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any experience with a second round of chemo--this time Doxorubicin? | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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any experience with a second round of chemo--this time Doxorubicin?
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27 September 2017 - 3:19 pm
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Our Lucy had a good summer, finishing her first chemo regime at the end of June (6 doses of carboplatin). Her chest X-ray was clear then so we decided to give her the summer off.  Last week we had her three month check-in and an X-ray revealed the first lung metastasis, about 1.6 cm, but no other.  Her oncologist recommended another 6 treatments, this time of doxorubicin.  

We went ahead and did the first yesterday, a day after finding out about the lung mets. But I am frankly second-guessing this approach now.  I've looked on the site and tried to find information about second courses of chemo and whether they are really worth it in terms of increased life time and quality of life.  Lucy has been happy and energetic, right up to this chemo treatment yesterday.  Would we be better off calling it quits on chemo and just letting what happens, happens, with palliative care when needed--or is a second round of chemo really justified?  (The clinic we go to is nearby and competent but to me it seems they always push for more, more more treatment.)

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27 September 2017 - 4:38 pm
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Whether it's the first round, second or even third round, I think chemo is a personal decision with no real right or wrong answer. If the carboplatin was effective and the oncologist is optimistic about the doxorubicin, I'd definitely consider it though. I'm assuming Lucy didn't have any issues with the carboplatin?

Our situation was different, but Rocky wound up having three (sort of) rounds of chemo. He had had 5/6 of his carboplatin when his cancer started to spread. We went with Palladia after that, which worked for about a month. We had just started Leukeran and something else (it began with an M) when the cancer got into one of his back legs. 

I don't have any regrets trying a second course of chemo. I just wish it had worked better for us. 

David and Rocky

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

Virginia
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27 September 2017 - 5:37 pm
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http://tripawds.....;include=1

CONGRATULATIONS ON EIGHT FANTASTIC MONTHS...SO FAR....WE'RE CHEERING FOR MANY, MANY MORE!!

As Rocky's dad said, it's auch a personal decision a d TRULY with NO guarantees one way another!  Metronomics, palladia, all sorts of optio s out there once mets are discovered.  And btw, great that Lucy is symptom free!!

Here's a link yiu can muccle through and you will see a lotnof diverse options and opinions, from holistic, to chemo, to good nutrw and lots of love.  ABSOLUTELY NO WRONG ANSWER!!

It really depends on so many variables as well as knowing yourself and your dog very well.

I'll share my thought process with my Happy Hannah, and others will share theirs.  And again, NO RIGHT OR WRONG!!

She sailed through her chemo.

She really didn't mind car rides or trips to the Vet.

I was avle to schedule each of her treatments so that I was able to wait for her and it wasn't a scenario where I dropped her off all day and picked her up in the evening.

Now, all that said, I made a decision at that point that there would be no more poking and prodding, etc.  IF and when she developed mets I would deal with it then.

When she did develop mets (and I did no I terval xrays at that point) and symptoms were starti g to show a little, I did do metronimics for a couple of weeks, but she developed a UTI so I stopped.

We were having sooooo much fun duri g all that time after her original chemo...no vet vistis....no tests.....just living life to the fullest and making each day count!!!  As much as she did not mi d carrides and vet trips, I could tell that there was more bounce in her step...no exhaustion after a trip to the Vet, etc.   Not sure how to describe it...it was subtle.

Now, for me.....And this was just me.....I k ew if I didn't pursue any additional treatments that involved Vet trips or. needles, etc, I would NOT second guess myself!  And I never did!!   For me, with the original rounds of carbo, I k ew I WOULD second guess myself if I didnt try.

And not doing a "treatment" is still a treatment...it's still a plan of action.  And yes, sithout question, some Oncos believe in more, more,  more, etc.

I basically relied on my regular Vet for over almost forty years.  No, he wasn't an Onco and didnt pretend to be.  Vut he knew me, my Happy Hannah and my fincances.

When it did eventually come to "palliative" care with Happy Hannah, Prednisone, some tramadol every now and then and ice crram and steak kept her happy and content for lots more spoiling and loving.

