Monday, February 23, 2009

This blog

For those of you who know Jack and I then you will know we are putting up a strong fight. I realise I have been relatively lucky when I read some other stories on the net about what people have endured. Jack has remained relatively healthy throughout and he is being very brave. I want to keep him well and happy and that has meant I have had to sacrifice quite a lot of my social life for him. He doesn't deal well with strangers and I don't want to leave him alone for too long, so our bond is probably becoming closer than ever.

Change of Plans

Jack went back for treatment yesterday but it turns out he will now be seeing an Oncology Specialist as the specialist who has been with him since this started is moving overseas. Shame that he has to change, but we have seen the Oncologist, Dr Moore, on a previous occasion and he seems great, so hopefully it will all go well. Jack continues to remain in remission - still eating well, although not as manically as when on the Prednisone - but his behaviour is changing. He appears far less confident than he normally would be, and is nervous around strangers. Hardly surprising I guess - it must feel that everytime someone other than me comes near him they stick a needle or a tube in. Jack has been on a Cancer Diet now since January 4, and I know he is craving carbohydrates. He managed to find a bowl of cat food at a neighbour's house last night and wolfed into it so quickly it was ridiculous. He still goes out with his dog walker every weekday, and she feels he is coping well with it, but even the walker - Sally - who has known Jack most of his life commented on his lack of confidence ... she put it well when she said "he acts like he is in trouble". I am trying to give him as much love and reassurance as possible and he is very happy when it is just the two of us - less happy when others are around. He has another treatment next Tuesday as his White Blood Cell count was too low this week to take another round. It is always frustrating when that happens - I am anxious to get on with it, and it also adds another week to the protocol. I have learnt so much already - stuff I would prefer not to have learnt - but I have been amazed to find out how many others are in the same situation. So sad.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Fight Begins

in mid December 2008, my 6 year old black Mini Schnauzer, Jack, started to show some signs of illness - he was bringing up his food every now and again and then I felt some lumps on his neck. Other than that he was bright, happy and energetic. So when I took him to the Vet I expected it would be a simple case of leaving with a pack of antibiotics and directions to keep him on chicken and rice for a couple of days. He has always been a scavenger and as I live and usually walk him at Bondi Beach - known for the enormous amounts of rubbish that people leave around - it wasn't unusual for him to have a stomach upset.

I saw a locum, who swiftly mentioned the "C" word. It was a horrendous week before the diagnosis was delivered. Jack had Lymphoma and without treatment would be dead within a month! It was so much to take in and I was shocked, incredibly sad and didn't know which way to turn.

An appointment was organised immediately with a Specialist, and Jack began Chemo treatment 2 days later. He was in remission after the first treatment and remains in remission 9 weeks on. His blood count has been too low for treatment a couple of times, but he has been mostly well and happy and I have my fingers crossed for a long remission.