Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Plan B...Chemo.

After our "wonderful" news on thursday that the tumor itself had disappeared, Leroy's symptoms returned. Keep in mind, that though the tumor had gone away, he still has lymphoma and the lymphnodes around his heart are enlarged and pressing on his airways. This left Jeff and I with a new amount of hard decisions to make regarding treatment plans. When faced with the large mass he had in the lung, it was "easy" to say, "well, we are doing EVERYTHING we can within our budget and personal feelings regarding surgery then chemo". But knowing that lymphoma can often respond pretty well to Chemo we were torn as to what we wanted to do, and could afford to do. Leroy was progressively getting worse, especially at night. Saturday night his resting heart rate was 116-120 and respiration over 40-50, no fever but his body is running very hot and rather than seeking heat as he has done his entire life he was finding cool places to hide, often using the hardwood or tile floors but this would cause positional respiratory distress so he would get anxious and pace. The coughing is still very minimal, but the labored breathing is what was concerning us.

We met with Dr. Steve Blauvelt at Sage clinic yesterday morning. Leroy's pulses were low, chi was stagnant, and toungue slightly lavendar, all indicators that he was wearing down physically, the look in his eye told the same story. So we put him on another herb called "General Tonic" http://www.gfcherbs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_gf_formulas_info&products_id=10301 which will help his blood flow, energy level etc.

This morning was not a good morning. I woke up and Leroy was not on his bed which told me something was not right. I found him on the couch in the living room, he was walking very slow, and could not really catch his breath, I for the first time wondered if today was "the day". He showed little interest in his food, he did eat a few cookies, and hopped up on the couch for some love from Jeff and I, but it still was not our Leroy. I had talked with Dr. Emily yesterday about trying a low-key form of chemo for Leroy that would hopefully buy us some time for the Iscador from Europe to come in. We made the decision this AM to give it a shot. 2 pills cost 158.00, and he will need this treatment every 3 weeks, along with blood work to make sure his WBC and Liver values are staying within a reasonable range. When we did his blood work this AM, his liver values were slightly elevated but we decided if we do nothing than we will lose him, so this is the last ditch effort to see if we can get him back into a remission.

I gave him his first 2 pills of Chemo, we are using Lomustine, at 2pm this afternoon. He is in great spirits this afternoon after such a rough morning, playing tug-of-war with Percy over a stuffed duck, he is laying beside me on the couch with regular, slow, breathing. This form of lymphoma is presenting itself so oddly, with the off and on symptoms, but we will keep our fingers crossed! The chemo is not likely to "cure" the lymphoma, but hopefully we can get him a few more weeks or months of being comfortable and happy!

This photo was taken in October 2006 at a podunk little motel in Moab, UT. on one of Leroy and I's many travels. He is my trusty road companion, and has protected me for thousands upon thousands of miles. He's a good dog!

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