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Lily’s Long-Term Bone Cancer Survivor Story

Hoppy Valentine’s Day everypawdy! Today we want to spread the love, by sharing an amazing story about a three-year canine osteosarcoma survivor named Lily. Read on to hear how this amazing girl has beaten the odds.

Osteosarcoma survivor LilyAnd remember, if you have a long-term bone cancer survivor yourself, contact us to share it. Tell us about your Tripawd, and give hope to pawrents who are just starting their own three-legged journey.

Lily’s Loving Life for 3 Years and Counting
by Kim Johnsen 

“Lily came into our lives on January 31 2007 at only 3 days old. I remember being so excited when my vet asked me if I would be willing to foster 5 puppies whose mother hadn’t been able to care for them.

Osteosarcoma survivor LilyIt wasn’t until February 14 (Valentine’s Day) that I convinced my husband that I “needed” to keep the little runt of the litter. We named her Lily.

Lily ended up being the greatest dog, she loved everyone and everything she met. It was during the first part of February of 2009 that I took Lily to the vets for the second time complaining of a limp.

It was discovered in her x-rays that Lily had osteosarcoma (a bone cancer) she was only two years old.

I was told that once the cancer is detected it has most likely already spread and her chances of survival were not good. Through everything I had read said that at her age Lily probably had 6 months to a year to live. Discussions with her doctor led us to amputate Lily’s leg making her life more comfortable and less painful.

Osteosarcoma survivor LilyBut here we are approaching the spring of 2012 with Lily by our side. She has been such an inspiration to many and has never lost her love for life!

Lily loves playing Frisbee and is a pro at it. She loves going for rides, playing with her adopted brother and she is a fantastic swimmer who even loves jumping off the dock into the water.”

Has your Tripawd beaten the odds for a year or longer? If so, contact us today so we can share your hero’s long-term survivor story with the Tripawds community.

29 Responses to “Lily’s Long-Term Bone Cancer Survivor Story”

  1. Eydie Shypulski May 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    My beautiful dog, Max, (7 years old) was just diagnosed with osteocarcoma this past Monday. I am so glad to find this site and to see the picture of Lily! We had x-rays done on Friday and it looks like the cancer has not spread to his lungs and so he is scheduled to see the vet on Tuesday to discuss plans to have his front left leg amputated. So many people are telling me that it is selfish and wrong to put him through this. But I know in my heart that I have to do everything I can for him because he still has so much living to do! I am SOOO encouraged by your stories. If I don’t do anything, his pain will only increase and he will only have a few months. If I am proactive, then he could be another survivor. Please keep him in your prayers. And I will keep you all in mine. Thanks!

    • Best wishes for Max’s speedy recovery! Anyone saying your decision is selfish simply doesn’t get it. Be sure to post in the forums for plenty of advice and support from others.

    • mcheneyville May 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Eydie,

      Please read my posts about my 8 year old Golden Retriever, Gus. Gus had his left front leg amputated 7 weeks ago. I don’t exaggerate when I say that Gus can do everything he did before the surgery – and better, because he is not in pain.

      We had a lot of negative feedback when we decided on the amputation – I think we all do. I was unsure myself, but I listened to the advice of my vet and LILY! I’m so glad I did. We gave Gus some wonderful time – oh and of course, some wonderful time for us as well.

      Best of luck to you, whatever your decision. Check in here regularly – it has helped me so much.

      Michelle

      • Hi Michelle,

        Thanks so much! We have decided to go ahead with the amputation and I feel strong about our decision. We were fortunate to get Max involved in a study at the University of Minnesota where they will be boosting his immune system along with this treatment. He started the medication yesterday. He has two more appointments and then he is scheduled for his amputation a week from Friday.

        I am so happy to hear that Gus is doing so well after his surgery. It is so very encouraging.

        Can you tell me about his first few days after the amputation? I am worried about stairs and pain management. Max is 125 pounds and has a little arthritis in one of his back legs.

        Peace,
        Eydie 🙂

      • Hi Eydie,

        I’m glad you feel good about deciding to have the surgery for Max. That’s great about the immunity-boosting addition to the treatment. Gus has had some “neutropenic” (low white blood count) issues following chemo treatments, but is doing well.

