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2yrs and going strong..HOPE-FAITH-LOVE

Hello my friends its been a while. My mom has been super busy.. but don’t be mistaken, never too busy for me.

I am feeling blessed, I am 2 yrs post OSA dx and 2 yrs since my amputation on the 10th of this month, but I couldn’t wait, I wanted to share with everybody so they can have hope and faith and to remember to get checked out early. I am also 7 months post grade 3 STS on a different leg, which is still at bay…yay!!

Here I am with our first snow fall  a couple weeks ago…. YAY!!.. I love snow, although I get chilled a bit quicker since I’ve lost my leg. No worries moms on top of ordering my coat, especially since last year she would take her coat off and give it to me when Id get cold!!

mom: I know I still owe everybody a full detailed log on Neka’s Electrochemotherapy journey. Ive just been super busy, but please keep checking back, I will try to pull things together in order this month. I really think its an amazing choice to add to our fur-babies treatment options.  But in the meantime I hope the pics speak for themselves on at least part of the journey.

I would also like to add, I’m almost 12 1/2 in these pics… just sayin….lol

Love every body!!

 

Eating snow too fast, doggie tongue freeze!!

log Eating snow too fast, doggie tongue freeze!!

 

I like laying in, mudd, water and of course SNOW!!

I like laying in, mudd, water and of course SNOW!!

 

whaat mom? Can't you see Im just chillen!!

whaat mom? Can’t you see Im just chillen!!

 

well dry mudd is ok too..aaahh sunning myself

well dry mudd is ok too..aaahh sunning myself

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21month post OSA update.

Hello,

so its been a while because my moms been working so much, but always makes time for me:) So I thought I post and update on my happy hoppy life.

If your interested in my ECT (electrochemotherapy)results, she will update a full timeline for that hopefully sometime soon too, some of the pics got eaten by technology..uug.. so they need to be retrieved. but I’m doing good so far..but keep praying this second mass can stay away.

Next step is to look into metronomic to help keep this sucker away since it was such a high grade. but uug, gotta get back on that research, Ive been slacking. Hopefully I haven’t wasted valuable time.

 

 

 

3 legs in motion.. Look at that smile!! Sept 2015

3 legs in motion.. Look at that smile!! Sept 2015

 

21 month post amp OSA, happy and hoppy.

21 month post amp OSA, happy and hoppy.

 

Aug 2015, of course more swimming

Aug 2015, of course more swimming

 

 

 

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11 days post ECT…just fun today!!

Hello my fellow fur friends. Sorry so long between updates. Im doing awesome. I had some fun in the sun at a friends house today, clearly!!

Today I will just attach my fun day and I will add pics later on the documented changes in my leg.. (sorry if you were expecting them here)

Say a prayer…well lots of prayers for me, My 2nd and final session is this Wed. Plus I chipped my HUGE canine tooth and have to possible have that addressed too…Ugg all these things. but not to fret.. look how happy my day was. BTW my moms naughty and hasn’t ordered my life jacket yet so she helps me out!!..lol

20150808_142359 20150808_143620 20150808_231243

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4 days post ECT

we are going well. Shes been walking way better/ pretty much normal/ the last couple of days, I have kept up with some tramadol just to be sure shes comfortable and not in any discomfort, which seemed to work great. Shes just tender in the direct area. The only thing that did happen, of course is out of the norm, is she had another odd accumulated swelling issue, and being the location the fluid drains down to the paw.. ugg. she doesnt seem to react any different just looks really swoll, similar to a lymphatic or lymphoma  leg. I emailed the onco from mizzou and she stated she wonders if its because that when she had the mass removed some blood routes got impinged and not allowing the area to drain properly after the ECT procedure. Made me a bit nervous as today it got even bigger. However she is walking/hoping ok and acting FULLY normal.. I took all my horse injury skills and my PT skill and did a bit of a compression wrap today for a couple hours and it totally helped(I do not suggest anyone do this unless your trained as you can cut off important blood supply and cause issues), which tells me its just still a bit angry and fluid should slowly drain away.Thank goodness she likes to sleep on her back, upside down its like keeping your feet up…lololol.. Feels like forever and initially it looks scary, but I have to remember its only been 4 days and shes fine, temp is normal, eating , drinking, pooping, personality, walking. All Good.  Love my warrior.. mann…love her!! thank you GOD for my girl!!

