December 10th 2009 11:46 am
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I'm back from seeing Dr. Shaw today and didn't get the scheduled Adriamycin drug because my white blood cell count was too low. He says this is normal due to the chemo drugs, but I'm still in complete remission. I'll be taking Ciprofloxacin tablets daily, which is an antibiotic to prevent an infection while my white blood cell count is low and then I'll go again next Thursday for a recheck and then get Adriamycin if everything is adequate.
Let me back up and tell you what happened earlier this week. Monday night, after Mom and I came back from our evening romp, I was resting and she noticed that I appeard to be heaving with my mouth closed! My abdomen area was moving on its own! I was a bit restless but I had dinner before our walk and drank water as well. My poop looked normal. The condition of my poop seems to be a daily discussion between my parents!
Dad came home shortly after and gave me a couple of Metoclopramide tablets for nausea, because I threw up just a little bit of liquid. He also went back and read my paperwork where it said side effects from chemo could show up in as much as a week after treatment. I was still a little restless but when Mom gave me some cooked chicken I ate it and drank some water. She just wanted to see if I had a desire to eat.
I think Mom wanted to take me to Emergency but Dad said to just give me some time to settle down, and he went to bed. I did settle down after awhile so Mom went to bed too.
Tuesday morning, I ate and went on my walk with Dad before he went to work. When Mom got up to get ready to go to work, she looked at me and I was doing that heaving thing again! You know how Moms are, they can worry about all kinds of stuff, so she called the specialist place and asked to talk to Dr. Shaw or a nurse.
Dr. Shaw was not working Tuesday, but a nurse got on the phone and Mom told her about my symptoms. At first, the nurse said that giving me the Metoclopromide tablets was the right thing to do, but Mom pushed a little more because she just didn't think this was normal and was concerned about what might be going on internally and wanted some peace of mind before my next treatment. So, the nurse said to bring me in and I could see Dr. Kiselow.
Both the technician who checked me in and Dr. Kiselow saw my abnormal body movement while I was there. I got examined and Dr. Kiselow felt that I must not be in pain because of how hard he squeezed me and that everything felt normal to him. He didn't think it was related to the lymphoma. However, he said they could do a complete blood work-up, xrays, and ultrasound but he didn't think it was necessary.
Mom blinked her eyes a few times while thinking and decided she wanted me to get the blood work-up, xrays, and ultrasound, so I had to stay there, and she went to work to pick up stuff she needed so she could work from home the rest of the day. She ran into a couple in the parking lot on her way out that she met a few weeks ago, and they even remembered my name and asked how I was! Their dog also has lymphoma but is getting a slightly different method of treatment.
I was ready to go home around 4:00pm and Mom was there early even though they hadn't called her to say I was ready to be picked up. She got to see Dr. Kiselow again and by then my bloodwork results were already back from the lab electronically. I had a few abnormal numbers but nothing to worry about.
The good news is that my xrays and ultrasound confirmed that the small nodules that were seen around my abdomen when I was first diagnosed were gone, and everything looked normal. Even though it was no surprise to them, it was still good to hear.
Mom was very relieved and even though I may not have needed the extra tests this week, it was worth having a peace of mind. Afterall, I do have cancer, and I get some really powerful drugs.
There's no reason why I can't continue my normal routine, so I am OK!
We were looking in the Dogster forums last night and did a search on the word "lymphoma". We were embarassed to find out that my pal MURPHY had created a thread in the forums on my behalf a couple of months ago here:
Plus Power of the Paw thread
We had no idea, but want to thank Murphy! I'm not expecting any of my pals who read my diary to go and post there, as you do enough already, but I just wanted to acknowledge it.
I also made a new pal this week after we saw a post his kitty brother made in the Catster forums that her dog sister MADDIE was diagnosed with lymphoma just after Thanksgiving and was going to get treatment, so I took the initiative to send her a pawmail. I just heard back from her last night and I don't know yet if she'll be writing about it in her diary, but I'm glad we are pals now!
Thanks again for your friendship and for your patience in reading this long diary entry!
