And now for some bad news…

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Last time we checked in, Lucky had just gotten chest x-rays in December where we found out that he was 6 months met free with Palladia. Not a spot to be seen. Well, a few weeks ago Lucky started getting an occasional gagging cough. It had happened a few times before, and we figured that either he had picked up a mild infection or he was having some throat irritation due to his being intubated 3 times in the past year. We had our vet check it out as well as Dr. V, and everyone said that it seemed like an upper respiratory tract thing, since his lungs sounded fine. But we took him off palladia for a couple of weeks while we gave him some antibiotics to not overwhelm him with drugs.

Well, on Friday Lucky was due for another chest x-ray session. We were totally blindsided when we saw a HUGE met in his lungs. About softball sized. Dr. V talked to us about how this met was probably a palladia resistant group of cells that had just been biding their time and had started to expand very rapidly. Needless to say, it was a very rough weekend. We didn’t tell Lucky about it though, so he had a great weekend! He got to go to the beach at Fiesta Island, on a picnic at the park, and he got to eat pretty much anything he wanted all weekend! He’s such a happy puppy, full of energy and love.

Playing fetch at Fiesta IslandPicnic day at the park

 

Now for our dilemma. Of course the quality of Lucky’s life is way more valuable than quantity, and we would never want to see him suffer at all. Right now, I feel like that is definitely the case. Other than his occasional coughing, Lucky is living it up and he’s just as happy and full of energy as ever. Dr. V’s take on things was that Palladia is one of the best drugs out there, and so if Palladia isn’t working then probably nothing else will. However, with the miracle we saw in the past with his tumors decreasing in size/disappearing with Palladia, I can’t help but wonder if there’s something we can do to attack this tumor and get it to shrink/slow down. In some online research, I’ve come across Masitinib (also called Kinavet) as another recently approved drug that has shown some really promising results. I know that this drug targets a lot of the same pathways as Palladia, and I’ve seen at least one reference online that indicated it might be useful in palladia-resistent tumors. I know that I’ve seen some dogs on Tripawds that have used Masitinib, so I’m trying to look around and see what people’s experiences have been with it and if anybody knows anything more about it, particularly in relation to palladia and palladia-resisitent tumors (I know, that’s very specific information that might be hard to come across).

Anyway, we’ll be talking to Dr. V this week about the possibility, and we’ll let you all know what happens with it. We’re going to keep our fingers crossed for now.

 

Cancer sucks ūüôĀ


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Great news, long overdue!

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Hi all, this news is a few weeks overdue, but Lucky had his most recent chest x-rays on December 16th, and his lungs were still completely clear! We feel so lucky to have had this amazing result and hope that Palladia, which has been a miracle drug for Lucky, also works just as well for others out there! This visit to Dr. V was especially exciting since, with 6 months of clear lungs, we will be going off Palladia in a couple of weeks. We’re very excited to get Lucky off drugs, because even though he hasn’t experienced many side effects at all, it seems like the Palladia does make him a little bit tired sometimes. We’re also crossing our fingers that we won’t see anything come back up after Lucky stops his drugs.

We’re almost 11 months post-surgery, and every single day we’re reminded how lucky we are to have our best friend with us, and going strong! Here’s to another great year with Lucky ahead!

8 months later: Ups and downs….but mainly ups!

Camping at San Mateo!

Here is a summary of everything that has been going on with Lucky over the past few months (since out last check-in with Tripawds!). ¬†Lucky was on a chemo trial when his follow up chest x-rays were done in May. ¬†Unfortunately they showed multiple spots of lung mets and he had to be pulled from the chemo trial. ¬†He was then started on Palladia. ¬†We also tried cytoxan and lasix, but he got too sick from the cytoxan and we ended up going solely with the Palladia. ¬†He had more follow up x-rays in July. ¬†We were bracing for the worst, but……his x-rays were totally clear! ¬†No signs of any mets to his lungs. ¬†Evidently unusual to see, but we were thrilled! ¬†We held the course with the Palladia, which he tolerated fine. ¬†Then in late September we noticed a lump on his left rear flank. ¬†They did a needle biopsy, and it was positive for soft tissue sarcoma. ¬†We scheduled surgery to have the lump removed (a piece of cake after you’ve been through an amputation!) and were happy to get the report that there were clear margins all the way around the lump. ¬†So he is quite a sight now with his tripawd status as well as his new battle scar on his left rear (approx a 6 inch incision which has healed nicely). ¬†So that’s all the medical stuff – on the social side, Lucky is doing fantastic. ¬†Loving the beach, camping parks, etc, etc. ¬†He is as happy as ever, wagging and wiggling with excitement around everyone and everything. ¬†What a high quality of life he is enjoying! ¬†We are happy to share this positive experience, because as you can tell from reading our previous posts there were many tough times. Now looking back, we have absolutely no regrets about Lucky’s surgery and treatment! It’s amazing to think that it’s only been 8 months since Lucky’s surgery. He seems happier than ever, and we are so appreciative of every day with our best friend!