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has anyone done chemo BEFORE amputation-- HELP- surgery tomorrow~~ | Presentation and Diagnosis

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has anyone done chemo BEFORE amputation-- HELP- surgery tomorrow~~
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6 March 2018 - 9:11 pm
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Dharma has surgery for tomorrow to remove her front leg. I explored palliative care-- radiation, chemo and bisphosphonates -- with her last treatment 4 weeks ago. Is there anyone who had done chemo before amputation?

any helpful advice? tomorrow is the big day and I am beside myself with worry. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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6 March 2018 - 9:53 pm
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Hello deerjen, I'm in the Tripawds chat room for a few minutes if you want to talk.

I'm curious why you're wondering about chemo before amputation? Did your vet recommend it? Sometimes chemo is done beforehand but not too often, it depends on the situation (cancer type, grade, etc.).

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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7 March 2018 - 8:43 am
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Well hello again! 

Don't forget the deep breaths!  This is when you need ro really take a minute to B R E A T H E.....B R E A T H E.....inhale slooowly....exhale sloowly.

If I recall, the chemo was done as a treatment plan when you were pursuing other options that didn't involve amputation.  Now whether that means itsw an option for Dharma after amputation is something you'll need to discuss with your Onco.  As you know, there are no guarantees either way.

You've done your homework and the Vets have done all the work-up.  You are doing everything possible ro give Dharma a chance at a pain free life!

We're right here by your side so stay connected!!!   And, as you k ow, the HELPLINE is available to help pull you back from the edge!!  We're all very familiar with heading over the edge wuite often around here!

Hang in there and update when you can!

Lots of hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA
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7 March 2018 - 8:49 am
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It was good to meet you in chat last night!  I hope we were able to at least allow you to get good rest last night!

As I said last night- good luck today and please keep us posted!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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7 March 2018 - 9:25 am
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We did!!! Shelby was a few months into her chemo protocol / treatment before we decided her leg indeed did need to come off. We worked with her oncologist and timed it in the middle of her treatments (her treatments were every three weeks). We had no delay in treatments due to the amputation.

The only minor issue we experienced was that Shelby was slightly anemic and she needed a transfusion. 

But, while not ideal, there were no negative effects due to doing it this way.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions! 

Good luck!!!

Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little Jasper too) 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Virginia
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7 March 2018 - 10:01 am
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Thanks Alison AND shelby Lynne!!  That girl is still having an impact...very nice! 🙂

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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7 March 2018 - 4:10 pm
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benny55 said
Thanks Alison AND shelby Lynne!!  That girl is still having an impact...very nice! 🙂  

I have a Maltese with mast cell tumor on shoulder. Originally not a surgical candidate. We did radiation and chemo then amputation. I knew he would be fine 3 legs. I had him stay in the Hosp for a week after. If you can afford it, do that,  he got it meds and great care there. Now we are doing Palladia. I have no regrets except missing it in the first place. 

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7 March 2018 - 5:28 pm
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Thank you all for being so supportive last night and sharing!! I feel better knowing that chemo won't affect the healing process if it is in between treatments. I am a month since her 4th one so it should not be an issue. Hearing others confirm that they also dealt with it HELPS so much with all the fears and self-inflicted worry and guilt about not doing things right. I have tortured myself with second guessing, others' opinions and doubt. This forum is a massive relief.

Dharma surgery was today-- apparently it went well and she is in the hospital. They recommended 3 nights. I dont know whether to visit, or leave her be...I hate thinking she is in a foreign place with people she doesn't know. But it is so much easier for me to let her heal so I can prepare for her to be home. I am doing this solo and live in the heart of NYC so I am worried about how I will manage it all.

All your anecdotes and advice and experience means so much to me, especially right now as I am facing a new chapter...

Virginia
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7 March 2018 - 6:05 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY!   SURGERY IS DONE AND DHARMA IS RESRING WELL!!   She'll be seeing pink elephants tonight and I to the morning, so you get soem REALLY good rest, okay?   In her druggy fog she probably thinks she's home resring in bed next to you anyway!

And remember....those "others" have NOT done your research and do NOT have the information you and your Vet have!  And they certainly don't have the support and knowledge of your new tripawd family who understand what's involved in this journey better than anyone can!   Yes, they are well-intentioned, just uninformed.

