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Fionn's Journey
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Schofield, WI
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6 June 2017 - 5:59 am
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Awe beautiful Fionn I'm so sorry you're hurting!  Thank you for sharing the pictures I love looking at his face so full of expression! Hoping and praying you can get him comfortable with your onco's help.   You're just a great advocate for your handsome boy and I can just feel your love for him.  And you can use whichever bad words you want to when talking about the "c" word.  It's totally allowed!  Sending love and hugs!

Virginia
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6 June 2017 - 8:27 am
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Well said Nancy: "MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT AND NOT STOP JUST BECAUSE OF THE DIAGNOSIS"!!! And we can see from all your posts, I do want to point out that you have beeen doing exactly that beautifully already!! 🙂 🙂

Your loving commitment to doing what's in Fionn 's best interest, whatever that may be, comes shining through. Let's see what his Onco says and go from there.

In the meantime, get a spoon, a bowl, and go give Fionn a dish of his favorite flavored "ice cream".....err.....that would be Blue Bunny Poop Ice Cream!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sending lots of love

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!

London, UK
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6 June 2017 - 9:06 am
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I'm gutted to hear about this. Have always had a soft spot for Fionn and looked forward to your posts. You have such a great attitude, Nancy, and I love the way you are determined to celebrate and make the most of every moment together. Love the pic of Fionn at the wine and cheese do. His expression as he looks at the glass is just hilarious! Here's hoping the onco can get on top of the pain. In the meantime, as Sally says, spoiling and treats are the order of the day, and that goes for both of you!

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR
The Rainbow Bridge

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6 June 2017 - 9:26 am
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Nancy this just sucks, I'm really sorry. Yeah, it's pretty rare, I'd say he's only the third dog (maybe) who's been affected by it since we began the Forums. Is there any chance that you can see a pain management specialist? That could at least buy him more quality time if he's otherwise a happy boy. Other drug combos may help, and a pain specialist would know the magic ones to try for this condition.

Sending lots of love & hugs your way. Stay strong and remember that we are here for you. xoxo

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 June 2017 - 3:17 pm
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I am so sorry to hear this news, but you have truly done everything possible, including sharing great times together.   He knows that you love him, and he loves you, and that you will be with him until the very end.  Thinking about you.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Vacaville, California
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6 June 2017 - 6:04 pm
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Nancy I am so sorry to hear Fionn is in pain.  Hopefully your oncologist will have positive insights into pain management and anything else that can help.  You and Fionn are my ROCK STARS!!!!!!  So many people LOVE Fionn that I have to believe so many positive thoughts sent into the universe will help.  No matter what, FIonn knows that you love him unconditionally and will always do what is best for him!!!

All our love!!!

Gayle and Sessy

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

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7 June 2017 - 6:13 pm
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Ok, before I launch into a giant exhale of information, I have to share the AWESOME mini Tripawds meetup we had at UCD today! I was pm'ing Gayle, Sessy's mom last night (before I knew we were going to UCD) and who do I meet in the parking lot? GAYLE. She was dropping off Sessy for her 6th chemo! I met her new pup (name yet to be decided) a freaking adorable tiny black cocker. Later, in the waiting room, I saw this GORGEOUS GSD who was not so patiently waiting for an appt. His person called him Travis and I'm like, didn't I just read about a Travis on Tripawds last night? YES I DID. It was none other than Travis Ray and his dad Ralph coming in for his experimental chemo! We even met at the Nor Cal meetup and I didn't recognize him (embarrassingly I think we are standing next to each other in the group pictureway-confused). So great to be surrounded by the Tripawd Nation at this time. Oh, and I met a woman whose pup was in for a followup. Her dog has survived OSA for THREE years! Good vibes all around 🙂

So here's what we know and are planning so far for Fionn. I got a call last night from our onco and she was able to fit him in today at UCD for an injection of biophosphonate (an osteoporosis drug sometimes used to combat bone pain in osteosarcoma dogs who do not get amputation). We were working under the assumption that my regular vet called it right and it was confirmed, he has HO or hypertrophic osteopathy, a syndrome caused by his lung mets. 

They reviewed his xrays and found 2 smaller lung mets that my regular vet missed that are new since the last xray in Feb. His original met has grown some as well, BUT, none of them are bothering him and they are shocked there are so few. It seems as if the cancer is growing very slowly (he was given 1-2 months back in Feb). Who knows if that is playing a part in the onset of this rare syndrome? The simple fact that the cancer has sat there long enough to bring this on? So, on one hand, we have the good news that, as of right now, his cancer is not immediately going to give him his wings, but the bad news is he is in pain. And it is likely in all 3 legs (we did not bother to xray the others but he is a bit swollen and painful on the back legs too). UCD has ONE other dog with HO right now and very little past experience to go on either- its that rare. They treated that dog with biophosphonate too and the dog had really good results. So, statistically, they have a 100% success rate, lol! At any rate,there are no risks to this injection so it's worth a try. They gave him a boatload of meds too. For those of you utilizing a regular vet for care, I will say most do not have the training or knowledge in pain management. The onco has Fionn on 200mg tramadol every 8 hrs, 300mg gabapentin 3x day, and a new drug Amantadine 100mg 1x day. It is a "people" drug I have to get filled at a regular pharmacy. It is an antiviral and parkinsons medication that has the odd affect in dogs as a pain killer. It can cause tummy upsets, so we are starting him off slowly. In addition, I already give him turmeric paste I make, CBD capsules and K9 Immunity. All of these "alternative" medications (which my regular vet poo poos) say they have anti cancer properties. Can I say for sure- no, but could they be the reason Fionn's still with us? Maybe.

