WAGGY TAILS INTO WINTER..Conker's chemo.. completed !!!...
This is the new blog for Conker, my Shetland Sheepdog.
It follows on from Conker’s blogs started in June… number 18 , and then blog number 19, World Wide Wagging.
Blog 19 became so long, with almost 1,100 comments, that many members asked me to begin a new one… all the scrolling down meant our computers were at risk of exploding. Lol.
The story of Conker’s illness starts back in April 2009. He had seemed very healthy up till his 5th birthday in March, but just a few weeks later, he became alarmingly unwell. Eventually, at the end of May, cancer was diagnosed and a life saving operation was performed at a vet clinic.
Then in June a long course of weekly chemotherapy treatments began which are due to last till November. There is little chance of a total cure for Conker’s cancer, but the clinic vets hope to prolong his life by a number of months.
At that time, my Smooth Fox Terrier puppy, Truffle, was only a youngster, but he did his best to comfort Conker.
The support from the world wide family of GoY has been amazing. Thank you for your wonderful comments, and wagging of pets’ tails.. Conker’s weekly blood tests and chemotherapy sessions result in a roller-coaster of emotions. Without you all, it would be much more difficult to cope with the treatments.
Back in the summer, despite the start of chemotherapy, Conker, along with Truffle my Terrier, found opportunities to enjoy time in the garden. Here they discovered very large Rosemary Beetles in a pack of seeds sent by Paulthegardener ! Lol
As the months go by, Conker is clocking up countless chemotherapy sessions, and collecting a rainbow of leg bandages.
Here are some examples.
Last weekend was especially worrying for me, because after a strong dose of chemotherapy, Conker became extremely weak.
While I watched over him, I kept myself busy with my tasks as editor of three brand new GoYpedia pages ~ Wellies/Garden Footwear ~ Pets, such as budgies, bunnies, tortoises and guinea pigs ~ and …..
Flower Pot People.:o)
I took comfort in the fact that St Francis was watching over Conker.
Terry60 kindly sent this postcard from Assisi in Italy.xxx
Truffle gave Conker a kiss to help him convalesce.
Good news is that Conker now seems more perky. He is eating and drinking again, including his favourite Malt Crunchies. :o) Conker has some tablets from the vet to settle his digestive system.
Every evening, Conker has a little Manuka honey, to help him heal.
A thoughtful surprise package, mailed to him by Arlene.xxx
In recent months, when Conker has been well enough, he has enjoyed going to charity dog shows, The vets at the clinic emphasise that their aim in cancer treatments is good quality of life, so it is sensible for us to go out and have fun together when we are able.
In November, I plan to make a separate blog about the dog shows. By that time, Conker’s chemotherapy should be finished. From then on, Conker will have a check up every two months to find out if his cancer has returned.
After our weekly trips to the vet clinic, I’ll put an update on this blog.
Wednesday 14th October ~
Not too much waiting around today. A new vet nurse dealt with Conker and myself… more “forceful” than previous gentle vet nurses….. :o(
The vet decided to take another sample from Conker’s left cheek swelling. The procedure is called “fine needle aspirate”. When I get the results of that test I will update the blog.
Conker also had blood tests which proved okay for chemotherapy to go ahead. He came home with a bright blue bandage and a heavily shaved left cheek.
In theory, only a few more weeks of chemotherapy treatments. Conker has had enough of strangers working on him. Hopefully, his reward for bravery will be a winter of quality time at home with his friends Truffle and Conker..
Good news…. the vet has phoned very promptly with the results of the fine need aspirate on the cheek…. no evidence of lymphoma.. The swelling remains a mystery… but is not cancerous…:o)
Friday 16th October 2009 ~
Worryingly Conker’s cheek area is very red and swollen today, and giving him a lot of pain. I phoned the vet clinic.. spoke to a different vet because Conker’s usual vet is away today. Conker is to have three days on the corticosteroids, which I already have here because Conker had those at the start of his treatment. Also more of the Ceporex antibiotics which I know are suitable for Conker because he had those a few weeks ago. Fingers crossed his face heals soon. I feel so sorry for him…
I also mentioned to the vet that I would prefer Vet Nurses Angel or Emily treat Conker for the final few weeks of his chemotherapy, and hopefully that will be acceptable.
