Rusty's Cancer Chronicle

Sunday, May 9th

Posted by Rachael - Dare to Dream LDs on May 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Rusty has had a very good month! We got off to a slow start after the April Chemo treatment with the continuing diarrhea issues and nausea. Dr. Macy prescribed Budesonide twice daily for the diarrhea and an additional week’s worth of anti-nausea pills. After a couple of days the diarrhea stopped, and his normal appetite returned. Rusty’s energy level has returned to pre-surgery levels, and we added an evening walk to help him use up the new energy. Our friends who knew him before surgery can’t believe how much he has regained his previous energy and enthusiasm. His three month Ampuversary was April 25th. It certainly seems that it has been a lot longer than three months since his surgery! For the first time his mid-month oral dosage of Lomustine did not slow him down this month. He still has trouble understanding why he can’t lick us or his brother for 24 hours after the pills. Jan gives Rusty his daily pills in “dog food meatballs” which he eagerly gulps down.

We have been taking advantage of the cooler weather to catch up on our outdoor projects that were put on hold for the two months that Rusty required 24/7 care or we were preparing the inside of the house to accommodate his “Tripawd” needs. Rusty has enjoyed supervising the projects unless he has to be in the sun as the Chemo makes him much warmer and he avoids the sun whenever possible. We did not cover all of the tile floors when we installed the indoor/outdoor carpeting, and he seeks out the exposed tile to lie on to be cooler. We will be keeping his coat to a summer cut to help him keep cool this summer. We ordered a “cool mat” for him to lie on when he is on the patio and he has his “swamp cooler” vest from last summer that we will begin using for his walks when the heat arrives.

Between our continued unseasonably cool weather & winds and household projects, we still have not been in the pool. Rusty did take a pre-swim dip a couple weeks ago; he is our “Cabana Boy” in keeping the pool clean of debris that the wind blows in. He was walking on the wall that separates the spa and the pool, which is about an inch above the pool water level, and slipped and fell into the pool. He immediately swam over to the steps and climbed out like he was trained to do; we met him with towels and dried him off. He seemed a little shook up but was fine and continued to perform his daily pool cleaning duties. We are now taking him for early morning walks around the lake; several of his dog park friends have been meeting us for the walk, and Rusty really enjoys seeing some of his old dog park buddies!

Rusty went to see Dr. Macy on Monday for his monthly Chemo treatment, his 4th with 2 more to go. He received the regular IV injection of Vinblastine and the anti nausea injection and pills. This time he seemed to do much better; however, he is still on the anti-diarrhea pills, which may have made the difference. Dr. Macy said when the prescription runs out next week not to refill it until we see if the diarrhea returns. He slept most of the afternoon on Monday and all day on Tuesday, but has been very active since. His appetite has been almost normal this week, with only couple of meals that he refused to eat. His blood work results were not quite as good as before, but Dr. Macy said that they were all still within acceptable levels. Rusty has lost a pound since last month’s visit and Dr. Macy was concerned with the loss; we are hoping that it is the extra evening walk. I am weighing him at home, and he has been the same weight for two months. He had a mild cough for a few days which made Jan very concerned; he has not coughed for several days and we are hoping it was allergies, as the pollen levels are much higher than normal because of the extra rain this year.


I wanted to share some photos of Rusty taken while at the vets, back in January. This is Rusty just before his surgery.

2 hours post surgery!!

18 hours post surgery.

20 hours post surgery!

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