week about bringing me in for the bloodwork and exam the day before and he agreed to that. It would at least save me anywhere from a half hour to an hour being stuck there, and longer if they are running behind.
Now that my lymph nodes are enlarged again, Dad will call Dr. Shaw tomorrow to discuss this. It may mean my treatment will change again but I am feeling okay for now, eating normally and everything.
Sundays are special for Mom because Dad goes to work and she has me all to herself for a whole day, but it's hot outside so we'll go for a walk later this afternoon after it cools down. I hung out in the backyard earlier with some of the cats but we're all back inside now. I am undemanding.
Next weekend our family will have our Halloween pages up. I had fun getting my pictures taken because I had a special toy as a prop!
Gotta run as Mom wants to have another long talk with me, but I'll keep you posted. I know I am in your prayers and I appreciate them more than you'll ever know.
September 17th 2010 7:21 pm
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Thank you to my pals for leaving me gifts and pawmails for being a diary pick today!
Dad and I were at the park by the tennis courts and someone had picked up three tennis balls and set them together on the bench. Dad offered them to me, one by one, and I told him I didn't want any of them because I didn't get to stick my head in the bushes to find them myself! So, we continued our walk and I "did" find one and brought it home.
Guess what, my Halloween costume arrived this week and I got my pictures taken! My outfit is coordinated with the boycats in the family. The girlcats will be dressed alike too. I know you'd love to know what I'm going to be but I'm not telling! You'll have to wait until October.
Have a great weekend!
Quincy (in remission)
September 11th 2010 11:08 am
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My numbers were good enough for me to get my second dacarbazine treatment yesterday, which has so far been keeping me in remission. I don't like being stuck there all day but I'm a good boy.
My parents stay on top of my treatment and ask alot of questions and do searches on the internet. They get discouraged sometimes but they both agree I have done remarkably well as far as not acting like I don't feel good.
I found another tennis ball during my walk this morning and brought it home. Sometimes I pick a certain one from the dog park and bring it back home too. Then after I collect a bunch we bring them all to the dog park!
It's a hot day here in California and Mom is going to do some gardening. Maybe I'll help her dig holes!
Remembering those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, the families they left behind, and the heroes who responded to the emergency.
September 6th 2010 11:52 am
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Hope you're all having a super holiday weekend!
My parents can't wait until I'm off the prednisone because I want to eat junk during our walks. I ate and swallowed a piece of paper on the street, a chicken bone thrown in the grass by someone, and kitty poop by the tennis court! A couple of times my mouth was pried open in an attempt to remove that junk but I was way too fast!
If I weren't such a big guy I'd be able to walk through the pet gate at home where the litter boxes are and help myself to what they leave in them.
*Sigh* What's a hungry dog to do?
I've been coughing on and off but the doctor doesn't think it's related to the cancer and I haven't missed a meal since my diagnosis. He thinks it may be overexertion but my parents don't really think that's it either. It's possible that I may have x-rays or an ultrasound done again in the future just to check things out, but for now we're just enjoying each day.
I'll be going soon for another full day of treatment but so far my parents haven't noticed any enlarged lymph nodes on my body.
August 29th 2010 11:41 am
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I had a short appointment at VMS hospital on Friday, the best kind of appointment! They just wanted to check my blood and stuff and called Dad back later in the afternoon to tell him things were in normal range. Well, Mom wants a copy since she was used to looking at "numbers" when my kitty sister Mercy was sick and if things change she wants to see the comparison. But so far, I am still in remission.
Mom was getting ready to go to bed the other night and started turning off all the lights. Dad had already gone to bed. She decided to check one of the litter boxes in the bathroom downstairs and saw that it needed emptying, so she removed the bag to take outside, when BAM! She had forgotten where I was laying on the floor, tripped over me, banged into the wall, and fell. Scared me to my four paws!
I was okay, Mom was okay, and thank biscuits I didn't end up with soiled kitty litter all over me!
Yesterday Dad took me to the dog park and another Dad was there with his Great Dane. I ran right to the Dad and wouldn't leave him alone because he was sitting on the bench eating a burger!!! Now, the last thing any human should do is eat a burger at the dog park, and I'm finishing up my dose of prednisone so I want to eat everything in sight! I didn't get the chance to figure out if he had fries because he figured out quickly that he needed to finish eating in the car!
I got my new collar this week from dogIDcollar. My last one only had the option of white embroidery and the letters and numbers always got dirty but this place gives you a choice of colors so now I have a new red collar with black embroidery! For a big guy like me, we like getting the 2-ply collar.
Sending happy thoughts and hugs to all my pals and special hugs to all the families with ill puppers and those who made their journeys to the Bridge.
August 21st 2010 4:57 pm
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It was like a scene from a movie. Two dogs who spot each other at the park on a big field of green. It was Casey, my best friend, and he was off-leash. Dad took my leash off and Casey and I started running towards each other, tongues hanging and ears flapping in the wind.
Well, I kept running, right past Casey! Afterall, his Mom was behind him and I just had to see her first. Then I went running back to Casey so we could wrestle!
A couple of days after I wrote in my diary last week, we could feel that my enlarged lymph nodes had gone down.
Dad dropped me of early yesterday for my first DCIT (dacarbazine) injection and Dr. Shaw confirmed that my lymph nodes are back to normal. So, technically I am in remission again but generally each remission time is shorter than the last.
Even though we were told it would be a six hour infusion, it was really eight hours by the time they examined me and did the in-house CBC and chemistry! We were not too happy about that since I had to be kept in a smaller kennel so I wouldn't move around as much, but we know they are trying to help me. I also got some Anzemet to prevent nausea and vomiting.
I wanted to mention that whenever the prednisone is prescribed I take 2.5 tablets once a day for 7 days, then 2 tablets once a day for 7 days, then 1.5 tablets once a day for 7 days, then 1 tablet once a day for 7 days, then we stop.
They told Dad that they walked me outside but when he picked me up I peed a bucket outside! I was glad I was going home and drank lots of water and ate dinner as usual, so I seem to be feeling pretty good so far. And I know I am a good boy because there is a sentence on my report card from the doctor that says:
Call with questions or concerns. Quincy was an excellent patient as usual!
I have an appointment next Friday for a CBC, then in 3 weeks I'll get a re-evaluation and my next dose of DITC.
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful pawmails, comments, gifts, and for filling my treat jar! I told Dr. Shaw all about my Dogster pals. I bet I'm the only patient there with Dogster pals, too!
One day at a time....
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