I ask all those who read this looking into the ECT, taking into consideration that she had a prior reaction after her surgery as well, so these things may be related as well. I almost don’t want to post pic to make anyone nervous, not because its horrible, but because its not a norm reaction for the ECT….Hmmm

 

more to come!!

 

3 days Post ECT...see Im all Good!!! Sniffing the air.. !!

3 days Post ECT…see Im all Good!!! Sniffing the air.. !!

 

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Electrochemotherapy (ECT) for STS journey -same day & day 1 post op

So, after being diagnosed with a 2nd kind of cancer in addition to OSA and amputation of front R-Leg, In April of 2015 I had a mass removed from my back Left Leg. I was offered these options. definite radiation, pallative radation, or metronomic chemotherapy. After much research and consultation, I determined, pallative had too much risk of site damage in the long run, only because my girl was still doing well and no other signs of cancer were in her body (at least not visible or growing). Definite radiation, was recomended by 1 oncologist and not recommended by 2 others for various reasons, mostly due to her other OSA and the feeling their call was based on her OSA could flare up (its been 19months, common let be a bit positive) and the other one was because he was concerned if she did get localized burning it would be irritating on an already 3 legged dog. plus going under sedation or anesthesia every day for 18 days. Sooo my research began, of course I want to do natural approach as well, but In my heart I wanted to be sure to kill the remaining cells. So we began IV chemo AGAIN, since she tolerated it so well the first time, no side effects.

I came upon this procedure ECT, electrochemotherapy, teh procedure is based on injection chemo either IV or into the tumor, or in her case the scar from removal, or both depending what is needed. Yesterday we drove over 6hrs to the closest place that offered it. It is a newer procedure in the states but seems to be used all over Australia as well as Europe the UK …etc. I researched to the best of my ability as the studies are not all long term and consistent, but what I did see looked really promising and made logical sense.

After the chemo is injected, (in my girls case in 2 ways, IV and incisional, to cover all the potential left over cells) they wait about 5mn or a bit more depending, and then use various electrodes and “zap” the area the mass is in or was in (stimulating) this allows the cancer cell membrane to open up and  uptake of the chemo into the cells, thus killing the cells. (in a nut shell) her whole procedure took about 15mn (varies depending on how many sites and other variables) Sedation or anesthesia.(short) Mine was a bit longer as she had a tiny “lipoma” by her eye and I wanted it bx too but when she started she decided to remove it, which was great, even a lipoma, it was so close to the eye, you hate to have problems with it later on. so yay! shes still sending it out but she said it acted like all the lipomas shes seen.

So my experience is below, considering,  my girl was very fatigued from the trip as she decided to balance on her one front leg between the seats for 6 hrs.. uug.. i was tired for her, we came the night before, thank goodness.

-Post procedure:, she seemed kinda tender sore, not to touch but mostly walking had a bit of a hard time, if she had 4 legs would probably favor it some. However, I have to take into consideration Neka’s history, she has a TPLO on the same leg and though they said the hardware would not interfer, I wonder a bit if the electric current traveled up the leg as its a pretty big jolt. She was more tender in her knee than teh actually site when walking, like when I pushed on her knee, she kind of buckled out. She has a bit of redness and swelling.. totally expected as they zap it and inject it… Ugg hated seeing her like that, but it also made me realize that if I did nothing and it were to grow back, how debilitating it could be, so something short lived for longer pain free life!!?? Plus she was fatigued prior from the trip and not wanting to rest in car, so multiple contributing factors!!??

 

Day after procedure–shes still pretty sore meaning tender to walk on, especially because of her 3 legs and her already orthopedic issues.. Again, TPLO on the same leg and suspect tear on the other, so shes moving a bit funny, again, tender in the knee, not the actuall site. I figure its gotta be like a car accident, your muscles and bones get jolted, where someone with no issues recovers quick, but someone whos  got prior problems would feel it a bit more. Plus all that I read with reactions, never stated anything about that, if anything they stated no initial reaction or side effects. So I have to take into account her prior ortho issuses. But personality and demeanor is the all good. Just tired from the trip.

