I didn’t take any photos yesterday when I was at Peak in Burlington, so I thought I’d just go ahead and post this cute shot I took the other morning of Wilbur and Aurora in the living room. In a round-up of medical news from yesterday’s trip, let’s start with the good news:
— Darla’s blind left eye had a pressure of 10, which means the fluids are no longer building up, the procedure worked, and her eye is now comfortable. Yay! I will post more on this particular procedure after some more time has gone by, but for right now I can say we are very glad we did the gentamicin injection.
Well, that was the good news.
— On ultrasound,the clot in Aurora’s leg has actually gotten larger, and it looks like a second, smaller clot has formed downstream of it. Fortunately, she is not painful now, which means that her body has compensated for the blockage by re-routing blood flow around it using different vessels. Unfortunately, it means that she is still too prone to clotting and her current medications are not sufficient. So our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Marielle Goossens, has added heparin to Aurora’s protocol. We are now giving this to her three times a day via subQ (under the skin) injections. We will recheck her clotting factors next week.
And in the worst news…
— Widget’s lymphoma has failed to respond to the first line “rescue” chemo drug called CCNU. Our next and perhaps last option is a different protocol called MOPP that we will begin next week. (Here’s an interesting, brief paper on “Rescue Therapy for Canine Lymphoma.”) At this point — because she came out of remission so quickly, because returning to the original protocol did not work, and because she did not respond to the CCNU — the chances of it working in Widget are only about 50%, our oncologist told me yesterday. Thus the prognosis is not good. But we are not ready to throw in the towel.
Widget is still feeing too good, and she is so energetic and happy and active, that we don’t want to concede defeat without at least one more try. If she were feeling poorly, and acting like she felt sick, we certainly wouldn’t take this step. But no one could watch her march around the house, tail up and bobbing, wooing as she went, and think she could be weeks away from death.
The other complicating factor for her, besides her heart disease, is a recurring urinary bug that is now resistant to multiple antibiotics. Initially the pathology lab found it would respond to a single, rarely used antibiotic called chloramphenicol, which we needed to give her using surgical gloves. She’s been on that for months. Two weeks ago another urine culture showed that chloramphenicol is not working any longer, so our oncologist switched Widget to another drug. Oddly, Widget shows no symptoms of urinary or bladder problems, but if this bug gets out of control — easy to do in a body whose immune system is suppressed by chemotherapy — she could have a systemic crisis.
So … continuing with chemo raises the risk for that, but giving up now on chemo brings death that much sooner.
That’s where we are. You can see why I thought a cute photo at the top of this post might help.