        We purchased one of the carrier/sling products from this site, to assist Gus until he could get around on his own – but we never used it! For the first 3 or 4 days, we simply used a large beach towel under his belly as a sling, to help him navigate up and down the stairs to our home. Then one day, while waiting for us to get towel, he carefully went down himself. After that, no looking back. Max is 60 lbs heavier than Gus…you’d need to be sure you can handle that, or if you would need the added support of an abdominal sling-type carrier.

        Within the first 10 days to 2 weeks, Gus could do almost all of his pre-surgery activities. He could even dig holes, balancing carefully on his back legs and digging like crazy. He even used the “arm” that was no longer there, just circling his shoulder.

        I hope this answers your questions, and I encourage you to ask anything else you have on your mind. I”m going to mark my calendar for the 18th, and watch for your udpates.

        Very best of luck to you and Max.

        Your friends,
        Michelle and Gus

    • Hi Eydie and Max. I’m glad things are moving along and going well. Please keep us updated on Max. I know I’m a little late replying but Lily was a little depressed and uncomfortable for about a week. She also had a very hard time with pooping but the vet said that was normal and things got back to normal within a week. By two weeks she was her same silly self and as fast as ever. Best of luck Max you are in our thoughts.

    • Ava a german shorthaired pointed only 4 years old she had her back leg removed April 8th 2014 I was told prognosis 5 mths without cemo and 6-9 with . she had been in pain for several months as a diagnosis was proving difficult. Only when the leg was taken there was a complete diagnosis and was told that by the time a tumour was found cancer would already be in the blood I was devastated . we had decided she had been through enough for the matter of a few extra months and over 18 weeks she would be on cemo and would possibly be unwell . so my friend had given her rotti which had been diagnosed years ago who also already had tumours a product called essiac which boosts the immune system also in human form for cancer sufferers and has been proven to shrink tumours. My friends dog was only given afew weeks she had it re x rayed after 6 months the small tumours had gone and the large were shrunk by half the product is essiac .So I am giving her one essiac breakfast and evening meal 2 flexi joint from health span and 3 multi vitamin from health span. She has more energy and runs just as fast her original scan was in march and nothing was found. Essiac comes from Canada I am in Suffolk England for her weight up to 50lb it has cost me £140.00 with customs . there is enough for 90 days hope this will help you

      • Thanks for sharing Ava’s story, Sue. May she have many hoppy years ahead. Come share her story for Tripawd Tuesday, we’d love to publish more about your pack. Click on one of these features for details:

        http://tripawds.com/tag/tripawd-tuesday

      • Could you please let me know how the Rottweiler is doing from the 6 mo point you stated in your story? Did the dogs tumors continue to shrink with the Essiac? Was surgery ever done? I would like to hear more as I just found out today that my lab of 5 1/2 years has cancer in her leg. The limp started in Feb and we had x-ray taken but didn’t look like cancer. It’s been getting bigger over the last month so today we had another x-ray and it’s pretty bad. I am wondering how the Rottweiler did cause my baby needs something. Thanks

      • Gwen we are sorry to hear about your pup. Please Start Here for more information about bone cancer and life on three legs, then hop over to our Discussion Forums for lots of help from our amazing community OK?

  2. Jack Jorgensen April 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    My Rottweiler, Jorge, developed an osteosarcoma in her right eye socket at the age of 4. Her prognosis was not good: in our veterinarian’s database at the time, there had been 28 cases on the continent prior to this one and only two survived for one year after the surgery. We decided to have the eye and some of the bone around the eye socket removed. Although it was at first dreadful to see her with half her face shaved bald and with 200 stitches sowing her together, she recovered in a matter of days and survived for another ten years. 14 years for a Rottie is good by any measure…but it wouldn’t have mattered. Saving her was the best thing we ever did. Plus, we eventually got used to seeing the little tan dot where her eye used to be…it was like a never-ending wink.

    She would have done the same and more for me…

    • Awwww! Bless you for knowing your dog better than anyone else, what a fantastic story! 14 years is amazing. Thank you for sharing this fabulous story with us.