THe plan of care is with her to have 2 treatments 1 week apart, because I also plan on doing metronomic to just cover my basis, and I did 3 rounds of prior IV chemo. I will see how she does over this next week to determine if continuing is justified. Its a super cool procedure and outcomes seem sooo promising with minimal to no side effects, very short procedure.  It can be repeated even if it starts to grow back, or if I change my mind I can also do radiation.  Oh, another thing is, all my pictures helped the new oncologist get an idea of what was removed prior and how she recovered, interestingly she mentioned because she had an odd swelling reaction after the surgery, that maybe some blood vessels got cut off which could cause maybe a more sever reaction with definite radiation. So, food for thought guys, document everything, it could always help for later procedures.

 

 Started with a STS: neg aspirate (dog gone aspirates)

1-8-2015

1-8-15_ I had been questioning this mass for almost a year, had it aspirated 2 months before this pic, which came back as only fatty cells, this pic represents, when I felt like it was growing and changing but was told it was the same. That sit hard in my gut, and I payed for it 3 months later.

 

4 months later, Ok now we should remove it!!

4 months later, Ok now we should remove it!!

 

Surgical removal 4-6-15

4-8-15_2days post op, pathology stated clean lateral margins, but deep margins were dirty. My surgeon was awesome.                  Grade 3 STS.. ugg

 

uh oh, wierd swelling reaction, no fever, just odd reaction.

4-9-15_ 3 days post op……uh oh, wierd swelling reaction, no fever, just odd reaction. Always check with your vet if you see this. She was ok, but could have been something bad.

 

whew ..10days post op, looking a bit better.

whew ..10days post op, looking a bit better.

 

5-17-15_ back to normal!!

5-17-15_ back to normal!!

7-7-15_  left over scar from surgery, and few weeks before ECT

7-7-15_ left over scar from surgery, and few weeks before ECT

 

ECT procedure pics below: 7-29-15

7-28-15_ same day as 1st ECT. about 40mn after procedure

7-29-15_ same day as 1st ECT. about 40mn after procedure

 

7-29-15_2nd day post procedure early in day

7-30-15_ day after procedure early in day

 

7-29-15_11:30pm 2nd day. a bit of swelling.

7-30-15_11:30pm  day after. a bit of swelling.

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Happy 4th & Happy 12th B-day!! pics of love.

My mom took me to a veterans fundraiser car show in town, and this super nice man asked me to sit in his car to take a picture. So here I am in this 67 mustang!! Plus it was my birthday, I turned 12yr and you cant even tell.  For inspiration to others I even had chemo earlier that day. I payed for it a bit later that night, but I had so much fun, all these people were loving on me and touching me everywhere. I was in heaven!! I also met an Army NationalGuard who took a liking to me and hopes in the future to help work with finding dogs to match with veterans with PTSD. I had an awesome full day and a great birthday

 

Nice man wanted me to sit in his car!! So cool.

Nice man wanted me to sit in his car!! So cool.

Of course I had to get another pic in!!

Look at me in this '67 mustang!!

Look at me in this ’67 mustang!!

 

Met an Army NationalGuard!! Who took a liking to me, we talked about hopefully  helping Vets in he future with getting therapy dogs to help them live with their PTSD, I mentioned to also help the rescue of warrior dogs to be matched with Vets as well.

Met a Marine!!

Met an Army NationaGuard!!

 

happy, happy!!

happy, happy!!

 

I was sitting up here watching all the people!!

I was sitting up here watching all the people!!

 

 

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interesting info+update pics

well last week was interesting for me and my mom she took me on a long drive again down to the U of I for another consultation, ever since my new STS that got diagnosed my mom has been all crazy again. All her late night researching. I just nap and cuddle next to her, she thinks I dont know, but I do…

I had good news my xrays were still normal and my leg had healed well since surgery in April, but the doctor was very concerned that the high grade STS(soft tissue sarcoma) could come back locally. I just lounged on the floor during these discussions, this vet got right down here with me, I looved it. My mom talked to this guy for a really looong time, wow, thank goodness they don’t charge by the hour.

