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Update on Luna...

.unknown.
February 11th, 2011, 02:13 PM
Today is a really sad day.

We went in for the ultrasound and discovered that Luna has fairly advanced cancer in her bladder. The doctor predicts that she has 3-4 months to live. We have a couple of options that may help her live longer, but it's not very hopeful.

:(

mastifflover
February 11th, 2011, 02:17 PM
I am so sorry. Enjoy every minute you can with her and do whatever you can for her.

BMDLuver
February 11th, 2011, 02:26 PM
so very sorry it was bad news.

BenMax
February 11th, 2011, 02:27 PM
Unknown I am so very sorry to hear this. Not an easy time and I can imagine you are going through a turmoil of emotion. I have had experience in this with my rottie. Please let me share with you my personal experience and how I should NOT have handled it.

Ben was diagnosed with cancer of the 3rd eyelid. The operation was successful and they were able to save the 3rd eyelid...for 3 months, and then it spread again. This time, the eyelid was completely removed and also surrounding tissues. Again the surgery went well...for 6 months. Then things went down hill. It was vet visits after vet visits, specialists after specialists and what was offered was chemo that may or may not buy him another 6 months.

Poor Ben followed me back and forth and never protested with all the prodding and poking. He was so good.

In the end, another surgery and chemo sessions would cost as much as 5,000 dollars. Money was not my issue as I would have done anything. The quality of his life was the real issue now. He was still so lively and I no longer wanted to put him through more pain and misery. I took alternative #2. Predisone. It bought me exactly one month with Ben. It was bitter sweet. I loved him up as much as I could and in the end he let me know that it was time. I did what I had to do with much pain and inner turmoil.

In the end, I realized I gave him a great life right up until the last day where we sat by the pond and watched the waterfall together. I hold those moments closer to me than anything else as I saw how wonderfully peaceful he was. He smelt the air and enjoyed his surroundings until I had to take that last drive in.

All this to say that I understand how you are feeling, but I also want you to know that time is not a factor in loving your baby. For Luna, everyday is just a day. For you it is much more than that but you can take full advantage of just giving Luna tons of love and remind yourself how lucky you both are today.

:grouphug: Stength to you unknown. I wish you peace.

t.pettet
February 11th, 2011, 06:39 PM
So sorry to hear such sad news about your precious Luna.

.unknown.
February 11th, 2011, 08:44 PM
Thank you, everyone.

It's going to be really hard to say good bye when the time comes. Until then, we're just going to try our best to keep her comfortable and happy. Lots of off leash park time for her - her favourite place.

The most reasonable treatment option for her seems to be metacam and antibiotics. There is also an injection of an enzyme that would help her bladder stay lubricated and less prone to infections. The tumour is occupying the entire top portion of her bladder and it is rubbing the bottom causing a lesion, which was where the bleeding is from.

There are other options, which include chemo, a stent, etc. All of which to me, seem like they will cause her more stress with more vet visits and biopsies etc. They all sound like they would only extend her life a few more months passed the time frame the specialist gave me.

She said that she had a case with the same level of growth as Luna that went the Metacam route and she made it 8 months, so there is hope that this will work.

We will have a chat with our regular veterinarian and see what he thinks, but I want her final months to be happy, and stress free. Not stuck in vet offices getting more probes and biopsies...

*sigh*
:(

friendlygal
February 11th, 2011, 09:56 PM
My heart is so heavy for u at this time....i just recently lost my best friend King, who was 14 years old in December, so i know what a difficult time u are facing. i will keep u and most importantly luna in my prayers. enjoy every last moment that u have with luna, and make as many memories as u possibly can. just know that u have done everyhing u possibly can, and u will have no regret at all. remember, quality over quantity. luna will always be with u, even after she is gone. i with be thinking about u during this difficult journey. please don't forget to take time to take care of yourself as well. it is too easy to become so emotionally invested in things that are very difficult, and we end up forgetting to look after ourselfves. thinking of you, and i will keep u both in my prayers....(((hugs))):pray:

14+kitties
February 11th, 2011, 10:04 PM
I am so sorry. :( Enjoy every day you can with Luna. She doesn't know she's dying. She would not want you to be sad. There's time for grief later. Just love her now. :grouphug:

Dog Dancer
February 12th, 2011, 12:04 AM
Strength to you during this difficult time unknown. 14+ is right, Luna doesn't know and so long as she's comfortable she likely doesn't care. That you are there for her is what is important to her. Be strong.:grouphug:

Shaykeija
February 12th, 2011, 12:39 AM
Just love Luna more...I am so sorry you have to face this...:grouphug:

luckypenny
February 12th, 2011, 07:03 AM
I'm so sorry :grouphug:.

Love4himies
February 12th, 2011, 07:06 AM
I am so sorry :grouphug:, like 14+ said, Luna isn't aware of what is happening to her. I lost a cat to cancer and feel the same as BenMax, it is not the few days more that you may be able to keep her alive, but the quality of life she has while she is with you.

