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Outcomes of those who didn't do chemo | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Outcomes of those who didn't do chemo
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Forum Posts: 213
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13 February 2014 - 10:28 am
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Hi Everyone!!!!
We were going to do chemo but I think that we are going to treat holistically. This is a hard decision as you all know. I wanted to know real experiences of not doing chemo. Survival time post amp? Quality of life? Regrets? No regrets?
Thanks!!!!
Jessica and Marshall



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13 February 2014 - 12:53 pm
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Jessica,

I did chemo with Sassy, we completed 4 rounds and supposed to do 5 sometime between the 4th & 5th chemo she developed lung mets.  With that being said.  Chemo vs non-Chemo its all a crap shoot.  Some dogs live longer without & some live longer with.  Cancer has its own set of rules & changes them in the middle of the game.  I realize my information isn’t helpful to what you asked but I thought I would put it out there

 

Hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Here and Now


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13 February 2014 - 1:57 pm
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We chose not to do IV chemo with Jerry. We did start him on metronomics after his lung mets appeared. You can read about his diet and supplements here in the Nutrition blog .

Eisen survived OSA for five years with only homeopathic treatments, under the direction of Dr. Charles Loops.

Please search these forums and the blogs for more relevant topics and posts, like these:

Regrets about Chemotherapy

Amputation without Chemotherapy (Osteosarcoma of front limb)

Chemotherapy– is this a bad reaction? AND alternatives

Costs of Amputation and Chemotherapy: What Did You Pay?

Fort Wayne, IN
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13 February 2014 - 1:59 pm
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We don’t have an outcome yet :)  Libby is currently 12 1/2 months post amp from OSA. No IV chemo.  We chose metronomic therapy instead along with supplements (some herbal), and grain free dog food supplemented with my home cooking.

Her lungs were clear until her last check up 1 week ago.  She has about 4 visible mets in her lungs but has no outward symptoms.

I tend to agree with Michelle about it being a crap shoot.  She’s right…cancer has it’s own sucky rules and we have the whole spectrum of stories here to prove it.

Absolutely no regrets.  Libby does not like going to the vet and I didn’t want her to spend even 1 minute being unhappy with the time she has left.  Her quality of life is better than I expected when we started this journey.  She is a happy, hoppy dog, 7 days a week. :) We love her to pieces and we do not, nor will we when the time comes to say good-bye, have any regrets.  

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

Westminster, MD
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13 February 2014 - 4:28 pm
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Hi Jessica, I agree with what Michelle said as well, cancer has its own rules, and depends on the type of cancer, too. My Polly went 12 rounds of chemo after her 1st front leg surgery to remove a large hemangiosarcoma. The drip chemo Doxorubicin was done by her oncologist, and I also did a home chemo pill, Cyclophosphamide right after her drip therapy. Not only did she get extremely ill on the chemo, as soon as she was done all rounds of chemo, we found another tumor on her front leg and this time, the cancer had pretty much taken over the entire leg. We still did surgery to try to preserve her leg, but she was in a month later for her amputation. I personally look at this experience with Polly and say it wasn’t worth it for her, and we will more than likely never do chemo again. Everyone has to do what they think is best, whatever that something is.
With my black Lab Maggie a few years ago that developed the same cancer, hemangiosarcoma, but internally (splenic) , we did a multitude of supplements, diet change, whatever we could do in that regard, and she only lived 46 days from the time her spleen was removed. So like we said, sucky cancer does whatever it wants to do.

Going ahead with anything from here on out with Polly, now that we are dealing with another very small hemangiosarcoma that was just taken off her back leg, seems somewhat up in the air with us right now……don’t know if we should treat it somehow again, just try to find tumors as soon as we can and try to remove them without spread, or just throw in the towel and keep her comfy and happy as possible. Crap shoot is the right term, for sure.

I don’t know if this is much help, but just wanted to give you most of the experiences I’ve had personally with this crappy disease. Cancer has so far, taken all my Labs, to date, and trying to take another in Polly. We are hanging in, though, and just taking a day at a time, living as happy as we can. That’s all we have in that regard.

