Thursday, June 4, 2009


My apologies for being an erratic blogger, but my mental energy is really consumed with taking care of my dog Lucy right now.


On the previous post I wrote about Lucy's experimental drug therapy with Pamindronate. Well it turns out that was the 1st and last Pamindronate treatment she will ever receive.

Here's what happened since the treatment:

The vet wanted Lucy to take Pamindronate instead of the steroid shots and Prednisone pills we had been giving her. About 4 days after the Pamindronate, when all the last bit of steroids had left Lucy's system, she got VERY sick again. Stopped eating and drinking and just pretty much didn't want to move from Friday night until Monday when we got her back to the Vet. Spoke with our Vet over the weekend, and she said to put Lucy back on the Prednisone. She said that although her blood count was getting better as far as the Calcium numbers, clearly she was not faring well without the steroids in her system.

Saturday night, my Dad discovered a lump on the side of her neck. So Monday we returned to the Vet and did a biopsy. After six months of not knowing exactly what was wrong with her, we finally get the diagnosis - Lucy has Lymphoma. All the visible signs of illness go back to January when she first started vomiting and not eating for days on end, but I have a feeling the Lymphoma was lurking way before those symptoms arrived.

After a day back on the prednisone (and a steroid shot at the Vet), the lump in the side of her neck has become smaller right away. The steroids kind of suppress the lymphoma but doesn't completely take it or it's symptoms away.

We have an appointment with an Oncologist next week. The Pamindronate didn't really work out BUT had we not tried it and taken her off the steroids, the Lymphoma would not have shown itself - so ultimately this is a good thing to finally know what has been wrong with her since January 09. I don't know what the long term prognosis is - we may start chemo - but just taking it a day at a time. At least with the steroids in her system, Lucy's personality comes back, and she enjoys eating and playing with her Kong toys. She doesn't have as much energy as when she was healthy - our walks are pretty brief - but at least she isn't lying around looking like she's at death's door. I will continue to update Lucy's story as I know more. And when I find myself in the mood, I'll continue to post some new images of my beloved Polaroids and some digital too.

Lydia & Lucy photo by J. Herbert
Photographed May 18, 2009 in Encino, CA

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