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Should we do more diagnostics?
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7 November 2018 - 6:58 pm
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Howard has his 6 week chemo recheck next Tuesday. We are doing metronomic chemo because be has a very aggressive cancer. For those that don’t know he was diagnosed with primary hemangiosarcoma of the bone that spread to his spleen and liver with in 1 month. We removed the spleen and at that time the liver looked normal but did test positive on biopsy. The oncologist wants to do an ultrasound and chest xrays to monitor him. I am thinking of passing. My thoughts are with this info what would change. He has no side affects from his chemo and I think we would prefer to just continue treatment as is. He is still acting totally fine and has a great appetite. I would consider the tests if there are other chemo options based on the results but just dont know if the info would hurt when nothing can be done. Any ideas? What have people done ? 

Virginia
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7 November 2018 - 9:27 pm
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howard said
My thoughts are with this info what would change. He has no side affects from his chemo and I think we would prefer to just continue treatment as is. He is still acting totally fine and has a great appetite. I would consider the tests if there are other chemo options based on the results but just dont know if the info would hurt when nothing can be done. Any ideas? What have people done ?   

You’ve made good points in your “question and answer self talk”.   It appears you are at peace with not doing additional diagnostics, knowing that nothing would change.  And ya’ know what?  I think you are channeling  your “inner Howard” and following  hiis  lead.

It would be different if the testing indicated treatment options  would be helpful, but this doesn’t  appear to be rhe case.

So yes, many of us decline further testing when it wouldn’t change the outcome anyway.  We opt instead  to continue to focus on making each moment the best moment  ever.  Live in the Now.  Be More Dog .  And that’s  a good treatment plan!  

Howard is feeling really good and thoroughly  enjoying  being Howard.  It doesn’t  matter to him what additional diagnostics may, or may not show.  His outward behavior and attitude tell you all is well in Howard’s world.😎

And a scoop of ice cream every now and then is a great treatment plan!

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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8 November 2018 - 10:46 am
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Oh I’m glad you updated here, I just asked how he was doing in your Hopping Around topic. No need to reply to that.

I think you’ve come to a conclusion that matches where your heart is. We took the same approach with Jerry. I will say that the one thing that was difficult in choosing to skip the monitoring was that it made it a little more difficult to know when to set him free. We had plenty of signs from him that eventually gave us the courage to make that call, but if we had taken an x-ray say a week prior, that might have made things a bit easier. But this was osteosarcoma we were dealing with.

In Howard’s case, you may want to ask the oncologist what the worst case scenario is if you don’t monitor. I know that with hemangio, a tumor can suddenly rupture and cause great distress and heartache for everyone. I’m thinking maybe your oncologist wants the monitoring in order to avoid that happening, so that you can give him a peaceful goodbye when the time draws near. You may want to ask about that.

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8 November 2018 - 11:14 am
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The question I asked myself when choosing to test or not when Maggie was fighting her two cancers was:  would the outcome of the tests change what I was doing?

The only thing that might change in your situation was that if the cancer has spread then the chemo may not be working and could be discontinued.  If there are no side effects and he is tolerating it well then maybe that doesn’t matter.

I really respect the way you are approaching Howard’s treatment- all about his best life quality!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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9 November 2018 - 6:13 am
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Hi sweetie 🌷

I agree with Sally and Rene: you are following your heart and that is always right 💓

But I have to say I also agree with Karen when she says “The only thing that might change in your situation was that if the cancer has spread then the chemo may not be working and could be discontinued”. 

My baby Eurydice had osteo and when she developed lung tumours we went for doxorubicin but she got monitored between chemo treatments. 

Chemo was not working so we discontinued it.

If I hadn’t done the scan I wouldn’t have known and doxorubicin is very dangerous for the heart and kidneys so I would have been put her through risks for nothing.

I only monitored again far down the line and I am glad I did because she then started cortisone and diuretics and that gave us another 6 weeks of a happy life.

I have no experience with hemangiosarcoma so no idea what the treatment options are for Howard …

The main thing is he is enjoying life and eating well, right?

I am sure he is being pampered to oblivion, as he should!

Sending you much love and tons of cuddles to your cutie pie, 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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9 November 2018 - 2:16 pm
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There is little I can add to what the ladies have said here; I agree 100%. Of course, the primary concern now is the liver, and I would think liver issues could be identified via abdominal palpitation and blood tests. Jerry is certainly correct regarding the risk of rupture, and I remember, while researching hemangio, an article from a vet stating she was visiting a patient for euthanasia who met her at the door, tail wagging. As heartbreaking as it sounds, she wrote that she knew she was doing the right thing.

So yes, rupture is a real risk, especially with the heart and spleen (which you’ve taken care of), but hopefully your oncologist can share some warning signs to watch for such as a distended abdomen, pale gums, reduced energy and/appetite, etc.

FWIW, I have no idea what’s happening with Jet’s hemangiosarcoma, but his fur is finally growing back (still no whiskers . . . not even stubble), and I can’t really imagine a higher activity level for a golden; he runs around here leaping furniture and the other dogs, thinking he’s a gazelle. I want to say his diagnosis was in May, and he had (I think) 5 rounds of Doxorubicin and continues on his mushroom therapy at therapeutic doses.

Wishing you and Howard all the best.

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9 November 2018 - 5:21 pm
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I spoke to his oncologist and she is comfortable with just a physical  bloodwork and UA monthly. He is having no side affects from he chemo so continuing it will be ok. He still acts totally fine. Hopping around eating well even got into the trash today. So I will continue with this plan assuming his check up on Tuesday goes well. His blood work and urinalysis were normal from earlier today which is great! Thanks for the input everyone, I will update after his visit on Tuesday. 

Virginia
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9 November 2018 - 9:35 pm
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Alrighty!  Onward and upward!!  

And YAY for a good work up today and extra ,kid YAAAAAAAAY  for getting into the trash!!  All good signs that everything  is great in Howard’s world!!!😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

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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10 November 2018 - 4:19 am
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Oh, those are GREAT news, I’m thrilled !!!

And I love how we find everything fantastic about our dogs naughtiness, definitely going into the trash is wonderful news too 😂 👍 

Sending you a huge hug and tons of cuddles to your cutie pie 🥧 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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10 November 2018 - 8:35 am
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Wonderful news!

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13 November 2018 - 6:40 pm
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Update from our recheck. Howard did great and had a normal physical. The Dr is happy with how he is doing and we will continue the metronomic chemo as planned. Howard is still his happy self and I hope that continues for a while longer. We also plan to continue his weekly PT for as long as possible as well. The Dr thinks he has acid reflux and that has caused some gagging while laying down, so we are adding omeprazole. 

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13 November 2018 - 7:34 pm
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Normal sounds good, and a happy dogtor too!

Hop on Howard!!!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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14 November 2018 - 5:39 am
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Wonderful news, thrilled for you !

Hugs and special cuddles to Howard 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Virginia
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14 November 2018 - 8:08 pm
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YAAAAAAAAY FOR ACID REFLUX!!!!!   Great update!!!!!   Made my day!😀😀😀😀😁😁😁😁😁

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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