Remember, every dog and cat are different in dealing with this, so another thing I believe, is that no matter what you do, nothing is necessarily right or wrong in your decisions……we just go into them with the best intentions for our furry babies.

Best wishes going to you,

Bonnie & Polly

Los Angeles, CA
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13 February 2014 - 4:43 pm
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Hi Jessica,

 

I can’t really state reasons for not doing chemo as I didn’t hesitate when given the option. (Bonnie, I guess I didn’t realize that Polly was also a hemanagiosarcoma dog like Shelby). Shelby’s treatment has been similar to Polly’s – we started on Doxorubicin for 5 treatments while dealing with the hemangio from her spleen. Her broken leg from June didn’t present with cancer so we kept it as long as we could until she was in so much pain, we had to remove in this past January. That was when they discovered it was indeed the same cancer as her spleen (and discovered some lung mets) so on her 6th chemo, we switched her to Carboplatin and just decided this week to do a few more rounds before switching her to maintenance drugs.

For me, Shelby is a young dog at heart (she’s 13) despite having had 3 major surgeries in just 7 months. She wants to fight this and so we do. The odds w/out chemo after her spleen removal for her kind of cancer were just awful. So I had to give her every chance I could as long as I could see that SHE wanted to fight. We have had some ups and downs along the road and I was prepared to stop treatments if she had any really bad reactions but fortunately, she’s done well. Like everyone has said, all dogs and all cancers are different. Shelby had a clear ultra sound and lung X-ray just 4 weeks before her amputation so I thought all was good. Thankfully her lung mets aren’t growing quickly right now so we will continue to try and stabilize her. 

We are also exploring some cancer fighting mushrooms that have gotten a lot of press recently since Shelby’s oncologist said it can’t hurt and can only help her. 

At the end of the day, the only decision I might regret is not taking her leg off in June and doing a more invasive biopsy then (they grabbed bits of bone but found nothing when they plated her leg). Perhaps they would have found the cancer then. Who knows. But otherwise, I have made peace with all the decisions I have made on Shelby’s behalf. Shelby has no clue she has cancer. So I try and live in the moment like her and it does help. 

I am sure this is of no help but I wanted to throw our story in there to say, I know it’s a hard decision and I know it’s heartbreaking and this group supports everyone – regardless! 

XO 
Alison and Shelby 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Twin Cities, Minnesota
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14 February 2014 - 4:52 am
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We did not do chemo. Survival time was six months+. Quality of life was good. Sam was Sam right up until the end. I have zero regrets at all.

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

"May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment."
-Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Virginia




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14 February 2014 - 8:50 am
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Helloooooo Marshall and Jessica!

First off, may I ask YOUR reasons for not doing chemo? Just curious if it’s for fear of side effects or something else. As everyone has said…there are NO right answers in this crap shootof a disease. We are faced with unbelievable “forced choices”…leg amputatin, treatment, chemo, etc. Very, very difficult choices!

And bottom line….some dogs and cats do well “with”…some don’t. So e dogs and cats do well “without”..-some don’t.

Happy Hannah had four rounds of Carvoplatin (osteosarcoma..rear leg amputation) and we are just a few days from celebrating her ONE YEAR AMPUVERSARY and continuing forward (knock on wood)! Has the chemo added to her our gift of time??? i have NO idea!!!

Here were my main deciding factors to proceed:

1. Kow yourself and now your dog!! For me, would be one of those “second guessers”…..”What if” I did sos and so…or had not done so and so,etc. I did my fesearch…lots and lots…and decided this could possibly (no guarantees) give her a little edge. That was just my personal interpretation of the data I found.

2. Highly recommend The Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger. You’ll get a wealth of nformation…both conventional and holistic. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

3. Happy Hannah likes car rides and likes going to the vet! Very important for me.

4. I could stop anytime!!! If, for any reason, I didn’t like it, I could stop without any residual side effects whatsoever!

