Friday, June 12, 2009



I saw an oncologist on Monday to find out about possible chemotherapy treatment for Lucy's recently diagnosed Lymphoma. Lucy has been sick since January, but it's only been a couple of weeks since she was finally diagnosed with the Lymphoma.

After hearing the three chemo options for her (that range from about $350 a month for oral chemo to $4200 for a five drug cocktail that's administered over a 5 week period), I've decided not to pursue chemo. Apparently chemotherapy is not a cure for Lymphoma (or other cancers) in dogs, it only temporarily treats the symptoms. The cheapest chemo averages only extra months, the middle chemo (around $3000) just six months, and for the most expensive chemo, the average prognosis is survival of one year before the lymphoma returns. At that point, you can redo chemo (which is less effective for the second bout) or just let the dog go.

If spending the money meant that Lucy would live a normal life and live for many more years to come, I may have considered it. But for the possibility of just one extra year (a period of time that may only have her feeling so-so), the chemo is not really something I want to pursue. As much as I love and adore her, I've already accepted that she's not going to be around long. Right now, the only thing I can do is continue to give her twice daily prednisone and occasional steroid shots (that really seem to give her a nice pick me up for a couple weeks), plus continue to give her a tasty diet and treats for as long as she is able to eat.

Right now it's just a waiting game as I continue to just be grateful for the time we have left together. Good days where she has a little pep in her step, a smile, and a healthy appetite fill me glee, bad days where she is lethargic and sad looking and not wanting to eat just makes me sad on a very heavy level.

I just have to take it a day at a time and keep thinking that when one door closes, another opens. There is a dog out there that will take over her spot, but never her place in my heart.

Photo credit: J. Herbert
Photographed May 18, 2009 in Encino, CA
© Lydia Marcus 2009

No comments: