Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day by Day

We are still fighting and Cali continues to fight with us.  As an update, the chemotherapy mentioned in my previous post did not work and she crashed this past week.  She stopped eating completely and her attitude plummeted.  We took her in on Tuesday for the 'rescue drug' that helps bring them back for a short time while other options are pursued.  We met with our oncologist and discussed a new therapy that has JUST been approved for use.  Monoclonal Antibody therapy is a new treatment that has revolutionized treated human lymphoma.  It has recently become available for canine lymphoma..specifically T Cell Lymphoma.  It is expensive and time consuming..BUT...(big BUT)..if it can CURE Lymphoma with NO side effects.  It essentially trains your immune system to kill cancer cells so cancer becomes just like any other virus/bacteria in your system.  it can be eradicated and never come back.
The kicker takes time to work.  We are on our last chemotherapy drug that she isn't resistant it has to keep the cancer at bay long enough for her immune system to work.  And so far this has been the hard part with making the new therapy as effective for canines as humans. 
So on Friday..after getting her back to stable..we started a new chemo and gave her the first dose of this new therapy. 
She now just has to hold on long enough...and her immune system has to be strong enough..for this to all work.  We should know if we will continue the biweekly treatments after this coming week. 
She isn't eating great..but she is eating some. She has moments of feeling good but isn't feeling like herself. So..we are taking it day by day. 
For now..she is still holding down her "Sunday morning blog posting' spot
We are trying to keep the other dogs happy and not be too sad for them.  Roxi celebrated her 2nd birthday and 1st gotcha day a few weeks ago.  She keeps us smiling.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cooper Vineyard SPCA Festival

I just went and looked back in my blog (one of the many reasons I love doing this) and discovered our first trip to the Cooper Vineyard SPCA Festival was in 2008. And we've been going every year since.  So this was our 7th time and we've definitely mastered the art of hanging at a winery with a bunch of dogs all day.  This year we had five tents, 18 people, 19 dogs and a lot of food and wine.  We call it greyhound city and the owners of Cooper know we are coming every year and know we drink a lot of wine!! ;-)
The weather was perfect..mid 70s, slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. 
It was perfect napping weather
Even for babies (she has a new collar and I think it is very striking on her! Thank you, Houndstown)
 We even took Dana.  She is  14 and 4 months!  Acupuncture has really helped her mobility and appetite. Though she is still too skinny..she seems to feel great.
 It was a great day.
Cali is doing OK..but not great.  She isn't eating well and isn't playing as much as we'd like her to be.  We will likely go back tomorrow for bloodwork and a new chemotherapy protocol.  The hope it is to get her back to feeling like herself. 
Have a great Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Cancer roller coaster

I have to admit. I hate roller coasters.  You won't find me on one..ever.  But sometimes in life, you find yourself on one. 
Cali's T-Cell Lymphoma is winning.  But this isn't to say we have run out of weapons.  The bad part of T-cell Lymphoma is that it becomes resistant to chemotherapy much quicker than B-cell lymphoma.  And apparently is notorious for submitting for a bit and then coming back.  so that is where we are at this point.  Cali has been getting three different chemotherapies rotated weekly for 7 weeks.  But her red blood cell count has started to go down again.  This week, we gave her the most powerful of the three chemotherapy drugs.  In two weeks, we will redo bloodwork and see if this one worked.  If it didn't..we have one chemotherapy drug left to try.  If it did, we will continue using it every 3 weeks for a bit to see if we can knock the cancer in to submission.
The plus side:  She is still eating, not loosing weight and seems to be happy and playful. We would never do any of this if her quality of life were not improved by the drugs.  She has NO side effects from them but we both know she is weary of weekly vet visits (as are we).  When we were out of town last weekend, Nerice took this video ( so you see her whippet, Diego, and greyhound, Sassy, trying to get in on the action). But this is Cali..laughing in the face of cancer.
She definitely kicked osteo's butt..but T Cell Lymphoma is a different story.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sweet 16

 On May 7th, Cali celebrated her 16 month ampuversary.  I'd say this is a milestone. She is also responding extremely well to her Lymphoma chemotherapy. She has gained 6 pounds (she lost a total of 9 before diagnosis and during prednisone treatment) and she is GIDDY she feels so good.  Her bloodwork is great.  Mom and Dad are weary of weekly chemotherapy treatments but it makes it worth it to see how good she feels and how well she is doing!!
So we celebrated with some sunshine and playtime.
We are watching Ana and Blue as well.  Ana watches a bee.
 Roxi loves to be chased.  And the greyhounds love to chase!  Cody can get a bit carried away so we muzzle him during hard core play times.  Blue is an old man but he still runs at the back of the pack.
 Cali enjoys running with the pack too. She and Roxi wrestle a lot inside but occasionally they get going outside as well.
This isn't a great photo but it cracked me up because it is typical Roxi.  Goofball.
 Happy 16 months, Cali.