Breaking news….. literally…. This afternoon Conker’s cheek became huge and round like a tomato…. and then suddenly came to a head and broke ! Conker was very well-behaved while I removed a lot of fluid and his face is now almost normal shape. Wonderful that he is now not in pain and can open his left eye again :o) He has just begun a new course of 42 Ceporex antibiotic tablets. I’m so relieved to see Conker looking perkier.
Wednesday 21st October, 2009 ~
Conker’s vet nurse today was….. ANGEL…. :o)
She is so very kind to Conker…she cuddled him, and carried him to his treatment and told me that he was a good boy. He had his blood test, and the white cell count was okay for me to give him the chemo tablets at home.
Before we left the clinic, the vet spoke to me about Conker’s cheek. I explained that the abscess had swollen up again last night and again I had cleared it. The vet hopes that the current antibiotic course will cure the problem.
Conker has been wagging his tail since we got home, so I can tell he feels happy. I’ve made the giving of tablets such a fun game that Conker gets really excited when I put on the plastic gloves… Lol.
Only two more weeks of treatment to go, which is good, because Conker’s coat is getting really thin now…..
… oh, and I asked the vet if Conker’s last two treatments could be with ANGEL, and he said YES. :o)
Wednesday 28th October 2009 ~
Yet another delay to the completion of Conker’s months of chemo because his white blood cell count was too low today for chemotherapy to go ahead.
He was a brave boy, and was cuddled by a friendly vet nurse called Anya, who then carried him away for his tests. But about 45 minutes later, the results came back that we would need to make an appointment for next week to try again…
So……. Conker will be at the vet clinic again this coming Tuesday…
with Truffle travelling along as usual for support… :o)
I guess Conker’s treatment will now be completed around mid-November.
It is good that the vets are being so careful and not administering chemo if Conker’s blood count isn’t high enough….
…. We’ll get there eventually.
Tuesday 3rd November 2009 ~
Here’s some happy news :o)
Conker’s white blood cell count was okay for chemo to go ahead today.
He saw lovely vet nurses Angel, Anya and Emily ! All three !
Came home with a deep blue bandage on his left front leg. :o)
Next Tuesday, Conker is due to have his FINAL dose of the extra strong chemotherapy ~ provided his blood count is okay. The remedy to help digestion, which suited him so well last time ~ Metoclopramide ~ will be available….. so…….
…………….we are almost there.. One more chemo session. ! :o)
*Tuesday 10th November 2009 ~
:o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)
Conker has received his final weekly chemo session…. !!!
….a long haul since he first became ill back in April….
Conker’s vet nurse today was Angel, but Emily also stopped by and said hello. His face and cheek area were given extra examinations and tests. Ceporex antibiotics have been prescribed.
There were yet more injections…. to help him cope with this last strong dose of chemotherapy… and liquid metoclopramide for me to give him at home… so this resulted in the largest chemo treatment bill by far…. but… YAY…hopefully some months free of clinic visits now.
I spent some time talking with the owner of a lovely, friendly cat called Kit Kat, who is 6 years old and undergoing similar chemo treatment to Conker, so it seems to be the same routine for dogs and for cats.
I was asked to email the vet in a couple of weeks from now, to give a report on Conker’s health, and contact him sooner if there are any problems….. Then probably a check-up for Conker at the clinic every two months.
Conker and I skipped out into the car park and did a couple of celebration sprints around the garden area. He picks up quickly on my moods… he knows that was his final session…:o)
The long term outlook….
…the cancer could return in as little as 6 weeks…
… or Conker could have a good number of months with better health before the cancer returns….
…. or…. one in ten dogs stay in remission….. I’ll be praying……
My sincere thanks to wonderful GoY members, for supporting Conker and for keeping me positive… xxx*
Truffle says: “This is an empty box…
…………….who ate all the Malt Crunchies???”
Lol. …Conker knows…. He loves Malt Crunchies……
…….. they make him feel better. he he he :o)
- 6 Oct, 2009
- 44 likes
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