    • What a wonderful story. Statistics are just numbers waiting to be changed. I am so glad I did not determine Lily’s fate on statistics because like Lily, Jorge and many others we are changing those numbers for other pawrents!!!

  3. I left Gus, my best friend Golden Retriever, at the hospital today to have his left front leg amputated in the morning; he was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I’ve been so worried about my decision; in fact, I have been seriously thinking about driving the 100 miles to the hospital to bring him home before the surgery.

    I’m so happy I found Lily’s story. I feel more confident that I’m doing what’s best for Gus.

    Good luck to you and the pretty pup of yours!

    • We hope he’s doing well. I’m sorry about the diagnosis but as you can see here, many dogs beat those odds. Hang in there, things DO get better! Join us in our Discussion Forums where you’ll find lots of support from pawrents who’ve been there.

    • Sending best wishes to you and Gus. I felt exactly the same way when we took our 11 yr old, Daisy in last week. Hang in there – it gets a little better every day.

    • I share Lily’s story so others will consider all options. It is very scary but there are so many happy dogs out there with three legs that I’m sure are grateful they got another chance. Gus, you are in our thoughts and we hope you’re feeling better.
      Kim and Lily.

      • I’m so glad I found this site, and got enough encouragement to go through with Gus’ surgery. It’s been 12 days since his left front leg was amputated, and he’s doing great. He was kind of slow to perk up at first, but we’ve had several really good days. Yesterday, while he was laying out in the yard watching the ducks float down the bayou, he suddenly jumped up and chased a cat across the yard! It wasn’t a pretty chase, but I loved it! Chemo starts next week. We’re up to it.

      • Just an update, but first i want to say i’ve gotten help from the encouragement on this site. thanks!

        my first post, on march 13, was the day i left gus, my 8 yr old golden retriever, at the hospital to have his left front leg amputated.

        so much has happened! gus has learned to run, chase, dig holes, swim, and wrestle with my other dogs. he’s not in pain from the osteosarcoma any longer, so he’s happier and even acts puppy-ish!

        they tell me we won’t have gus much longer, just a few months….but from what i’ve seen, i believe anything is possible, and maybe he’ll beat the odds.

        and good luck to jorge!

  4. Thank you for sharing and praying for many more wonderful years with Lily.

  5. Hearing longevity stories is soooo encouraging for those of us who are new to the tripawd family. Continued health and happiness!

    Wags and Slobbers
    Judy and Baby

  6. Congratulations Lily!!! My Charley, a chocolate lab, was also 2 when diagnosed with OSA and he is a front leg amp too! We are at 15 months and counting and would love to follow in Lily’s pawprints! Here’e to many many many more years of ampuversaries and celebrations!
    Hugs and chocolate labby kisses,
    Ellen & Charley

    • Hello,
      my 2 year old doberman/rotti layla just had her leg amputated 2 weeks ago she was also diagnosed with OSA. She is doing well. I was just wondering if anyone choose to follow up with Chemo treatment. As Layla is staring chemo in a week. Thanks for the stories it really gives me hope and helps me stay positive.

      Carlee and Layla

      • Carlee, good luck with Layla. You will find LOTS of stories about chemo and other therapies in our Discussion Forums, please visit us there. We look forward to seeing you OK? Hugs to Layla!

      • Hi Carlee,

        Gus, my 8 yr old golden retriever, begins chemo next week, after the amputation of his left front leg 12 days ago. I feel good about the decision…read lots about it on this site, and elsewhere. I’d love to hear how Layla does, and I’ll update you on Gus. Best wishes to you, Michelle and Gus

      • hi carlee,

        i want to know what you decided about chemo. gus had his first treatment almost three weeks ago, and will have his second (of five) on monday.

        it was as if nothing happened. he was perfectly happy, and felt perfectly well. as soon as we got home, he ate a big bowl of food, drank of ton of water, and took a long nap!

        hope all is well.

        michelle

  7. We love you Kathy and are so thankful that you were with Lily through her surgery and so SO much more.

  8. I know Lily and her beauty and strength are astounding! She has been so lucky to find such a loving home where she has “parents” that take such wonderful care of her! <3 <3

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