Sunday, November 30, 2008

We are devastated

Adrienne woke up early Saturday morning to find Gus vomiting on her bed. She slept the rest of the morning on her floor while he slept in his crate, and then we took him to the vet after the vomiting didn't stop. After a rough and tense day, Gus died yesterday afternoon. The neighbor's puppy has been coming into our backyard and we think he has either parvovirus or some other similar virus. Even though Gus was vaccinated, puppies can still get it until they are about 8 months old. Needless to say, we are all devastated. Gus quickly became a very important member of our family and brought us much joy. Adrienne is inconsolable. On Friday, we also found out that Prince has an incurable cancer and will probably pass away in the coming months. We all remember how tiny he was when we got him, the runt of the litter, and he's been a wonderful family pet for more than 12 years. Unfair just doesn't begin to describe it.

Add to that, Adrienne's pain continues. We are pretty sure now that this is not a kidney stone but some other problem either related to her Hodgkin's or possibly a kidney infection from her cystitis. We'll try to push her scans up to this week to get some answers. She's gone from taking vicodin to oxycodone and now tramadol for the pain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Off to NY

We have plans to go to New York on December 14, seeing the doc on December 15. We got a spot at the new Hope Lodge, so that should be fun (and free). Adrienne will have scans on Monday, December 8, and we'll take the CD and report with us. I'm not sure how I feel about these scans so we'll take it a day at a time. So often it feels like our life is dictated by scans but at least they don't cause as much anxiety as they once did.

Adrienne is having intermittent pain from the kidney stone but was able to take herself to school today. The docs originally thought that it was small enough that it would pass on its own but obviously that hasn't happened. We'll just have to take it a day at a time.

Prince is home from the vet. He's moving in slow motion but seems mostly okay. The other dogs aren't quite sure what to do with him but they seem to be leaving the incisions alone. He has an enormous cone and has trouble getting through doors, which is quite funny. Earlier it sounded like a gun shot when he ran into a door frame, poor guy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You won't believe this

I finally talked to Daniel about midmorning. When he heard how worried I was, he matter of factly said, "mom, the fire's out." There was a voluntary evacuation where he lives and while some people left, many stayed including Daniel and his roommate. Everything is fine and even the air is starting to clear.

My car is in the shop today so Adrienne drove herself to school. She called in the afternoon crying as she was in pain, the worst she's ever had. Curt picked her up since he works near UNLV and my car was still in the shop (and still is this evening). It looks like the kidney stone that's been in her left kidney for more than a year has started to move. It just seems so unfair to have to go through this now. We have a good supply of vicodin, which is helping this evening, but we'll have to get morphine if the pain gets much worse.

And, Prince has his surgery tomorrow. I'm very nervous about this and have concerns about putting him through it, but the rest of the family feels that he's up to it. He'll be in doggy ICU for a day or two and we hope he can come home late Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Plan?

It looks like we'll be headed back to New York in December. Adrienne really hasn't had treatment since early October and we don't feel comfortable waiting for months to start another trial. I've been talking with Dr. O's office and they have a plan but I don't know the details yet since we played phone tag on Friday. I should know more Monday or Tuesday. Adrienne has been tired and has a cough, which is always concerning, but she's keeping up with school. She's eating a bit better now too with the help of mom's (that's me) matzo ball soup, Jewish penicillin as someone told me. At least she loves it.

Daniel lives in Santa Barbara. They evacuated just two blocks from his house but he's in an area with a voluntary evacuation. I told him to get out at the first sign of trouble and he promised he would. He's renting and has renter's insurance so there aren't any worries on that end but it's still quite scary when you watch the fires on TV.

Prince is having surgery on Tuesday. I'm nervous about it because of his age (12 years old) but he's always been in good health and Shelties can live a long, long time. He has just one large tumor that's attached to the liver at one point and the vet says most dogs do well after the removal. Still, he'll be in doggie ICU for a day or two. We hope he'll be able to come home on Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inconclusive pathology

I guess it's just as hard with dogs as with people. Prince's pathology came back with dysplastic spindle cells, which is a type of sarcoma, but there weren't enough cells to be sure. He seems happy, back to himself right now, eating and drinking well. Tomorrow, we're off to see the specialist to figure out what to do next. From what I read, they generally cut this type of cancer out unless it's too widespread, in which case there's nothing they can do. Even if they cut it out, it usually comes back within 6-12 months so we have some decisions to make.

Adrienne's cystitis is getting better, but overall, she's feeling worse with headaches, coughing, and shortness of breath. She's hardly left the house in days except to go to school or the clinic. Her labs and creatinine look good so those aren't responsible. I just hope this is something viral. I was fighting a really bad headache last week and she had it over the weekend so that makes me think she caught something from me. I'm trying hard to coax her to eat but she eats very little and is down to 101 pounds on her 5'5" frame. Her clothes are literally hanging on her. I always try to be positive but I'm definitely feeling a bit down right now. Let's all hope that this rights itself soon and she feels better.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's not to be

Adrienne restarted the MGCD yesterday along with IV hydration. Her cystitis symptoms started within a few hours and have gotten progressively worse today so that she's taking Vicodin every 2-3 hours and passing tissue in her urine. We just hope that it doesn't escalate to the level it was before with large blood clots. It's like when you have a cut and it scabs over, then you do something to knock the scab off. Needless to say, she won't be continuing on the trial. We don't have any plans yet but hope that she can take a few months off to recuperate before starting another trial.

We had another scare today with Prince who's been a bit lethargic, not eating for a few days. We took him to the vet (they're open on the weekends) and at first it looked like he had a big tumor in his liver. Now it's looking like a cyst but we won't know for sure until the pathology is back on Monday. We're hoping that this can just be drained, but it's quite large, doubling the size of his liver and pushing on his stomach, poor boy. The vet wanted to keep him for IV hydration but we decided to bring him home because we thought he'd be happier here. He ate a little bit tonight though we're having trouble getting fluids into him. At least he doesn't seem to have any pain.

Here's Prince (on the left) and Caesar. Prince is 12 years old now but still walks 3 miles most days.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Treatment Restarted

I'm just posting a quick note since it was a really long day. Adrienne was able to start chemo again today but her BP was very low so she had to stay for fluids. Add to that, the lab was really slow so they couldn't order chemo until they were back. Her creatinine is still a bit high but it came down enough for treatment. And good news today, Bekah's trial with LBH589 is working!!!! Go Bekah.