December 3rd 2009 3:34 pm
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Thanks for your comments on my new pictures!
My Gingerbread Baker outfit arrived yesterday, so Mom took my pictures last night! She had a good feeling she was going to win the bid on eBay because she was the only one who bid and there were no lookie loos! While the cats may or may not appreciate the fact that the best outfits are made for dogs, I guess I have to be thankful for children since this was a hat and apron designed for them!
Baby, it's cold outside, but I'm inside the house most of the time. My normal routine starts with Dad taking me out for a walk early in the morning before he goes to work, Mom comes home for lunch and lets me out if I want to, and then on the nights Dad works late Mom takes me out when she gets home.
Even though Mom is usually tired when she gets home, she feels guilty if we don't go out because I am so patient and good, and since it's been so cold we don't walk, we jog most of the way! If we're lucky, we run into my best pal Casey like we did the other night and get all tangled up.
Today was treatment with Vincristine. Once again, the nurse said I was a good patient. They only think I'm a wild man when it's time to go home because of the way I drag them to the front lobby.
Every week they do the touchy-feely thing and in-house CBC panel, and we come home with a detailed printout. My favorite sentence on today's printout is:
"Quincy looks great today and remains in complete remission"
Midway through the 26-week treatment program, I'll get an ultrasound and x-rays again, but I'm just going to enjoy every day of my life because that's all I know how to do!
Thanks for your continued POPs!
Wild Man Quincy
November 27th 2009 2:45 pm
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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The cats and I got dinner early because my parents were driving out to celebrate with other family members, but I was told that I was part of the dinner discussion along with the cats!
The cats have their new Christmas pages up but mine will have to wait for another week or so because I have a new outfit coming in the mail that Mom saw on eBay and expects to win it. That should be fun because I have a hard time sitting still for photos when I'm wearing stuff that I'd rather be chewing!
Dad dropped me off for my treatment this morning but it was only for bloodwork and exam and they said I was doing good. My treatment this week will be Cyclophospahamide (Cytoxan) pills at home like I had during week 3, where my parents have to wear gloves when they give the pills to me.
The people at the hospital said I was a WILD MAN! That is a good thing because it means I have energy and feel strong, so Mom was very happy when Dad told her they said that!
Have a great weekend!
November 19th 2009 1:20 pm
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OMD, we are so excited to see that I'm a finalist in the Best Friends and Craziest Tail categories in the World's Coolest Dog & Cat Show! I immediately noticed my friends Zaidie, Luke Skywalker, and Sophie Bean in the finals too!
My kitty siblings, Mercedes (Mercy), Reebok, Melody, Enzo, and Pixie also made the finals, and I'm very proud of them!
Thanks to all who voted and congratulations and good luck to all the finalists! The photos are pawsome!
Okay, so I got some Vincristine today. Dad dropped me off this morning, left for the dentist, and Mom picked me up a couple of hours later since she took the day off. My white blood cell count will drop a little again, so I need to build it back up before my next treatment which will be Friday of next week since Thanksgiving is Thursday.
I am doing very well so far, and you wouldn't even know I was sick if you looked at me. We count our blessings every day!
I have to tell you about my "Suspicious Sunday" last weekend. Mom and I had just reached the gate to the dog park when we saw an unfamiliar lady and her two small dogs who were inside the park. This is the conversation that took place before we entered:
LADY: Is your dog male or female?
MOM: Male (with an annoyed look on her face)
LADY: Is he fixed?
LADY: Oh, okay
MOM: Are yours male or female?
LADY: They're both males
MOM: Are they fixed?
LADY: Oh yes, they are
MOM: Well, I guess it's safe for us to come in then!!!
BOL!!! Way to go, Mom!
November 12th 2009 3:08 pm
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I only had to get my blood drawn this morning, so I was back home within an hour. I wanted to wait until they called with the results before I wrote in my diary and they just called and said it was normal!I'm off the Prednisone right now as well.
The other day when Mom was cleaning the room upstairs where the cats eat, she thought I was asleep downstairs. She didn't have the gate latched while running the vacuum cleaner and when she turned around all the cat food bowls were sparkling clean. You just have to be at the right place at the right time!
