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Looking for tips on what to ask oncologist
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Forum Posts: 2
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14 July 2017
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14 July 2017 - 4:50 pm
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My almost 8-year old golden-lab mix had right front removed last Thursday (no visible mets, so far.) He's doing so well, but now we have to have the "chemo or not to chemo" discussion with an oncologist. I've been scouring the internet and have just succeeded in scaring myself. Would love some tips from those who have been through it or are going through it i.e. what kinds of things should I know going in? And, the hubs and I are having difficulty understanding why our vet is telling us that even with chemo, he may not have as much time as we would like. Thanks in advance, so happy to have found this site!

The Rainbow Bridge

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14 July 2017 - 9:21 pm
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Hi and welcome! I'll be back with more input but I wanted to get your post approved so others could chime in. Meanwhile, this blog post will help you gather your questions:


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15 July 2017 - 11:27 am
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There's really no right or wrong answer with chemo. Some dogs respond well to chemo and do great. Some don't. Some do just fine without any chemo. It's really a personal decision. But there's no guarantee with chemo. 

Rocky's family vet said he didn't think chemo would add much quality of life. He didn't necessarily advise against it, but he didn't advocate for it like he did the amputation. Rocky's surgeon made it sound like a no-brainer to do chemo. 

I decided to do chemo (Carboplatin) for Rocky because I didn't want to leave any "what ifs" hanging at the inevitable end of our journey.  He sailed through the first three rounds, then had some low WBCs before his fourth and fifth rounds. Before what was to be the sixth and final round, we noticed his cancer has spread. So somewhere along the way, the chemo stopped working. He's now on Palladia (a pill form of chemo) as we try to stop the tumors from growing. 

It's frustrating that the cancer spread while he's on chemo, but who knows what would have happened if we didn't try it. 

Best of luck to whatever you decide. And know that whichever way you go, you're doing what you think is best for your dog. That's all any of us can do. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

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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15 July 2017 - 10:12 pm
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Glad to hear your pup is doing well this early on. Wjat's his name?

Rocky's Dad, David, described the "decision"'very well. It really is basically a crap shoot. "Statistics" show a little bit of an edge when chemo is used. But if you've looked around this site at all, you'll see that statistics don't mean much around here one way or another.

Like David, when deciding on chemo for Happy Hannah, it really boiled down to if I would second guess myself if I didn't. I also knew I could stop anytime if she had any issues (which she didn't).

Some dogs experience a little nausea for two or three days, but the Onco will give you an anti nausea to help with that. Some dogs aren't hungry for a day or two. My Happy Hannah had NO side effects.

There really is no right or wrong when it comes to chemo. And remember, NO dog has s timeframe stamped anywhere on their butt znd your dog is not a statistic! Dogs don't count days on a calw and they don't listen to any ole' doctors. Besides, there is NEVER "enough time" with our dogs no matter what, eight?!

THEY LIVE IN THE MOMENT AND HAVE NO WORRIES ABOUT THEIR TOMORROWS! Our best "treatment"'on this journey is to make every moment count!! We must make everyday the best day ever for our dogs! SPOIL AND LOVE 24/7!

Others will chime in also. Again there is no right or wrong. Yiu will make a decision out of love and that will always be the right decision!

Lots lf 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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