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Living Life One Day at a Time

First off, thanks everyone for your loving thoughts and words that you’ve been sending my way. We are so blown away by your concern. We love you guys!

Jerry at the Vickers Ranch cook out Lake City CO

Today I went to see Dr. Marie Mullins, my oncologist in Denver, at the Animal Hospital Center. I haven’t seen her since we were in Santa Fe last May. She is such a great doc, and it was so reassuring and calming to be around her again now that she’s in Denver. She says that I look really good overall, and that I don’t have that “I’m tired/done/pooped” look that she’s seen before in other cancer dogs nearing their end days.

But as you know, I haven’t been eating much, if anything lately. I’ve just had the “blahs” and have been turning away from the great foods that my pawrents have put in front of me. The last few days, Mom and Dad let me skip my supplements, just hoping to get me to eat something that wasn’t filled with pills or green things I might be sick of eating.

Why I’m Not Hungry

All of my lab tests looked good. The big reason why I’m not eating is because my right lung is irritated from the nasty tumor that has been growing in it. See, back in May, I had a lung tumor that spanned the width of two ribs. Today, x-rays show that same lung tumor is spanning across 10 cm., or ten ribs — about 90 percent of my right lung lobe.

The tumor got smart, and found a way to get around the chemotherapy that’s been keeping it at bay. This is why I’ve been coughing a lot lately, and have been more tired than usual. Dr. Mullins says there’s a pawsibility I could have tumors elsewhere in my body, but she doesn’t think so, and suggests just focusing on this issue at hand.

The good news is, there are ways of coping with this, and hopefully getting my appetite back.

My New Protocol

Dr. Mullins has changed my medicines. I’m no longer going to be on the Metronomic Protocol. At this point, Cytoxan and Doxycycline won’t do any good.

Here is what she prescribed:

Prednisone – 20 mg in the morning, and 10 mg at night – a very low dose, to help reduce swelling in my lungs and help me breathe easier.

Normally, when switching from a NSAID like Metacam, to Prednisone, you’d want to wait a week or so to clear the old drugs out of your system. But Dr. Mullins says there isn’t time to do that, so we need to watch my stomach for any signs of irritation. To help alleviate any, she’s prescribed Carafate, and over the counter Pepcid AC.

Robitusin DM – Cough medicine, to help me stop coughing.

Baytril, an antibiotic – Because I haven’t been eating, my kidneys and liver health might have been affected. See, without food in my stomach for my liver to process, bile has backed up in my urinary tract. This could have caused an underlying infection that we can’t see yet, so I’m taking this as a preventative measure.

Tramadol – To help with pain.

What about my supplements?

The important thing now is to prioritize my meds and supplements. Start with today’s important prescriptions first, then when I get my appetite back, start working supplements back in slowly. For now, Mom and Dad have promised to leave out all of the green powders and oils and stuff, including K9 Immunity, until I eat heartily again.

What am I eating?

Dr. Mullins said try anything to get me to eat. Tonight, guess what I ate? Stinky cat food! I really ate it though. Guess I must be hungry.

These drugs are supposed to help me get my appetite back within three to five days. If I start eating again, no worries. I go back to see the Doc for a follow up next Monday. If I don’t start eating again, well, then we need to talk about things.

Bone Cancer Dog Outlives Vet Prognosis

It’s About Living in the Now

After seeing me eat cat food tonight, Mom and Dad are really happy, and we are all hopeful that I can get over this hurdle. But honestly, we are now living day to day, hour to hour. The hard reality is, Dr. Mullins says that the cancer has progressed to the stage where I might have anywhere from two weeks to two months of quality time left on this earth.

That’s a sad truth that is hard to digest for my pawrents, so I just keep reminding them, by just being here 22 months past my diagnosis, we are all so very blessed to have made it this far. Every extra minute we have together is icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, I think I’ll go see if we have any!

23 thoughts on “Living Life One Day at a Time”

  1. Dearest Jerry,

    Please thank your pawrents for sharing your list of new medications with us. If nothing else, the prednisone should increase your appetite. We are praying that it does. It sounds like you have great doctors, and we already know you have great pawrents, Jim & Rene, so you’re in the best hands possible. It makes me sad to see my Mom so upset over this, though. She just doesn’t seem to get that part of dog thinking, yet.