You know your Dharma better than anyone.  Some choose not to visit, some do.  Some dogs get too wired when you leave, some are comforted and react positively. 

I was "solo" with my Happy Hannah as I had not foundd this site yet.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  You have a family on standby waiting to answer any wuestions and pull you back from the edge if you start getting too close!!

Lots of hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia
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7 March 2018 - 6:09 pm
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http://tripawds.....hemo-work/

Hey Atticus!  Just went back and re-read your first post.  Tha ks for chiming in here.  Would love to see an update on her thread when you can.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA
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7 March 2018 - 9:42 pm
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For me and my dogs I would not visit them in the hospital if they were in for one, two or three nights.  I have not been faced with deciding for a longer stay.  While it is hard for me to stay away I think it would be more disruptive for me to visit and then leave them again.  I know they are in good hands and hopefully getting good rest.  And at least the first night or two after surgery they are really doped up and out of it.

You made the best decisions for Dharma with the information you had.  Don't second guess at this point- honestly you will never know what would have happened if you made different decisions.  You love Dharma and are doing your best- hang on to that.  Remember you have to be strong and positive when Dharma comes home so she knows everything will be OK.  If you need to vent come here- if you need a little break down time I found the shower a good place smiley

And here is the result of a blog search on 'traction'. Paw Friction is the first two- you might look into that product if Dharma has slipping issues between your apartment and elevator.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Los Angeles, CA
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8 March 2018 - 8:49 am
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I was also on this journey solo as all get out !!! Except for this community, my local community of LA was pretty much obsolete. I did go visit Shelby as I had on all her other surgeries but it was not hard on her for me to leave at the end. She LOVED her vets and honestly, she ate better there than at home (I always said she got her money's worth!!!). But you know Dharma best and if staying away is better for her, then perhaps that is the decision.

I will say - get your rest while you are at home. While dogs do adapt well to being a tripawd, it is akin, I guess, to bringing a baby home...(again, wouldn't know that as I have no kids but it's what I was told). Shelby was high as a kite on painkillers and some made her slightly manic. Stay in touch with us and your vets (we - for the most part - are not vets). But we are a great support system!

Hugs!!! You are definitely NOT alone!

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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8 March 2018 - 10:23 am
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thank you for sharing!! anything I should have on hand when she gets home? I am prepping for her to come back on Saturday and found a place upstate so I can avoid the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for the first few days. The sideways and pedestrians just would be too much. 

I heard from the vet that she ate a bit but will not get up after trying once and not feeling she could hold her balance. Bearing witness to that struggle must be so hard and I am scared for how I will react to it. 

A tee shirt, some good food, any other essentials? thank you all!!

Virginia
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8 March 2018 - 12:39 pm
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Dharma is very drugged up and quite woozy.  It's perfectly normal for her not to be doi g jumping  jacks right now and to not want to eat!   So no worries there,'okay?

You already k ow about traction and maybe raised food bowls, right?   A good dog bed that's not too squishy....one that's firm enough to support her joints and to not wiggle around when she tries to stand!

Some soothing music, maybe some calming candles.  CHOCOLATE for you!!

Recognize this IS major surgery, she will jave pain meds in her system and she is adjusting to walking on three legs.  So a bit of a struggle to get up, or a face pla t or two...nothing to freak out about.  It is sooooo IMPORTANT to convey a STRONG AND CONFIDENT energy and pack leader mentality!!   Stay light-hearted  with a "you've got this Dharma girl" attitude!

IF you and the Vet think it's a good idea a d it will BENEFIT Dharma (and not stress her), maybe you could go see her Friday and take some yummy food.  Bei g happy to see you may motivate her st stand with help (or without).  It may also be reassuring for you so you can see thst she IS doing okay and you CAN handle the recovery!

Remember, be upbeat if you go and don't draw her attention to the incision.  She just want s to see yiur smiling face 🙂

And you've got us to help you, okay???

Extra hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 March 2018 - 12:48 pm
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Oh I'm so happy she's almost home! Did you see 

The Tripawds Recovery Shopping List

Lots of great tips there.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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