First Visit with Oncologist – Journey with Lucky

Today we were very excited and nervous to meet our Oncologist. She is a Board Certified Oncologist and Board Certified Radiologist and I had a very good feeling just walking into the Oncology Clinic. A very friendly Staff made us feel very welcome and as sad as the circumstance were to be there, the energy was very positive. It was almost a relief to finally get to the very person that had the most knowledge on how to treat and approach this sad illness of lymphoma.

I knew whether good or bad news, Lucky was in the best Hands. It seemed everyone was very mindful and sensitive on how stressful this is to pet and owner and we were led into a room right away. The doctor came in and I had a confident feeling about her even before she started talking to me.

Every bit of info I received was informative. She explained what Lymphoma is and what the cancer does in a way I could understand. It is almost mind blowing how intelligent these cancer cells are and how they operate and that they actually go hand in hand with the immune system. Now it is understandable how challenging it is to beat this thing. She explained our prognosis. It was not that good but there are options. Statistics are thrown out the window and can’t be applied to us anymore but there are still options. I appreciated the straight talk and while initially taken back by the bleak prognosis, she gave me hope with options.

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She explained that lymphoma in young dogs is usually more aggressive, just like in young children. This may be the reason Lucky came out of remission so quickly. The chemo drug I thought was not effective actually was not the problem. It was the the one before, basically in the 4th drug she received (4th week). The silver lining is, now the oncologist knows which drug NOT to include in the new trial treatment plan.

The bad news, there is no protocol for Lucky to follow. From here on it will be hit and miss, trial and error. So, this is positive in my mind. We are not out of options, we just need to find what works. We agreed that as long as Lucky has a good quality of life, meaning she is happy, participating and interacting with the family and she is not in pain or miserable, we will go forward with chemotherapy. She is young, strong and has a will to live. So we fight on.

Lucky received her first Oral Chemotherapy Drug they call CCNU Bundle (I consider today a new start to fighting lymphoma). It only took a little while and Lucky came back to me happy and tail wagging. Lucky’s CBS (Blood Test) looked ok, meaning her white blood cell count and red blood cell count is ok.  So more encouraging news I thought.

We were sent home with Denamarin which provides multi-faceted support for Lucky’s liver, given once a day. I paid $ 166.00 at the clinic but you can find it much cheaper HERE. We continue Antibiotics given on Sunday when Lucky was admitted to the Emergency Room. And we continue with Prednisone, which is a Steroid but also kills cancer cells, and Metoclopramide, which helps with nausea. We are once again encouraged.