Moms view:

So out options are somewhat limited now because I have maxed out the lifetime max of doxi, I even used zenecard with the last 2 doses to protect her heart, even though they said its safe up to 6 doses, my regular oncologist mentioned he did have 1 dog that had heart failure after 5.. and that made me very nervous.

we talked about radiation: what I learned that kind of killed my gun ho for radiation. so Currative radiation, which is every day for 19 days uses small grays(units of radiation) per treatment, U of I only uses sedation most other clinics use anesthesia. No long term side effects just extreme skin burning equating 3rd degree burn, they felt she was not a candidate for this because she already had 3 legs and it  could cause her some pain until it heals, which already on 3 legs coudl be challenging, plus..it is a steeep cost.

Pallative radiation, is 1x/week for 4-6weeks, which gives a higher dose at each treatment, vs alot of small doses. This is what I thought i was going to do, except that, I find out, it has long term side effect of tendon and bone break down, anywhere from 6months til 2yrs.. I said well how bad what kind, he said can be bad enough where they would normally amputate. Im like….aaaah.. i said what %. he said about 10%, which at first seemed low, but then he tells me a university of Mo, doesnt even do that type anymore because of the side effect…hmmm I kept thinking if only 10% why would a university who specializes in radiation therapy doesnt even do that type. I didnt like that.

last option: Dr. N at U of I, did not recommend continuing the doxi even with the zencard, even though it decreases heart toxicity its not a definite, yet my regular oncologist said its 90% effective..

He said I could use a dif chemo like the carbo or this other one. but all said and done, he is most concerned with the local regrowth as the IV chemo works more systematically and the metronomic works best for stunting local regrowth. Studies are limited and some are dirty about combining both.

Plan: We just finished out last dose of doxi this week and now I have to deside where to go from here. I will be calling univ of Mo on monday to discuss radiation in more depth as I am curious if there is an inbetween option that may not be in the books or proven that will not burn her too badly and most of all not give long term tendon or bone breakdown.

So in addition to all of this, I learned another thing. he is wondering if the mets in he lungs from the CT scan a yr ago is even OSA mets, he said they will usually have grown by now and her have not. He said they were consistent with location to OSA mets but is wondering if maybe they are granulomas. Which could lead him to think maybe her OSA was a low grade originally. I hadnt even realized they could grade K9 OSA . He told me they normally dont because they still recommend the same course of action..HMMM… interesting.

ok done with my midnight rambling.

heres fun pic

Neka & horsey friend june 2015

Neka & horsey friend june 2015

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pics for fun 2015

3-7-15 snow in march.. Love it!!

3-7-15
snow in march.. Love it!!

 

3-8-15 Helllooooo!!

3-8-15
Helllooooo!!

 

3-7-15 Did I mention, I love snow!!

3-7-15
Did I mention, I love snow!!

 

4-26-15 I was tired after yard work. I love Mud even more than snow!!!

4-26-15
I was tired after yard work. I love Mud even more than snow!!!

4-5-15 Selfie with my mom

4-5-15
Selfie with my mom

1-30-15 Im super focused on something.. mom caught me.

1-30-15
Im super focused on something.. mom caught me.

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Challenged yet again.but continuing our fight

So after being completely overwhelmed the last few weeks. Neka had her surgery for her “lipoma’ removed on 4-6-15, pathology came in about a week later. And to my disturbed response it was a high grade soft tissue sarcoma, with lateral clean margins but not clean deep margins. For those of you that dont know, clean margins is where there are not cancer cells present, meaning her deep margins are NOT clean and with a high grade sarcoma there is a about 50% chance of regrowing when you have clean margins and hers are not. I was pretty upset as this was a “lump” ive questioned about 5x or more over the last year and increased questioning since Nov of 2014. always being told, its ok, its a lipoma. I should have stuck to my gutt.

