ONE year since Osteosarcoma entered our life!

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It has been one year since Sarge was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, and we began this unpredictable journey.  From the very beginning, it seemed as if every decision was wrought with fear, uncertainty and indecisiveness.

“Do we amputate?”

“Do we just do radiation?”

“Will Sarge be able to handle the Chemo?”

“Are we doing the right thing?”

 “How long will Sarge be with us?”

 “Would he want to go through this if he had a choice?”

It seemed with every wince of pain, set back, or side effect of the chemo, I allowed myself to question the route we had chosen.

Now that we can look back on the last year, I can say without the slightest hesitation, that we made the right choice to amputate and start chemo. Without the complete support of our amazing veterinarian, Dr. Aaron Heintz DVM, family and friends, we could not have come this far!

There is not a day that goes by, that Sarge’s “hoppy” personality fails to impress upon me the significant level of joy he allows himself to live everyday.  He never frets about when/if his cancer is coming back, he never worries about the next chemo treatment (he actually gets excited to go see his favorite veterinarian).

We have so much to learn from Sarge’s never faltering zest for life and just living in the moment.

Sarge has learned that cancer means: even more loving and cuddling than he ever experienced before, fast hopping propels more efficiently than a slow hop, people that were scared of him before because he was a “BIG dog!”, now approach and inquire as to why he is missing a leg and readily pet him, he gets grain free food (not that he knows what that means) but he knows he gets home cooked turkey, chicken, steak, fish, eggs,  and extras like yogurt, coconut oil, peanut butter, and all kinds of special “yummies”, he gets tons of car rides and fire pit time; which is one of his favorite things in the world and he gets told “I love you” A LOT!

I pray we are blessed with another year, but I am learning from Sarge to live in the moment.  I will be thankful for today, for the moment and for the memories!

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Carboplatin next to last treatment.

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Sarge is resting after his chemo today, so I will enter his report for him.  He had a complete work up today including chest x-ray, aspiration of a growth on his chest and a complete blood count that ALL revealed he is doing fabulous!!!!  His blood work indicated that his liver and renal function looks great, also his Alk phos levels look great (which if elevated can indicate cancer is active), the WBC (white blood cell count) and lymphocyte count all looked normal which is also good news as chemo can affect these as well.    Dr. Heintz could not be more pleased with his progress and status.

Dr. Heintz has agreed to let me “shadow” during Sarges next carboplatin treatment, so that I can take a video to show the “behind the scenes” protocol of a canine chemo treatment.  As a fur-parent, I think we often worry about what happens during these visits, when we drop them off and pick them up hours later.  Seeing the actual steps during a chemotherapy treatment may help us to be more comfortable about the process.   

As healthy as Sarge is, it is easy to forget that the cancer is still in his system.  Every day that he is with us and feeling happy, hungry and pain-free, is a gift.  We try not to let the thoughts of the cancer returning, overshadow our joyful time that we are being blessed with.  We have always loved our Sarge to the moon and back, but since his osteosarcoma diagnosis and subsequent amputation, he has received more love and affection than any dog could wish for, and we will continue to shower him with all the affection that a cancer warrior like Sarge deserves!!

7/9/14 Chemo round ; Carboplatin and Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)

Sarge was dropped off at around 8:30 am today.  The vet called around noon and said I could come get him at 1:30.  Dr. Hintz said he did wonderful. and that he was very pleased with how his back leg is now doing.  I could hear Sarge barking when I got there and I know that bark, he had to go potty!    As soon as they brought him out to me, he was pulling (I actually LOVE to say my dog was PULLING now!!!!)  for the door.  He ran to the yard in front of the clinic and peed for what seemed to be an eternity!  I guess the 2 IV bags of fluids were working his kidneys!   The Dr. said he did wonderful and was a fantastic patient.  He told me I was “doing the right thing because Sarge still so full of life!”  What a wonderful thing to hear from a professional.  Sometimes I get caught up in emotion and, at times,  have doubted my choices.  To hear him tell me that meant SO much!  He told me to expect few to no symptoms for 3 days them look mostly for diarrhea and anorexia.  He advised Imodium AD IF he had more than 1 episode and to call if it was happening more than 3-5 times a day.  I also have my 100% pure pumpkin and chicken broth handy, thanks to Tripawds suggestions!!  Thanks for your advice!.

I have to work a 12 hour shift Friday so granny and paw paw will be staying with Sarge in case any symptoms develop.

 This was a good day on our osteosarcoma roller coaster.  We have an inside “high five” phrase at out work and we call it delta cookies….. today earned major DELTA COOKIES!  

So proud of you Sarge!