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Osteosarcoma; To Chemo or Not to Chemo?

JerryAtSHF_01.jpgPeople have asked my Mom and Dad why they didn’t go the chemotherapy route with me. They say that their main reason for not doing chemo was that they wanted our time together to be about quality, not quantity. My vet clinic was six hours away, and all of that driving, plus any side effects I may have gotten, would have taken a lot of fun time away from us! That’s just one reason.

If you’re a tripawd, and your parents decided that chemo was the best route for you to go, what were their reasons for doing it? What did you experience? Did you feel great afterward? Did you get sick? Was it a good thing? A bad thing? A non-thing?

And if your parents didn’t do chemo, what were their reasons for not doing it? 

We would love to hear your stories and experiences about chemo, so share them here!

5 thoughts on “Osteosarcoma; To Chemo or Not to Chemo?”

  1. Hi Jerry! My name is Darcy and I’m a Deerhound from the UK. This is the first time I’ve ever replied to a bloggy thing so I hope I’m doing it right! I had my front right leg amputated on 16th October (which was the very day they found I had what turned out to be osteo). I’d not had any limp of any other symptom AT ALL until thay day when I put my foot down and my leggie broke. I’m five and a half years old by the way.

    Anyway, my Mum & Dad did opt for Chemo for me and I had my second treatment on Thursday of last week. The reasons for my people deciding to go ahead with the chemo were that from advice they had taken from specialists and from doing a lot of reading whilst waiting for my biopsy results to come back, they felt that giving me chemo *may* help me stay here for a longer time. Also, the chemo is being done at my normal vets and its very close to home (about 10 mins) and I like everyone there and I’m a very easy patient. I just lay on a blanket on the floor and the vet people wear silly green suits and goggles and gloves (they look *so* stupid) and they do what they have to do and I just have a nap and wonder what Santa is going to bring me this year!

    My first chemo was with a drug called Carboplatin and I had no side effects at all. My second chemo (last Thursday) was with a drug called Doxorubicin and although my Mummy is touching wood as I type this, so far, I have had no side effects at all. I do hope it continues that way!

    I have had a diet change and am about to start taking something called Artemisininininininin (or something like that) and I am getting rather spoilt. A girl could get used to all this 🙂

    I wish you and all the other tripawds well and hope that you have a lovely Christmas with your families.

    Love (and an eyebrow wiggle), Darcy Deerhound
    xx

    Reply
  2. I’m actually surprised that I chose chemo for Taylor. Heck… I’m still shocked that I went through with the amputation! Despite the scariness involved, I’m actually very happy with my choices regarding his health care.

    First of all, I work at a veterinary office, and one of the docs there is extremely good with cancer cases. My main factor in choosing in favor of chemo were Taylor’s blood test results. I was very stressed at the time, so I don’t remember what the chemical was/is, but one of his results showed that his cancer was caught fairly early, and that the level of the chemical made him one of the best candidates for having a successful chemo/ survival time. That, paired with him being a fighter and extremely resilient from the amputation, sealed the deal. The convenience of toting him to work with me, as well as the employee discount didn’t hurt either!

    Now that he’s had some chemo, I’m still sticking by my choice. He was not thrilled AT ALL about the actual chemo process, but he’s had no side effects, and has actually behaved happier since his treatment.

    Reply
  3. Dude! My mom decided not to do chemo because according to the 2 ultrasounds I had when I was at the hospital , and the multiple x-rays….everything was clear. Also, they rebiopsied my sick leg once they amputated it and it showed that the sarcoma was contained and didn’t spread (no dirty margins). So….Mom thinks that why have Chemo attack my cells which could then actually make me sick and possibly worse? She changed my diet (LOVING THIS!!) and I take these herbal/homeopathic remedies that she gets from Dr. Charles Loops in North Carolina. I’m now officially at the 1 month mark post surgery and I feel great!! Keep rockin’ Jerr….Eisen

    Reply
  4. Hi Jerry,

    My mom and dad didn’t do chemo with me either. They felt that at my advanced age (11 years old) chemo was something they didn’t want to put me through. Like your parents, they wanted me to be as happy and pain free as possible without stressing me out. We have had a couple of other dog friends who had chemo, but it didn’t seem to make things that much better for them. And, almost three months since my amputation, I am doing just fine. Sometimes my arthritis acts up, but Rimadyl helps and mom bought me a new heated bed which I love!

    Also,
    My mom and dad also think that since there are a lot of human children in this country without any medical care, it just didn’t seem ethical to give me better health care than a child. They have some crazy ultra-liberal ideas, but I am glad because I really hate going to the vet, even though they are really nice and give me treats.

    Kicking butt and taking names in Portland,
    Olive

    Reply
  5. Your reasons are exactly the same as ours for not going the chemo route; and much to our joy and that of Lalla’s incredible veterinary team (a shout for the Bellinson for Animals Hospital, Israel) we are now a year and two months post surgery, and the only setback has been a worn down cartilage in Lalla’s rear right knee, which requires a daily dose of Rimadil and getting up the stairs with the Ruffwear harness Jerry so kindly sent his sweetheart. The only place offering chemo for Lalla was a two hour trek, which we had to undertake once a week, besides weekly visits to the clinic – and to top that up, Lalla wouldn’t have been allowed to do her thing – beach, friends etc. Lalla and Jerry’s cases are undoubtedly miraculous, but chemo and radiation therapy definitely benefit some dogs, as was the case with our neighbor Beverly, who had intestinal cancer and her 4 month radiation and chemo therapy course was an amazing success (she and Lalla were diagnosed exactly at the same time.) My very uneducated guess is that every dog – just like every human – is different and responds differently. One of my greatest wishes is that the research invested in Comparative Oncology – which is based on the similarities between canine and human cancer – will offer more public awareness and that we can find improved solutions for all. And consequently, governments worldwide will subsidize chemo and radiation therapy for animals just like they do for humans.

    Reply

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