Please know that there are many others who have gone to additional lengeths are a very content with their choices and outcomes!!! EUrydice's mom...which is in the link I gave you....threw pretty much everything at the liece of crap disease and she was pleased with her choices.

No matter what, have a conversation with Lucy!!   Really!  You may already know the answer she will give you.

Sending lots of love

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

PS.  Per her Onco, Happy Hannah's protocol for osteo was amputation and four rounds of Carboplatin

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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27 September 2017 - 5:52 pm
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Thanks to you both, Rocky's Dad and benny55.   It is really, really helpful to hear from those who have "been there" and are at peace with different decisions. I have felt particularly at sea because I don't think our regular vet gets it. 

What I am leaning to now is this: one more doxorubicin treatment in 3 weeks if she tolerates this first one ok. (Sounds like tomorrow will be the hump day for this, so wait and see).  The oncologist wants to X-ray again at 6 weeks--so do that, and if this met is growing or others have popped up, end the chemo and just let Lucy enjoy whatever life she has left.  She is still a joyous dog, and like all of you, I just want as many happy days for her as possible.

I haven't posted much after the first month, and I don't want anyone to think I am not grateful.  This website and community have made all the difference since the diagnosis last January and amputation February 1.  The Tripawds community is truly a godsend.  Thank you!

Virginia
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27 September 2017 - 6:08 pm
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For foodness sakes!  You do NOT need ro apologize for not bei g on the site!!  THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR DOG OR CAT!!!!   EVERYTHING ELSE CAN WAIT!!! 🙂

Everyone here understands nyour devotion to Licy!  We all know family and friends who would never even think of going to the "extremes" (in their minds, not ours) that we have!  So we all understand each other very well here and why we do what we do.

You have laid out a well thought out EXCELLENT plan for Lucy that sounds very doable!!   Just getting a plan devised and moving forward eliminates a lot of "stress". 

Keep js posted!  And we would loooove some pictures...HINT!

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!

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27 September 2017 - 6:56 pm
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I think you've got a good plan. 

If more mets show up or the current one keeps growing, it's reasonable to assume the doxorubicin isn't working. You can either move on  to Plan C or focus on keeping Lucy comfortable. And that's really a personable decision. I wouldn't fault you either way. 

Fingers crossed the doxorubicin works. 

David and Rocky

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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27 September 2017 - 7:26 pm
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Lucy looking nobleImage Enlarger

THANKS Sally and David.

I am embarrassed to say that I have been reading for about an hour on how to upload photos, with no actual success at doing so! But I hope to get a few images of Lucy on the site soon.  UPDATE--HERE IS ONE AT LAST!

Virginia
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27 September 2017 - 8:21 pm
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She's absolutely gorgeous!!!   This is a beautiful picture!  Lucy just enjoying the bliss of communing with Nature!! 🙂

And for the record, I had to have others post my photos and videos of my Hapoy Hannah for months and mo ths because  I didn't know how!!   And it only took you an hour!  Bragger!! 🙂

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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27 September 2017 - 9:03 pm
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Lucy looks like one happy dawg! I think she is having a great quality of life and it's because of how much you've helped her by embracing the moment and being so in tune with her needs.

I'm sorry about the lung met they found. And I can see why your onco wanted to try another round. Oftentimes they can shrink lung mets and keep them under control to a point of "stable disease" which is the goal of veterinary oncology. Give the cancer just enough chemo to keep it from spreading, without harming quality of life. 

Veterinary oncology is a relatively new field with uncharted territory in many ways. As dogs and cats live longer with cancer, they're figuring out the best ways to keep it under control. A lot of it comes down to instinct and guesswork, and the choice of therapy often depends on what the oncologist has had the most success with. The most important thing to remember is that a vet oncologist will never put your dog's best interests on the back burner, their goal is to make sure the patient is happy and enjoying life. If you ever feel she isn't, have a talk and let them know why.

And like Sally mentioned, please don't ever feel badly for not being here. When we had our Jerry around and he was enjoying life, we were hardly online at all. Seize the day and enjoy it with Lucy, you'll never regret it! 

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