5. After doing my research, the potential for side effects didn’t concern me at all. A dog may exoerience a little nausea and they give you an anti-nausea pill for that just in case. Some may feel a little tired for a day or two, but rest takes care of that. Happy Hannah sailed through with no issues whatsoever!

I know this is a hard decision. I also know you will make the decision that is just perfect for you and for Marshall! It will be a decision out of love and that is the right decision.

Once you have a plan, don’t look back, no second guessng, just jump in the NOW with Marshall, in the moment and enjoy every single blissful second!! Marshall is!!

Sendi g you love and clarity and an internal peace kowng all is well!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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14 February 2014 - 9:31 am
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Thanks for all the awesome responses!!!! They are all very helpful! We have a consultation on Monday with Dr. Loops. My reasons for deciding against chemo at least for now are that I’m very neurotic and after much research and talking with Doctors I feel that I would not be able to give Marshall the best quality of life I could if I did the chemo. The reason is the risk to humans for the few days afterwards. I have a 6 year old son and I would not be able to forgive myself if he ever became sick I would always think it was bc he was exposed to second hand chemo. I know that a lot of people that go through chemo with their dogs and make out fine but I know for me I would keep my son away from Marshall while he was being treated and that would make Marshall miserable bc my son is his favorite person. Like all of you are with your dogs we are also focused on quality over quantity.
My other reason is that while he does LOVE going to the vet I feel like he is a sensitive dog to medications and would rather put more natural things in him although I know that you can have a reaction to anything.
This decision is hard bc in the back of my mind I’m not 100% comfortable that I’m doing everything I can for Marshall if we don’t do chemo so I will see what Dr. Loops says. I’m not going to say we will never do chemo but as of today it’s not the right choice for us. I know that I must sound completely insane about my fear of second hand chemo but its a real concern of mine.
Please keep the experiences of chemo and no chemo coming. I am learning stuff from everyone of you. I did purchasing the Dog Cancer Survival book. Its really good. Actually my son was “reading” the pages on Osteosarcoma to Marshall this morning.
Hugs!!!!!
Jessica and Marshall

Los Angeles, CA
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14 February 2014 - 9:57 am
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Interesting your research about second hand risk to humans. In nothing I ever read did I hear that (and Shelby’s vet gave a me a lot of info). In fact, there was a line in our paperwork that said there was NO risk to humans as people had asked in the past. I have been snuggling up with Shelby and sharing food with her every step of the way from her chemo treatments so perhaps you were exploring a different kind of chemo than we used. 

It is a hard decision for sure and while Shelby was lucky – only a couple days of some ill side effects, nothing that changed her life or personality drastically BUT had she had a bad reaction, I would have stopped it instantly. 

I respect your decision as it sounds like a tough decision that you had to make and one that comes from a place of pure love and the heart. It is always a hard decision to make … especially for those that do not have a voice. Wishing you all the best with Marshall and keep us posted! 

 

Alison and Shelby 

 

 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Virginia




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14 February 2014 - 9:59 am
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Oh good, I’m really glad you found all the responses helpful! Nothing like a little diversity to keep things interesting!

Your options are very, very well thought out! I applaud you for going forward with a plan based on your own INDIVIDUAL reasons. That is so important.

You’ve really gotten a good discussion going. Okay…just curious again and t will be interestng to hear what others say…..I wasn’t even told any precautio s from my Onco. (not one I would recommend to anyone anyway”). I only learned from people on this site that you want to dispose of poop with caution…not touching it, etc. Not aware of any dangers to humans at all. Please Jessica, I’m just utting this out there out of my own curiosity…nothing to do with yojr choice…just curious for my own self, that’s all!

Now, regarding Dr. Loops……I do have perso al experience with him through phone consultation and was verypleased! Many here use him.

My “avatar name”…or, I guess “profile name”…Benny…..that’s tne dog Dr. Loops helped me with years ago.

