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Super Sammy's fight

Sweet cocker spaniel lost his leg to t cell lympho

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Sammy’s time

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So we have made it to the last leg of Sammy’s journey. The Tumors have taken over. His good eye is gone swallowed whole. He has not adapted to the blindness and just walks in circles. I try not to leave him alone. I went to get my mom to watch him. When we returned he had slipped and fell in poo and was unable to get up off it. We are making the most of it. Lots of snuggles and treats. He was super tired and wouldn’t do much the other day. Untill we got him French fries. He was sniffing and waving his head like Stevie Wonder looking for them. He was super excited for those so he gets fries every day. I carry him everywhere because he gets really scared if you try to lead him and sits right down. I wish I had a helmet for when he walks around. He really isn’t able to find his way at all. He has pain pills now which I am sure he needs with his eye and the lump that opened up on his cheek. I don’t know how bad it is for him and don’t want it to get worse. I have decided that Saturday is the day he will go be with Boo and Pooh. The tumor is growing so fast in that eye I can’t bear for him to hurt anymore. It will be hard if he still gets excited for food but I think this is for the best. We had a nice Easter together and I will treasure those memories. Sorry my picture editor wouldn’t work.


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Sammy’s good eye.

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Sammy’s right eye was doing fine. The left was blind and red. But the right was clear and white. Untill a week and a half ago. Then his third eyelid started to peek out of the corner of his eye. The picture above is two days ago. So we start my off week with the rounds of the vet visits. I am a wreck thinking about him losing his vision. I know it must be a tumor pushing his eyelid up. As fast as things are growing will he make it two more weeks? First is a suture removal with his normal vet. I also called the ophthalmologist about his swollen eye. They asked me to have my vet check the pressure of the eye etc. Dr. Brad is nice and competent. I also ask his opinion on the mustargen. I don’t want to give it but feel there is a chance for it to help and need to assuage my guilt.Dr Brad thinks there is no tumor under the eye it is just swollen conjuntiva. He thinks Sammy’s incision healed very well. He thinks preserving Sammy’s quality of life is more important than trying the toxic mustargen. He spoke with the ophthalmologist and now we add prednisone eye drops to the every 6 hour 5 eyedrops schedule. The next day is the oncologist visit. She thinks Sammy has an infected oral gland since his breath is terrible and he has lumps all along his jaw one busted open. So Amoxicillin is twice a day. I ask for elspar instead of the mustargen. I just want to slow it down give him a little more time. He sleeps alot now! Thursday finally the 6 week ophthalmologist visit. He seems shocked at how bad the lymphoma has gotten. He finds an ulcer on the right eye..no more prednisone in there tobramyocin instead. He breaks the news that it is probably a tumor behind his eye restricting blood flow causing the swollen conjuntiva and pushing the eye out. He feels Sammy would be fine blind.I think he is nuts about that! Sammy still spends his awake time looking for his people. He wants to make sure we are all there, it is his comfort to see us near. Now I need a chart or a graph as the eye meds are so convoluted. Left eye right eye both..one every 48 hours most 6 or 8 hours. Good thing I went to nursing school. Luckily the elspar has managed to shrink his giant neck lump. His right eye still looks terrible. I know the elspar only works a few times. So I hope to get a few more weeks with him. He is getting weaker and having problems with his ramp. He sleeps alot. But otherwise he is acting fine wagging and eating. He didn’t get the memo telling him he is supposed to be sick and hurting. His eye looks so painful it breaks my heart. But he doesn’t seem in pain. No rubbing or any sign. I have off in two weeks and hope to see him go then. I need time to handle it with out work. I am going to give him all his favorite foods and never leave his side. I hope he isn’t suffering and want to prevent it so bad. 

Lymphoma takes over.

So our relief didn’t last. Two weeks after the lomustine dose the lumps started growing again. We decide to try the CHOP protocol with an oncologist closer to home since it is every week instead of every three. My work schedule is very weird and very rigid. I work 7 10 hour shifts every other week. So that is a week on and a week off. I am a surgical nurse at a level 1 trauma center. I do not have sick leave or the option of last minute changes. If only FMLA was available for furry children. So my husband has been helping alot with the doctor visits. His left eye turns red again about three weeks after the drops got it under control. Then he has a weird growth on his neck that bursts open and starts to smell. We get antibiotics and try to treat without surgery but end up taking it off. He felt spunky a few days after that. CHOP fails no change at all. We try the lomustine again with nothing. Now it has been 8 different drugs and he has not really responded. The only drug left is mustargen which is toxic and may take away the quality of life he has left. He has been a trooper getting chemo week after week. He is still happy at times wagging smiling and following as best as he can. He is hungry and  drinks well probably because of the prednisone. He is blind in the left eye and you can see the tumor in the eye. His right eye is irritated and swollen but he can still see. The lumps are all over now! We had to take him to the ER for one bleeding on the roof of his mouth. But he is still my sweet boy nothing changes his personality. I know what I am supposed to do…stay positive, don’t upset him etc. That is why I started this blog to remember who he really is my bouncy silly extatic little guy. My heart is breaking every time nothing changes. Every new problem he has to deal with. Why does such a perfect dog have to suffer. I cry and want to scream because he doesn’t deserve this. I want to quit my job and be with him non-stop but how would I afford the thousands of dollars in vet bills. I drive everyone nuts checking in every day “is Sammy ok send a picture”. Poo died while I was at work and I am ridiculously afraid of that happening again. Sammy is such a mommas boy I would never forgive myself. I know who I’m supposed to be calm and supportive. Unfortunately that’s not me I am clinging to every minute analyzing everything. Is he in pain is he breathing funny. I know this doesn’t help. He is my furry kid and this is killing me. So I force myself to leave the house and exercise and be normal. I do my yoga and eat the best I can. I’m trying to stay sane and handle this for him. But hes leaving me soon and I cry every day. But I can’t change it.