The treatment for this type of CA is to radiate the localized area and start chemo because it has a very high chance of metastasizing. The problem is with her situation, Ive been told curative radiation may not be an option because of her OSA being now she has 2 different cancers according to pathology and the vets. and the chemo you would start is the doxorubicin as it has the best studied results in attacking these types of cells. but to add challenge to our situation, she had almost all her doxi chemo to treat the OSA a year ago and there is a lifetime toxicity max on the body and after 5 doses can cause the heart to fail. So she technically has 2 left, however the oncologist was still cautious and did say in 10 yrs he had one dog at dose 5 go into heart failure. uug decisions. however there is a drug zenecord that can be given to counter act heart failure, the catch its like 680 each dose given at every chemo..OMMGG

Another new option is there is a drug offered to me last year for the OSA that was used in canada but was extremely pricey, good news is it is available to US now and the price and cancer cellular death is very similar to the doxirubicin with out the heart side effects, there is an increase in GI upset but that can be counteracted with meds.

So my plan:

I did 1more doxirubicin with the zenecord on 5-8-2015, and I plan to do some more research on the canadian chemo  Epirubicin, there are not any US studies but I will find out, since it should attach cells like the doxorubicin. If it all checks out I will start it in about 3 weeks.

I may still go down to th eU of I and see who I can convince to maybe to a combo of pallaltive radiation and curative or just increase the pallative. Apparently research shows that pallative does not attack microscopic cells as much as if the tumor was till whole and not removed . but the curative radiation was like 3300-4500, I about choked and thats at a teaching hospital. So I need to find a vet that is willing to look outside the box and offer me some non conventional treatments. Ie: extra pallaitive or mixing pallative doses with curative. With all her dx whats to loose, its gotta be better than doing nothing, especially when she still acts and looks perfectly healthy.  Doing nothing will be a sure end, trying with be left to fate and GOD.

In addition to all of the above she has other “lipomas” maybe about 3 of them are bigger than others located on her torsal, and one on her hind hip that one has also been there for 3 years.but now Im questioning their true nature, I was offered to have them FNA but right now I am torn because every other FNA except 1 has come back the opposite of what it was suppose to be. So hard to deside these life changing decisions. especially when everyting Im trying to find out always comes back wrong. It is very disappointing to have that feeling of everything being wrong when your trying sooo hard.

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15 month amazing news

well today we went in to have our labs rechecked and chest xrays.. And yaaayy!! God graced us with clean xrays!! the best news I could get. Neka is 15 month post amputation and about 16 months since suspect OSA. I did chicken out of the metronomic oral pill due to her reaction to the palladia. The Vet is amazed when I told him I had not started the meds, and though, Im sure he did not want to say it, he didn’t think shed make it. He said she has already exceeded expectations.

So to give a review July of 2014 she had a CT scan and found small lung mets only mm in size, so to monitor if growth occurs we do xray rechecks and so far, so good.. Im ecstatic!!

So that lump on her leg I mentioned in a prior post, that I was obsessed with,  has trippled in size since Jan…uug.. which is what I was afraid of. The oncologist is  also now concerned, I told him, remember back in Jan when I said I felt like it was growing, he took measurements and said it was the same from Nov and to just keep an eye on it.  (of course I had to rub it in a bit).. You see, my job consists of palpating and poking at things all day for 15yrs.. not to be conceited but, touch and palpation is my specialty and I obnoxiously poke at everything.lol. So now because it grew so fast hes concerned it could be tumorous..uug.. and the area its in could be difficult to get clean margins. but since the rest of her is so healthy we are going through with the surgery on Monday.. so a prayer, its just a bizarre benign mass. But as always with surgery, I get all freaked out. plus geez.. something so simple is so damn costly to remove.

my friend thinks I should start a “fundme” account, because I have dissolved all funds on her. Not to mention I will prob be needing to get her a wheelchair to help her conserve her joints because of her added remaining limbs of orthopedic issues, she can only stand and walk so far before needing to lay down right away. Its so much!!.. I wouldn’t change doing any of  it for the world.  But its very strange for me to “ask” for $$. Uug ..I don’t like that feeling..

Well heres a pic of Neka today, a clean xray update…

 

Today 4-1-15 my xrays are still clear!!

Today 4-1-15 my xrays are still clear!!

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