In addition, she is suggesting we reconsider more chemo. The only way to actually directly treat the HO is to get rid of the cause which, in his case, is the lung mets. She isn't expecting to cure him, but she is thinking that if the growth is disrupted, we may be able to see an improvement in the HO and his pain. Back in February I said we were DONE, but I fully expected Fionn would get his wings months ago. But, his journey has taken quite the left turn now and I think it's worth a shot. So, next week he goes in for a dose of Doxyrubicin. Palladia was also discussed, but she feels there is less chance of side effects with Doxy. We are working way outside the box here so there is no real concrete evidence any of it will work. Since Fionn still has A LOT of life left in him (dragged the vet tech almost out the door, then saw my daughter and lost his ever loving mind) I will give this a try.

If you read any of my previous posts, you may remember that an anonymous donor offered to help pay for Fionn's treatments back in Feb. I was overwhelmed with gratitude (and spent quite a bit of time crying in my car), but had already chosen not to continue treatments. Well, UCD contacted them and they STILL want to help! I cannot tell you what a relief this is, but I can say that knowing the financial help was there tipped the scales in my decision to proceed. We will see how he does with this injection and then see how the first round of Doxy goes. The onco said if we don't see any improvement, we will just stop there. Again to the AMAZING person (from here or FB or?) who made this offer I offer up my humble and eternal thanks. I will be forever grateful and will do my best to pass it forward in the future!

Here's a video of Fionn getting his post injection yogurt treat. Please also see my previous post for obvious proof that his appetite is unaffected (evidenced by his snatching a cheeseburger and almost taking my arm with it!). I do not understand dogs who don't like treats. I tired treating a bunch of dogs today and none of them would take it! A golden retriever who won't eat is for SURE sick! He's sleeping the sleep of the drugged right now. I am contemplating a glass of wine and an early night myself.

Thanks for listening!

Nancy and Fionnheart

Nancy- mom to the FABULOUS Fionn. He rescued me in 2015 when he was 6. 

Right front leg amputation at age 7 for osteosarcoma 10/6/16. Taken too soon 6/12/17. Read about our journey here:

http://fionnsjo.....pawds.com/

Virginia
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7 June 2017 - 6:50 pm
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A 100% SUCCESS RATE is still a SUCCESS RATE , no matter how many participate in the equation!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Nan y, I can "hear" the relief in your vpice and the rone of hope that goes along with it!! And the fact that it was clearly TRIPAWD DAY at UCD spunds like 100% successful day!!! You vot to meet TRAVIS RAY and SESSY, a d they got to meet you!!! WOW!! 🙂

Thanks for sharing all the protocol information. It sounds like more rime for treats and cheeseburgers are in Fionn 's future!!! :-):-):-) We all have our paws crossed for more successes coming your way!! 🙂

Lpts of love ad extra yogurt!!

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 June 2017 - 9:18 am
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I am so glad I waited until I could focus and take in every word of your post. WOW!

First, I love that the Universe lined up the Tripawds reunion at Davis. While nobody wants to have to go there for treatment, it's just SO cool that you were all there to support one another, and to get inspired by that three-year osteo survivor. What a day! How I wish we could have been there to experience the fun. Oh and I can totally picture Travis and Ralph in the waiting area, too funny. Today is his human momma's birthday, I can't wait to hear about the reunion!

Now, about the bisphosphonates treatment... that's exciting. We have our paws crossed it helps. Thank you for sharing all of the onco's recommendations for the HO condition. I want to get this all into a blog post so we can refer folks to it if we have to in the future (oh gosh how I hope not, but...)

And about...

For those of you utilizing a regular vet for care, I will say most do not have the training or knowledge in pain management.

Pain management protocols are always evolving each year. Unless a general practice vet stays up on the latest protocols (our Fairy Vet Mother here, Dr. Pam, is one who does, she's great!), you are absolutely right. I love that your onco was able to prescribe a regiment that should help Fionn. Amantadine is a drug that Dr. Pam and pain expert Dr. Mike Petty discuss in these Tripawds News blog posts about pain management for amputees.