Last week, I picked up a pinecone during an evening walk with Mom. I was carrying it in my mouth while walking and we ran into my buddy Casey. Next thing you know, our heads were side-by-side but we were very quiet. That's because Casey had grabbed one end of the pinecone with his mouth and we were both standing there holding it! Eventually, I let Casey have it and he dropped it before we all continued walking.
Earlier this week when I went on another evening walk with my Mom, we walked by the same spot where I had run into Casey last week. Suddenly, I started pulling Mom and then she realized why--to retrieve that same pinecone! So, she let me carry it and we continued to walk.
Well, guess who we ran into? Casey! However, this time he didn't care about the pinecone because he was more interested in Mom's long scarf, so he grabbed one end and held it tight with his teeth without pulling. Okay, so now Mom is laughing hysterically while his apologetic parents are unsuccessfully trying to pry his mouth open!
I think Casey's parents got very annoyed because they started scolding him in Russian! Casey has some strong jaws because we must have been standing there for at least ten minutes.
After all that excitement, we all decided that it was best we continued our walks, but not together! And, I brought my pinecone all the way home! I only like to carry them, but not chew them.
Next Thursday I'll be getting another dose of Vincristine.
November 5th 2009 1:45 pm
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A couple of nights ago, Casey, my best pal from the hood, came over and we romped in our backyard. That was fun!
I just got home from my treatment and got Adriamycin today for the first time. Dad dropped me off at my usual 7:30am appointment time but it was a treat when both Mom and Dad came to pick me up!
Like last week, I got good reviews from my physical exam and in-house CBC. Next week, I'm only going in for a follow-up CBC and then the following week I'll get Vincristine again. In case you're wondering, my full treatment plan is for 26 weeks, but I'll eventually only get medicine every other week.
Everyone from Veterinary Medical Specialists (VMS) says I'm a really good patient during treatment and that I'm very cooperative and I like getting all those cookies! I don't bark when they put me in the dog run while I wait to be picked up. I'm never there for very long anyway because they're always told I want to be picked up ASAP!
Mom took some pictures today which I'll be adding to my page. She told them she wanted them for my Dogster page and how I've been keeping my pals updated in my diary, so now Dr. Shaw wants the link to it. Mom is actually going to make some calling cards for me today so she can hand them out when people ask!
October 29th 2009 7:26 pm
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Dad took me to get some Vincristine again today. He met with Dr. Shaw afterwards and heard some good news. Last week, Dr. Shaw said that my white blood cell count was low, which was to be expected, but this week it's improved and is almost normal! So, I am tolerating the treatment well and my body is fighting off any infections, so far.
Dr. Shaw said I was doing good, that my physical exam showed that my mucous membranes were nice and pink, no signs of heart murmurs, my sinus rhythm is normal, lungs are clear, and that there were no masses or discomfort when they did the abdominal palpitation. They sure are a bunch of touchy-feely types!
Next Thursday I will get a different medicine called Adriamycin. That appointment will be a longer one but they already know that as long as they keep patting me I will be calm, but when I'm finished I'll be doing my usual "outta here" routine of dragging the nurse/tech to the front lobby for pickup.
I will get a picture taken of me with Dr. Shaw soon, maybe next week when Mom and Dad both take me for my treatment.
My condition will always be considered "guarded", but we'll take good news any day!
P.S. If you know how I can knock down the pet gate that is attached to the door of the cats' "dining" room, please leave me suggestions!
October 22nd 2009 10:54 am
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Mom took me to the Land of "O" this morning at 7:30am where they gave me the weekly physical exam, including a CBC (complete blood count). My white blood cell count is low but that is to be expected with chemotherapy.
Dr. Shaw said that I was in remission and that the lymph nodes around my neck feel normal in size now. Yes, that was good news to hear but it doesn't mean I am going to stop treatment under the University of Wisconsin-Madison Lymphoma Protocol. The idea is to keep the lymphoma at bay for as long as possible because stopping treatment would likely cause it to return very quickly.
