Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quick Update: On Dogs and Vomit

So I know I left everyone hanging after my last post about Monte (I'm sure you were all on pins and needles, right?) but we've been through a lot since then. Since it's last Sunday night and I'm in a bit of a Sunday-night-funk, you're just going to get the quick and short update. So, last I updated you, our poor boy had lost his sight over the weekend. Then, miraculously, his vision came back on Monday! We were shocked. Unfortunately, we found out on Wednesday that the cause of his vision loss is cancer - Lymphoma to be exact. So, on Thursday we found ourselves at the City of Angels Canine Oncology Clinic. What a weird place. A lot of emotional people in the waiting room with their cats and dogs exchanging diagnoses, prognoses, and treatment plans. A bit like a cancer support group.

The clinic was amazing and the treatment we received was great. I fell in love with our vet. A cute, little-girl-like woman who curled up like a cat on the floor next to Monte and stroked his head through the whole exam. By this point, Monte had lost a ton of weight, had no energy, and was pretty unresponsive. We thought we were going there to get a timeframe on his life expectancy.

Instead, this little girl in a dress vet told us his cancer is the most common and most treatable form of canine cancer and that he had a good chance of putting the cancer into remission for at least a year, maybe more. We were shocked. We were also shocked by the cost of the chemotherapy. But, what could we do? We agreed to pay it and started the chemo that day.

Now, I should tell you that chemotherapy in dogs is nothing like chemo for people. There are none of the side effects (at least for the majority of dogs) and the impact is dramatic and rapid. Because of this, Monte began getting better the very day that he got his first treatment. That night, he played with his toys and ate a full dinner. Now? He's back to being alert, playful and happy. It's absolutely amazing.

The cost? Six months of treatment and a shitload of money. But it's so totally worth it.


Monte on a hike a few years back


Monte, just a tiny bit smaller!

I also wanted to give you a quick update on me. I've started to have a bit more energy lately. Enough so that I feel like I can actually participate in life again somewhat. I've been able to get more work done at work, which is good. And I don't immediately crawl into bed when I get home at night. On Saturday, we went to the races to see the Santa Anita Derby. A long and fun day and there is NO way I could have done that a week ago.

But I'm still sick. And I am so sick of being sick. I will write a post later describing this more in detail, but for those of you who haven't been through it yet, I will say that when you hear that you get "nauseous" in the first trimester, it is so much more than that. It is just an all-encompassing feeling of being sick. And it really wears you down emotionally.

Saturday, the day we went to the horse races, and the day I was so proud of being able to participate in, was bookended with two spectacular episodes of sickness. Starting with vomiting all over myself in the car on the way to the races and ending with the most horrific, disgusting (I will spare you the details) episode of vomiting I have ever had. **Note to self: Stick to bread and pasta. Do NOT eat nachos and cheeseburgers.

Anyhow, that's my update on me and Monte. Now it's Sunday night and I'm left wrestling with the fact that I didn't manage to do anything productive all day today and now the week is starting over. Oh well!

18 comments:

  1. Poor Monte! That is sad, but thank goodness he is already doing better!! I can imagine the cost. I know it must be terrible. We tried to save our cat a few years ago from some complications with Diabetes, and it took forever to pay off. It will be so worth it though. I know just how you feel! I hope he's as good as new very soon!

    I hope your sickness passes soon :-( Glad you are getting more energy! Maybe the sickness will be on its way out, too.

    Hugs!!

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    1. Yeah...the cost is pretty awful. I feel lucky we were somewhat able to afford it. I hope that it's worth it in the long run. I'm sorry about your cat :(

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  2. I am so sorry that Monte has cancer, but so glad he is getting treatment! Our dog got lymphoma a few years back and my parents couldn't afford the treatment :(

    I hope your sickness passes soon. The say the second trimester is the most enjoyable. How far along are you now?

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    1. Like I said above, I feel really lucky that we were able to afford it. Goes back to the post I made about privilege, huh?

      I'm at 10weeks this week (10+4 today), so I only have a few more weeks until the second trimester. Keeping my fingers crossed that it is the beautiful, blissful place that everyone has told me about.

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  3. Cancer..yikes! Scary indeed but it seems that Monte is receiving the very best love and care and I hope that his cancer is in remission soon and he's feeling better!!

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    1. I know, it was a shock. He's definitely feeling better. It could take awhile until it's "in remission," but I'll take what we're getting right now :)

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  4. Oh I am sorry about Monte, but glad to hear there is a diagnosis and that he has been recovering ever since.

    I hope you slowly start feeling better, less tired, more you!

    Thinking of you! Take care!

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    1. Thanks for thinking of me and Monte :) We're both doing much better today!

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  5. I'm glad Monte can see again and that his treatment is making him feel more normal! That is great news; I was worried about him.

    I'm so sorry you had a tough time on Saturday! :o( I understand, though! I hope your sickness ends very, very soon because you are SO right about how it takes you over and makes you feel completely miserable.
    PS: don't eat spaghetti or popcorn if you're feeling nauseous. Ever.
    <3

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    1. So glad you understand about it "taking over." It seems silly, but it invades your whole life. HOW have you handled it this long???

      I have experienced the getting sick in the middle eating a huge bowl of popcorn. Haven't eaten it since. BUT i am basically surviving on noodles, including spaghetti, so I guess that doesn't apply to me.

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  6. Poor puppy :(. I'm glad the treatment seems to be helping.

    I am exactly with you on the sick thing. I keep just telling my husband I feel nauseous but it is so much more than that and I don't really know how to explain it to him. I have started feeling a little better and more functional over the last couple days but I think I still have a few weeks before I really get rid of it. You are right. It really is, surprisingly, emotionally draining.

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes!!! It is SO hard to explain! But it is SO emotionally draining. I just want to go on a vacation and come back to life in a few weeks.

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  7. I'm so glad to hear that Monte has a diagnosis and treatment plan. Hope that he continues to believe daily!

    And hope YOU get to feeling better soon, too!

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    1. Thank you! For both sentiments!!

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  8. Cancer is a scary diagnosis, but I'm so glad that he is already starting to feel better. Hopefully your nausea will get better soon, too!

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    1. Thank you!! He's standing next to me begging for food as I write this. Silly dog.

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  9. Yikes... that barfing sounds nasty! Maybe I should stop complaining about having no symptoms and be thankful I can still eat a bowl of nachos. :) Very happy to hear the news about Monte -- and amazing that the treatment takes effect so quickly! If only humans had the same reaction...

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    1. Hahah...either way there's a downside. I mean, not having symptoms is stressful in its own right. But in the long run, once you are certain everything is ok, you can look back and think "hell yeah!" You lucky unicorn, you!

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