Sending lots of :goodvibes: that she will still have many happy months with you.

Sylvie
February 12th, 2011, 07:29 AM
I understand what you are going through. I am so sorry :grouphug:

Live every day to its fullest :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
February 12th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Such sad news, .unknown. :grouphug: Luna is lucky to have you there with her. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted on how she's doing. :2huggers:

dbg10
February 13th, 2011, 12:01 PM
So sorry to hear the bad news. As several have said, Luna doesn't know she's dying and will pick up on your sadness. Now is the time to show how much you love her, you will have lots of time to grieve later. :( I am glad you have chosen not to put her through chemo etc., I am among the people who believe that the time gained with it and other treatments is often not quality time, unfortunately. I hope that Luna has a peaceful and painfree time and that you have many months left with her. :)

rainbow
February 13th, 2011, 07:04 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Luna. :( :grouphug:

Dee-O-Gee
February 13th, 2011, 07:29 PM
Truly sorry to hear this sad news .unknown. :(

Love Luna like there's no tomorrow because tomorrow will become a memory.

:grouphug:

.unknown.
February 14th, 2011, 10:47 AM
Thanks again guys.

I had almost forgotten what an amazing support system is here on this forum.

I have an appointment with our regular vet on Thursday so I will discuss her treatments with him then. I've read a small amount about a supplement called Graviola, that has shown some possible anti-cancer properties. If the vet thinks it is good idea, I think we might try it in conjunction with medicine to see if it helps her feel better. Some people and pet owners have reported a remission in cancer, or siginificant shinkage of tumors. I won't hope for a cure, but if there is even a slight chance it will help, we'll give it a try since it doesn't seem to have any troubling side effects.

I'm just in a daze, but keeping a stiff upper lip so she doesn't feel any stress though me... We've been playing together and snuggling lots.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v456/gabberkitten/1d766c8e.jpg

You can see her shaved tummy from the ultrasound. It feels really soft and I think she really enjoys it being rubbed - much like my BF when he shaves his head!:lovestruck:

ScottieDog
February 18th, 2011, 11:53 AM
.unknown., I am so sorry you got such devastating news about Luna. My Scottie had many health problems her final year (age 10-11). Scotties are prone to transitional cell carcinoma (TCC/bladder cancer). Tipper's bladder polyp was discovered on ultrasound, as well as a severe UTI. When we were able to clear up the infection, Tipper had surgery to remove the polyp. Even with the surgery, the vet specialist didn't like the way her bladder wall was healing. Tipper was prescribed a drug called Piroxicam. The drug can help, but it has dangers and risks. It killed my precious girl. Tipper had lost her spleen and this caused her immune system to weaken. A liver biopsy during the bladder surgery showed she had hepatitis. With the weakened liver, the piroxicam caused her kidneys to fail and we lost her to kidney failure. She was a very, very sick little girl before starting the medication.

Piroxicam does have some success in shrinking bladder tumors. While I had horrible experience with this medication, others have success. Before we helped Tipper to the Bridge, a final ultrasound was done. Tipper had so many problems, but the ultrasound did show a cleared bladder (she took the medication about 3 weeks before kidney failure). If you consider this medication, please research it well and know the signs of organ failure, stomach ulcers, etc. I strongly encourage blood work to test organ function as well if you consider this drug. I put my sweet girl through too much trying to save her life. In the end, I caused her harm and will live with this guilt forever :cry:. She was the sweetest, most gentle soul with the true diehard spirit of a Scottie. I wish I hadn't put her through this. The vet saw how much I loved her and wanted to treat aggressively so we could have more time. It was a mistake and Tipper didn't have the quality of life I would choose now.

Luna is in my prayers :pray:. I went through this nightmare and wanted to relate my experience. If your vet considers this medication, proceed with caution. It can work, but all other aspects of the dog's health must be taken into account. I wouldn't be honoring Tipper's memory if I didn't relate her story. May you find peace and strength. Cherish your Luna, as I'm sure you already do.

.unknown.
February 18th, 2011, 04:23 PM
Thank you for sharing ScottieDog. I'm sorry to hear how things turned out. Please don't feel quilty, you were only doing the best that you could for your friend.

I feel good about putting Luna on Metacam; she's been on it before with favorable results. She's got moderate arthritis in her hips and spine. Initially, her Vet thought she was getting infections due to an inability to properly squat and void her bladder completely. She responded really well while she was on it, so I am hopeful this will help her stay comfortable until the time comes to say goodbye.

We did a blood test a few weeks ago and her functions were all perfect. Her ultrasound noted some slight, age-related changes in her kidneys and liver, but nothing extraordinary. She isn't going on a full dose of the Metacam, it's more a lower, "maintenance" dose.