    Love, Blazer & Kimber

  2. Jerry – I am glad my mama found your site, she’s been needing some support – I was diagnosed 7 weeks ago, in my right hip, they did an FHO operation first…didn’t get all of the bone cancer, so I go in for amputation next week – I’m gonna be a three-legged, three-legged, three-legged dawg! I wanted to pass on that when we found out, my mama went straight to the local meat shop and talked to the owner about organ meats – he talked to the processors and ranchers and now they are saving the hearts, livers, even tongue (yummmy!) for me – mama pays less than $1/lb., takes it home, grinds it up raw and mixes it with my food – I gobble it up so fast, I don’t remember to pick out my pills! I hope this helps – I’m thinking of you my friend and I’m sure we’ll meet someday. Sophie

  3. Jerry – I just thought of something regarding your appetite. I’m having problems getting Wallace (greyhound) to eat. He was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Someone on Greytalk recommended Nutritional Yeast as being a product which can really stimulate the appetite. They sent me a big tub of it which arrived today (because it seems harder to get here in the UK than in the USA). I’ve just given Wallace some for the first time and he did eat what I gave him (I mixed the three tablespoons with a can of chicken soup) so maybe this would be worth a try for you?

  4. Okay….don’t laugh….Mom made me & Daphne pray with her last night for you while we were all sitting on the floor. Don’t get me wrong dude…..I sincerely wanted to pray since Jesus helped me…..but Mom held my one front paw and Daphne’s! It was a good thing….just glad another dog wasn’t around to see us doing “human” behavior!! (I did however get a cookie for not moving!) WOOOOOOFFF!

  5. You guys, we are overwhelmed with your love and support, thank you.

    Guess what? I ate some more nasty wet food today. Just a little, like a chihuahua sized breakfast, but it was good to get something into my belly.

  6. Wow. This outpouring of love and support is simply amazing, heartwarming, and must be working. This morning I took my new meds like a good boy and ate a packet of Nutro Natural Choice lamb stew. I could get used to all this junk food!

    Thank you so much for all your comments and concern. We shall fight on indeed. And we will know when to say when.

  7. When Daisy lost her appetite, the things that worked for her were baby food (just the plain turkey or chicken kind), plain McDonald’s cheeseburgers, and the roast beef sandwich from the local restaurant (sans gravy). In fact, I think I hear Daisy from the great beyond telling Jerry: “As long as the humans are worried, the food world is your oyster! Milk this as long as possible!”

    You guys have your heads and hearts in exactly the right place as you deal with the most difficult stuff that life throws at us, and we are all stronger for it–thank you.

  8. One day at a time, Jerry. Keep eating all that stinky cat food, canned dog food (there are some really good organic ones that look like stew), and whatever your heart desires. I’m sending you a huge hug and love your way.

  9. You’re doing well today Jerry. Today is good and tomorrow can worry about itself…

    (Now go and ask for some more cat food, a slice of cake and some cheese).

    xxx

  10. Dear Jerry,

    Thank you for your update on your visit with Dr. Mullins. I called her today and they said that she was with a patient. That patient might have been you. I can see why you and your pawrents like her so much. She is smart, well educated, and kind and she is good at coming up with additional options and treatments. Most of all, she is good at prescribing hope, an ingredient which can vitalize the body, enrich the mind, and lengthen life.

    Even though some aspects of your condition have appeared to have progressed, it is possible that some other options could slow down or stop this progression. New medicines and options are discovered every day and what was impossible to cure years ago, in both humans and dogs, is now curable.

    Hang in there, Jerry! We all love you!

    Love,

    Sandra and “Luna”

  11. Dearest Jerry, Rene, and Jim,

    All love to you. We are lighting candles every night for you, small flames against the dark. Jerry, we are so glad to hear you still have the spark! What a fabulous inspawration you are indeed! Keep on truckin’ Jerry G! Man, what a Dawg!

    Hugs and Kisses from Codie Rae and Martha

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