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What to expect next …

Personally, I expect to be treated like a King! Yeah, like I haven’t been all my life already. But since this site is all about sharing cancer dog experiences to help others prepare and cope, here goes …

Canine Cancer Hero Jerry
Movie night on the bed with Jerry.

During my recent visit with Dr. Mullins, we got the low down on what to expect now that my lung mets have started to really hinder my breathing:

  • With one lung only working at about 10% capacity, I can expect to get really tired, really quick. So long walks and playing hard are out of the question.
  • With my new medication, hopefully my appetite will return within a few days. But there are no promises at this point.
  • There is no stopping the osteosarcoma metastasis anymore. It got smart and found a way to beat the Cytoxan that worked for months as part of my metronomic protocol therapy.
  • I will pant heavily and let out a deep wet cough, more frequently as time goes on.
  • With a mass as large as I have growing out of control now, there is a small chance that it could fragment and throw a clot into my bloodstream. This could cause a sudden cardiac arrest at anytime.
  • At some point in the not too distant future, my people will need to make some serious quality of life decisions.
  • All things considered, this is a pretty classic progression of the disease.
Jerry Plays
Jerry plays with gift from Lalla.

The Reality Check

So, how do I feel?  I still have that spark in my eye, I wag my tail, I get up and around on my own, and I want to play with every dog I see. And I don’t plan to change a thing.

My prognosis at this point is anywhere from two weeks to two months. But I’ve heard that before. I’m now 22 months post-op and they gave me three to four. An awful lot hinges on my appetite. (I have been starting to snack again already!)

The Good Doctor did mention that a blood clot is actually quite quick and painless. And if my people do need to make the fated call sometime soon, the clinic does handle all arrangements. (Make sure yours does.) These are healthy things to think about, before you have to.

Above all, don’t be sad for me. My story is an astounding success compared to the far too many others who encounter the scourge that is cancer in dogs. For this, we celebrate.

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15 thoughts on “What to expect next …”

  1. Jerry, I was going to point out a few things, but Sandra beat me to it. All I can say is that when the time comes, I WILL cry for you.. that’s just what we humans do.. because you’ll be missed and because your folks are friends of mine and I care about them. They may put on a strong front, but they’ll be hurting for a while.. that’s just our nature.

    I’m also deeply concerned about who’s going to take care of our palm frond problem now.

  2. Jerry you are an inspiration to more doggies and their people than you know! I am so very sorry things are getting harder for you. But I can tell that won’t dampen your spirit. You are a shining example for the rest of us. And go ahead, prove those prognostications wrong – again!

  3. Dear Jerry,

    Even though you say not to feel sad, we humans do that alot, especially at times like these, but your pawrents are awesome and you are very lucky to have such wonderful humans by your side. As always, you look great in your photo, and you can bet you will be treated like the king that you are.

    I know that your pawrents probably told you that I lost my dear, precious “Luna” last Tuesday, September 16th. Luna was a black German Shepherd Dog and was only 3 years 4 months old. She had lung mets too but continued to play and have a good time. Then, last Tuesday, she had a seizure and the vet at the University of Florida in Gainesville did an MRI of her brain. My boyfriend, Dave, and I had already discussed with the vet that if they found a brain tumor where the hemangiosarcoma had spread from her right hind leg which they had amputated last March 6th, 2008, that we would let her remain under general anesthesia and then help her make the transition to the Rainbow Bridge. Unfortunately, they found brain tumors in her head and we made the difficult decision to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge. I want you to know that is was peaceful and easy for her. Before she headed for the bridge, I told her how much I loved her and a lot of other special things, but I wanted you to know that I also told her to be on the lookout in the future for a dog named, “Jerry”, the same one that had inspired me so much when I read about him the first time, the one who had given me hope that Luna could live a full and happy life as a tripawd.

    Now, this isn’t saying that you’re going to be seeing her anytime soon, but just wanted you to know that when you do decide to head that way, that she will be one of the ones waiting for you and part of the greeting committee so to speak. I know that you have helped so many tripawds live fuller lives and helped their pawrents tremendously, too. We found out about the book, “Without Regret” on your site, along with lots of other cool stuff.

    Like you, Luna’s initial prognosis on October 5, 2008, was not good. They told us that she had two weeks to two months to live. Because this prognosis was so dismal, we decided not to put her through the amputation and chemo. But, she surprised everyone by continuing to live and love and have a great time. By March, we decided she deserved more of a chance to beat this disease, and she had her right hind leg amputated and a hemipelvectomy followed by six courses of chemotherapy, followed by metronomics protocol for two months. Instead of having only two weeks to two months, she lived almost another year. She defied all of the predictions.

    So, although my heart is breaking today, I can honestly say that I am “without regret” and that if I had it to do again, that I would take the same path. Like you, Luna fought her battle well, so strong and full of life. I wish you lots of time with your pawrents and lots of time to play and enjoy everything around you. Thank you for everything that you have done and will continue to do in the future.


    Sandra and “Luna”

  4. Good old pal. You are the best and always will be. No matter what you will always live in our hearts as you are the one that gives us strength and hope to go on. Like Bette Midler’s song…”’cause you are the wind beneath our wings”…You will always soar. Enjoy the moment and keep on trucking my friend!!!!!! Lots of lickies and prayers your way….

  5. Dearest Jerry,

    Sometimes my Mom keeps me so busy on the forums that I forget to check your blog. Now, I feel very guilty because of this and she has promised that she will read your blog every day. I’m sorry to hear that the Cytoxan is no longer holding back the mets. I’m glad to hear that you are still doing OK, though, and that your pawrents are trying to prepare for the day when you just can’t go on any longer.

    Jerry, I want you to know that you are the greatest spokesdog in the history of spokesdogdom and we love you very much for all you have done for others. Kitty Kimber and I will keep our paws crossed in prayer for you.

    We love you, Jerry! Blazer, Kimber & Vicki T

  6. Please pardon my silly typo’s in the entry below. As you know, it was my front right leg I lost and it makes typing very hard with just one fat furry paw to clonk on the keyboard.

    Darcy Deerhound

  7. Jerry. I agree very much that it’s important for our pawrents to make plans ahead of time so that when The Day does come, everyone knows whats to happen. For example, my vets have a note on my records (and on the records of all my brothers and sisters) that says that Mummy always wants a private, individual cremation with ashes returned in a wooden casket. Mummy made sure this was noted on everyones records, just in case, on that specific day, she was unable to communicate her wishes clearly or if we were being cared for by someone else because Mummy & Daddy were away for the day or something.

    We are also very sure about our vets 24 hour service and we feel it’s very important that all doggie owners know that their vet offeres and how to get in contact in the event of something bad happening late at night or at the weekend.

    Mummy feels better with these plans in place. She says its one less thing for her to worry about.

    I hope you are snacking away nicely and enjoying lots of treats.

    Love, Darcy Deerhound

  8. You’re such a courageous doggy, Jerry. Our pawrent understands the need of your pawrents to think of things in advance; meanwhile keep up the “Live in the Now” lessons you’ve been teaching us all. Can we get a podcast?

    We love ya

  9. Jerry, you and your folks are doing such a good service providing the reality to everyone. I can only hope that you remain as comfortable as possible and you MUST be treated like a king. You deserve it! Many hugs, kisses and love to you.


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