Benny was diagnosed with bone cancer at ten yrs. old (“mutt”) and bladder cancer. At the tme, amputation wasn’t realky brought us except in a very “off the cuff” remark, followed with, the vet saying he didn’t realy propose that. Now, with new technologies, knowledge, this site, etc., he does recommend) Back then…and without knowledge of this site…and my vet wasn’t an onco nor were there any even available back then in the area. Of course I thought the idea of amputation was outrageous! The vet did say he’s neard of a Dr. Loops ……..and so the hunt began.

I can no longer remember the “amount” of time…but it was several months of QUALITY time (without amputation!) and I attribute that to Dr. Loops. The dosing can be tme consuming as so e are before meals…after meals…during meals…one hour before pooping (just kidding on that one clown)…I had quite the written log!

I made my profile name BENNY as a way to honor him.

You are in good hands! You’re going forward with a plan that really, real works weel for you, Marshall and your entire pack…AND that’s called the PERFECT plan!!!clap

Look frward to more updates AND…yeah, you guessed it…MORE PICTURES!!

Sending lots lf love!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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14 February 2014 - 6:10 pm
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Our regular vet called me tonight and really wants us to do chemo. She doesn’t want us to have any regrets. I really don’t know what to do.

New York, NY
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14 February 2014 - 7:34 pm
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I know it’s such a hard difficult decision. When Jill’s onco presented us with all our options she told me “you decide what you’ll be able to sleep well at night with”. For me I decided it was worth a shot. She told me we could always just do one round of chemo and if Jill reacted poorly then we stop. That’s that. Jill happened to do very well on chemo. Her white blood cells took a hit and we had to postpone chemo twice but you never would have known if they didn’t test her blood. After IV chemo I started Jill on metronomic chemo and she reacted poorly, lost a ton of weight. So we stopped. Easy as that.

Now all that said chemo is a very personal decision that you have to make as a family. If Jill didn’t do so well going back and forth to the vet for all the treatments and blood work I probably wouldn’t have done it. It wouldn’t have been worth the stress it would have caused. But she does great at the vet so I figured we’d go for it.

Whatever you decide to do I know it will be with the best of intentions with all the love in your heart for your baby. Unfortunately it’s not a decision any of is can make for you so just take all the info and make the best decision for YOU

Xoxo
Erica and tripawd kitty jill

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

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14 February 2014 - 7:47 pm
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I can’t really help with the long term parts of your question but I can give you our thoughts on why we are not doing chemo with Hudson. Hudson is three weeks post op from right hind limb amputation from osteosarcoma. Like you, I have a young child in the house (1.5 years) and was also worried about her and the chemo. I asked the oncologist and she wasn’t too worried about it and said just to keep her away from bodily fluids. Well, I’m kind of crazy so that was stressing me out. After much consideration we decided against it for the following reasons: 1. I don’t want him to be sick even for a day. He is doing so well with the amputation and is so happy (which he wasn’t before bc of the pain) that I want to play and snuggle etc. I did a lot of research and I know dogs tolerate it much better than humans but I would need better odds. If it was a cure or even gave him a few more years there would be no discussion in my mind. 2. This is the biggest reason for us, is the fact that they would have to shave a spot for the IV every time. Hudson is a master licker and would have to wear a cone until all of his fur grew back. Which would be months! I don’t know how much longer he has. But I definitely don’t want his time to be spent wearing a cone and having to remind him not to lick.
My vet was also surprised that we decided against chemo. Probably bc we would/ have done anything for him. He is truly a member of our family and We are heartbroken about this. I also have guilt about not doing chemo at times and think about calling the oncologist. But then I think of the defeated look he gives me when I have to put his cone on. And I’m sure we are doing the right thing for him. We just make every day incredible special, take a ton of pictures and make sure he knows that he’s loved.

Hope this helps. I feel like I can really relate with what you are going through.

Team Hudson

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 February 2014 - 8:21 pm
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Don’t let anyone sway you into doing something you’re not 100% comfortable with. Go with what feels good for your pack, your lifestyle, nobody knows but you.

The good thing about going forward with chemo; you can stop anytime if you don’t like how it’s going. However, in return you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone and take that first leap of faith. It’s scary! If you don’t want to, don’t do it. Nobody here will judge you for your choice, promise.

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