The option for Chemo and radiation were offered, but the vet advised against it. The time she would spend getting injections, treatments and recovering from them would outweigh the slight extension of her life and we both agreed that it is about quality right now. Plus, the fact that both treatments could possibly destroy her aging organs, made them out of the question for me.

She is currently, by all appearances, a normal, healthy, active, dog. Everyone comments on how she is so active despite having such a harsh death sentence hanging over her head. I am going to try to take each day that she is active and normal as a gift and help her live out her remaining days enjoying them to the fullest, and not in an office gettng biopsied, needled and examined.

.unknown.
July 6th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Just thought I would update this page, Luna is still going strong! 6 months later and she is still voiding her bladder, eating and is active.

:thumbs up

mikischo
July 6th, 2011, 12:59 PM
Oh, I'm so very happy to hear that.

Way to go, Luna!:thumbs up

:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: that you and Luna have lots more good times together.

Rgeurts
July 6th, 2011, 01:10 PM
I was SO afraid to look at this post, but am very glad I did!!! We are dealing with cancer as well, so I know what you are going through. I'm very happy to see your girl is still going strong!! I wish you many more happy/pain free months together :D :grouphug:

Melinda
July 6th, 2011, 01:38 PM
what a fighter!! good for both of you

.unknown.
July 6th, 2011, 04:18 PM
Thanks guys! I tried to change the title of the thread to remove the "bad news", but couldn't!

I can't believe it's been 6 months already, but we are so happy she is still well and happy :)

here are a couple shots showing how she's changed since about a year old until now, at ten years!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v456/gabberkitten/fd736693.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v456/gabberkitten/9140d6f4.jpg

They are crappy cell phone pictures, but you get the idea. :)

hazelrunpack
July 6th, 2011, 04:24 PM
She's looking mighty fine, .unknown.!! :D What a fighter she is! I hope you have lots more time with your girl! :goodvibes:

cpietra16
July 6th, 2011, 06:19 PM
wow I was almost afraid to open the thread dreading some bad news...but what a fighter...she looks amazing...I guess she has it too good and will keep company according to her time!!!!!:thumbs up

dbg10
July 6th, 2011, 07:28 PM
What a wonderful update! I am so glad she has made it this far may you have many more happy and painfree days together. We are also dealing with cancer here and Raggs has made it 6 months as well. I send good vibes and prayers for Luna and you and hope everything continues as it is :pray::pray::goodvibes::goodvibes:

Dee-O-Gee
July 6th, 2011, 08:47 PM
I'm so happy to be reading the update and typing this happy post! :)

She sure is looking mighty fine .unknown. :highfive:

Love4himies
July 7th, 2011, 08:34 AM
wow I was almost afraid to open the thread dreading some bad news...but what a fighter...she looks amazing...I guess she has it too good and will keep company according to her time!!!!!:thumbs up

Me too.

So glad that she has surpassed the vets expectations! and continues to do so for a long, long time :goodvibes:

.unknown.
July 7th, 2011, 03:31 PM
Thank you, everyone!

DBG, I'll be sending you good vibes back! It's a tough thing to go through!

:grouphug:

dbg10
July 9th, 2011, 03:25 PM
Thank you, everyone!

DBG, I'll be sending you good vibes back! It's a tough thing to go through!

:grouphug:

Thanks please know I'll be thinking about you and Luna :2huggers:

Sylvie
July 11th, 2011, 08:02 AM
What good news.

What a fighter she is, and she looks wonderful :lovestruck:

marko
July 11th, 2011, 08:38 AM
This is awesome news :grouphug: :goodvibes: and it's my pleasure to change the remove bad news from the thread title.

Continued good vibes :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

.unknown.
July 11th, 2011, 10:14 AM
Thank you!! :thumbs up

.unknown.
August 13th, 2011, 02:52 PM
Just got back from the vet where we checked on her weight and overall condition and the he says she is doing remarkably well. She's lost about 6lbs from her last visit but her weight is in her normal overall range. She doesn't have any signs of discomfort during abdominal exam and her lymph nodes are all normal.

We are so happy she's still doing so well!

chico2
August 13th, 2011, 04:17 PM
Fantastic news,thank you:grouphug:

hazelrunpack
August 13th, 2011, 04:23 PM
So good to hear she's doing so well! :goodvibes: :highfive:

Goldfields
August 13th, 2011, 08:55 PM
What lovely news, and all without any treatment that could have made her life very unpleasant. In hindsight, an excellent decision you made for her. :)

.unknown.
August 15th, 2011, 02:20 PM
Thanks everyone!

I'm very thankful that Luna's Veterinarian is experienced enough to know when certain treatments are appropriate. I credit her health to his careful eye!
:thumbs up

Melinda
August 16th, 2011, 08:31 AM
what a great update, and thumbs up to your vet, isn't it wonderful when you have one you can trust so much? here's hoping for continued good news.

DMCWLVSSR
August 16th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Just catching up, and happy to find the wonderful update. Sending hugs and prayers!