This week's treatment is different because it will be done at home with daily Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) pills, then I'll go back to the Land of "O" next Thursday for Vincristine. My parents were given surgical gloves to wear while giving me the pills. Since the drug can (rarely) cause irritation to the lining of the urinary bladder, they have to watch for any marked increase in frequency of urination, straining to urinate or blood in the urine.
During the first week of treatment, I also had to take 2-1/2 tablets of Prednisone daily, and on the second week, 2 tablets daily. This week it'll be 1-1/2 tablets daily but if the panting bothers my parents, Dr. Shaw said they can reduce it even more.
I am a good boy in the car and a wagging-tailed friendly boy at the Land of "O". It's in a different city from ours but only takes about 15 minutes to drive there with no heavy traffic. I had to be there for about two hours but as usual, was so happy when it was time to go home! I jumped up and almost knocked Mom down when I saw her.
Oh, I wanted to also tell you about the new pals I met at the dog park earlier this week. One was a Westie (and I'm so sorry I forgot his name) and his little Yorkshire Terrier brother named Enzo (like one of my kitty brothers) and their Dad! I have to brag because when their Dad saw me he petted me and said to my Mom, "OMG, is he yours? He's beautiful!" They started a conversation and after hearing that I was a cancer patient, the Dad asked Mom if he could give her his business card with his email address on it so she could keep him informed of my progress. So, Mom emailed him and also sent him a link to my Dogster page here. He said he and his wife will keep me in their prayers!
Overall, I am doing very well so far. I am hungrier and thirstier than usual, but I'm still smiling!
Thank you so much for your continued POPs and for those of you who have been down this road and have shared your stories. My family and I appreciate all of your thoughtful and caring comments, pawmails, and gifts.
October 16th 2009 6:58 pm
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Thursdays are my treatment days, so I had my chemotherapy yesterday. This time I got Vincristine, which sounds very feminine, so it must be one tough gal!
Dad dropped me off at 7:30am and I was ready to go home at 10:30am. I dragged the nurse all the way to the lobby just to give her some exercise. She said that I must want Dad to think I was tortured by the way I pulled her. Of course I was tortured, being stuck there with them and away from my Dad!
Last week they did a culture on my urine, and Dr. Shaw called earlier this week to tell us it was normal, which was good news. They'll be checking my blood every week just before treatment and yesterday it was good.
I've had very minor side effects like soft poo and the pill for that works very quickly. Other than that, I have a great appetite and urge to pee alot with the prednisone.
My lymph nodes are smaller than before, but not normal in size yet, but we're working on it!
I got a replacement collar in the mail today in bright red. It has my name and home phone number embroidered on it. The cats also got a new bed that hangs on the door knob that doesn't work very well so it was put on the floor and now I have a new toy to drag around!
Thanks for your continued POTPs!
October 11th 2009 6:57 pm
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I'm one of the diary picks today, and I don't think I've been a pick since a couple of years ago! I received some cool rosettes and stars today congratulating me for being a pick and I'm still receiving other gifts, pawmails and comments to support me during my illness. My treat jar has been getting filled up, too! Thanks, pups, I really appreciate it!
I forgot to mention yesterday that Casey's Mom whispered to my Mom that maybe we should get a puppy. Mom said no, that they only need to focus their attention on me right now. Besides, last time I counted, there were 10 cats running around the house, so I have lots of company!
Dad's work schedule is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday, but he takes me on walks every morning before he goes to work and on his days off we walk several times. Mom works Monday through Friday, so this means on Sundays we have each other all to ourselves during the day, with the exception of the cats!
Mom and I walked to the dog park today, but I didn't want to stay there because there was a grumpy dog barking at us so I didn't want to leave her side. We only stayed long enough for me to get petted by some ladies and then I headed towards the gate to leave.
We walked across the street to the public park and ran into our neighbors and their little kids playing soccer. They came over to see me and then I rolled on my back on the grass and was kicking my feet up in the air exposing my naked belly from the ultrasound I had! I have long fur on my sides which hides my nakedness!
It's nice having a public park and dog park just a few blocks from our house.
It was a good day!
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