Sunday, February 28, 2010

Still Going Strong

It has been a while since I have written, but I am happy to say that Skipper continues to do well with his chemo treatment. We did have one minor complication. During his chemo treatment with the Doxorubicin, a little bit of the fluid leaked out at the IV point. Skipper licked his leg all weekend, and we took him back to Vet. Doxorubicin can be deadly if it comes into contact with the skin, and it can lead to more serious complications (in extreme cases, amputation might be necessary). We were lucky though. The Vet placed a bandage around his leg (which Skipper took off 3-4 times), and after a week, the affected area of the skin returned to normal (albeit, a shade darker). However, if that is the only complication so far, I count my blessings.

Throughout this whole ordeal, we have been spoiling Skipper, and trying to make him as comfortable as possible. Last weekend, for the first time in his life, Skipper had some filet mignon! He was so excited, I think he forgot to chew and just swallowed it. It is hard for me to think that if we did not take action, he may not be with us. Despite the horrible thing that is cancer, the chemo treatment is worth it. Skipper continues to act like his normal self. He does appear to have aged a little bit in the last month and half since we started the chemo, but his spirit is very much alive. If you saw Skipper, you would not even think this is a dog with cancer.

We're on week eight of our Wisconsin Chemo Protocol. 17 more weeks left, which may seem like a long time, but these first eight have already gone by quickly. Skipper's hematocrit, or HCT levels, which stabilized initially with the chemo, have actually started to slowly climb back up. He continues to be anemic, but he is improving. As always, though, our biggest indicator is Skipper's quality of life. As long as the beagle howls, we know Skipper is having the time of his life.

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