Sammy’s Cancer

So we are catching up on Sammy’s journey. He is taking it in stride while I feel like a fish out of water. September he broke his calcaneus. It was misdiagnosed as an acl tear. My vet caught it when he came for surgery. So x-rays showed the pathologic fracture of the calcaneus. We biopsied and casted it and arranged the amputation prior to the results based on an oncologist recommendation. I am an Orthopedic Surgical Nurse  so it was not completely  foreign concepts for me to deal with. I got a holistic vet on board. Started a raw diet and supplements. Amazingly his hearing returned after 8 months of being deaf which the vet confirmed. This brought so much optimism…he was looking good and feeling good. Unfortunately the pathologists had ridiculous amounts of trouble finding the tumor in the leg and giving a diagnosis. This was foreign, in a human operating room we can get a preliminary diagnosis or reading in a half hour. Sammy’s took 2 months and a review panel of 10! So I went to a veterinary oncologist. Right as a final staining of the initial biopsy finally showed t cell lymphoma. We were all optimistic that the lymphoma might have been confined to the leg we took off. Everything else was perfect. But then his eyes turned red..he does have allergies every spring. I wasn’t at all alarmed it was January but exceptionally warm for wisconsin. Sammy has always had lumps small skin lumps and fatty lypomas. But one on his neck was getting large. So our 6 week check up brought bad news. He had lymphoma in the eyes and the big neck lump we aspirated. So our first dose of elspar went in and two days later we tried lomustine. The Tumors shrank Sammy looks great. We breathe a sigh of relief

 

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Sammy’s cats

Sammy’s story wouldn’t be complete without his cats. That’s him in the blue collar above under Boo Boo. Best snuggle pile ever! So we talked about Boo and his dominating grandpa personality. But we haven’t talked about Kitten yet. Yes her name is Kitten …she is small and deceptively cute. We have a place up north and that is where we found her. The kids discovered her on one of the atv trails. She was tiny could hardly open her eyes. I knocked on everyone’s door remotely close by but no one knew where she belonged. We probably scared her mom with the atvs and she dropped her while moving her. Kitten was too small to survive so we had a new baby much to Sammy’s chagrin. She had to be bottle fed for a few weeks. Boo Boo was getting on in age and Kitten drove him nuts. She doesn’t take no for an awnser and sometimes any attention is better than none. So Kitten has been dive bombing and ankle biting ever since. She did learn the art of snuggling from Sammy. I have noticed she will take his advice. Boo Boo has been in my life since middle school. My fuzzy rock I guess. He has patrolled the house and kept order all these years. Boo made sure to check on all his subjects. When I fought with my ex boyfriends he was right there offering comfort..and possibly ready to pounce if needed. There were no rodents running  freely in his kingdom. He lived a whopping 24 years. Ioften asked him to live forever and he valiantly tried. Sammy and Boo had a special relationship which I think impacts what happened. In September of last year Sammy fell down the stairs. He was fine but I started to worry about his anemia coming back so we went for labs. The checkup was fine. Four days later he fell again this time he couldn’t use his rear left leg. We went to the vet but his regular vet wasn’t there, the substitute vet diagnosed an acl tear. We scheduled the surgery for 2 weeks later with his regular vet. Meanwhile Boo boo started to pee blood. He had been getting weaker but I took him in just to see if something could be done. He had an IV but was miserable and couldn’t walk. He got worse over night. Sammy and I slept down stairs with him. Sammy jumped off the couch and hurt his front paw also. I was wrecked by the morning. Watching Boo drag himself around in pain was horrible. So we had a nice home vet come over and he was able to pass on with all of us there. That week I found out that Sammy’s  acl tear was probably really pathologic fracture of the calcaneus. I think Boo decided that he couldn’t see Sammy suffer.

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