I must have missed your mention of the mystery donor in your previous posts, but all I can say is WOW. The heart of this community never stops amazing me, what a beautiful gift! How wonderful that Fionn has the spunk and energy to fight on and show others that there is always hope! We are thrilled for you guys and hope that things continue to get brighter and better each and every day. Keep us posted OK? We send lots of love to you and Fionn!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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9 June 2017 - 7:34 pm
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Fionn is sadly not showing any improvement in his pain. While he manages to get up to eat (still eager to chow down thankfully), he is reluctant to do much else. Going potty is much like it was right after surgery- a real struggle to get him up and out of the house. Once he gets going, it seems a bit easier. He LOVES to roll in the grass, and just throws himself down. Since the amputation, he prefers to flop onto his left side- the side with his now bad leg. Every time he tried it he yelps :(. If he goes down on the amputation side he's fine. He got his second dose of amantadine today. The vet is worried about GI upsets with this so we are doing 1 pill a day now and if he tolerates it (which he seems to be) then he can get 2 a day. I'm supposed to wait for 5 days, but I may start sooner. What the hell right?

Last night I tried to research how long the biophosphonate usually takes to work, but again, there is little info on it's use for HO, especially in dogs. It is almost a miracle drug when given to people with the same condition, but again, I could find no mention of how long it takes. I so want to see it work for Fionn, but I have resigned myself to the fact it might not and am prepared to make the final decision. The onco said if it doesn't work by Mon it isn't going to so that's my cutoff. He has no quality of life right now. 

Fionn is my 4th golden and 3rd rescue. When our first one Sona passed we put a picture of her in a frame that says "Good Dog" and she was. It became a running joke in later years (when I had 2 very young, very active goldens at the same time) that the 2 youngins were being held to Sona's very high standards or they would not get a turn in the good dog frame. Today I told Fionn he gets the frame. Of all my dogs in my life he truly IS the best one. Funny that I've had him less than 2 years, but he's captured my heart for sure. I told him not to tell the others when he sees them at the bridge! Well, he can tell Cooper because Coop knows he was not getting in that frame ever. That one made a point of it!

Nancy and the always fabulous Fionnheart

Nancy- mom to the FABULOUS Fionn. He rescued me in 2015 when he was 6. 

Right front leg amputation at age 7 for osteosarcoma 10/6/16. Taken too soon 6/12/17. Read about our journey here:

http://fionnsjo.....pawds.com/

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12 June 2017 - 9:29 am
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Fionn earned his wings yesterday. If any dog deserves to be an angel, it was certainly Fionn. The infusion did not work and he was unable to get around due to the pain. His last day was spent being loved, eating steak and ice cream and rolling one last time in his favorite spot. He went peacefully to the bridge from that very spot. I will post more when my heart is not breaking so badly and I can keep the keyboard dry.

Nancy- mom to the FABULOUS Fionn. He rescued me in 2015 when he was 6. 

Right front leg amputation at age 7 for osteosarcoma 10/6/16. Taken too soon 6/12/17. Read about our journey here:

http://fionnsjo.....pawds.com/

Vacaville, California
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12 June 2017 - 9:50 am
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Awwww Nancy we are sending you big hugs....and lots of them.  I've been checking your forum all weekend hoping for a miracle.  Bless you for being able to recognize it was time no matter how hard the decision........and bless you for being such a good mom to Fionn.  Fionn was such a special furbaby and loved by all!!!  I feel so blessed to have been able to see Fionn again last week at UCD.  It's amazing the connections we have with our babies and always will have!!!

Please let me know if you need anything!!  What picture of Fionn are you putting in the Good Dog frame.....you may need to buy more Good Dog frames to accommodate all the great pictures you have of him.

Love Gayle and Sessy

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

Orange County, CA
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12 June 2017 - 10:26 am
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I'm so sorry to hear Fionn has gone on.  I met Fionn briefly at the last NorCal Tripawds meet-up.  I say briefly, because we were caught in traffic and came to the party quite late.  But in my brief time with your boy, I saw what a gentle soul he was.  A very good looking boy too!  And I can confirm the posts you've made about his appetite!  smiley  Fionn loved treats and he got plenty that day!!  Sending hugs to you!  Thank you for sharing your boy with all of us!

London, UK
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12 June 2017 - 10:36 am
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Nancy, my heart goes out to you. I am just so, so sorry. Your love for Fionn and your dedication to his wellbeing has shone from your very first post. This was a truly loving transition, peaceful and in his favourite place with his tummy full of steak and ice cream, you released him from pain and allowed his spirit to run free and whole once more. He will always, always be close in your heart. The bond you shared is unbreakable, but I know how terribly this hurts. There was nothing more you could have done, no greater love you could have shown him. Please take good care of yourself and know that we are all grieving with you.

Sending love,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR
The Rainbow Bridge

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12 June 2017 - 12:50 pm
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I wish there were proper words to describe our sadness, Nancy. Please know we are with you in your grief and stand strong in honor of Fionn so that you may lean on us.

Sorry just doesn't do justice to the heavy emotions I feel right now. But it's all I've got at the moment. Your boy was and always will be an inspiration to every single Tripawd parent looking for hope while fighting cancer. Fionn was an angel on earth. And now he is always a heavenly spirit in our hearts.

We send many condolences your way. Write when you feel strong enough, we will be here. xoxoxoxo

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