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About Bella M.

 

 

Doodle Information:

  • Bella M.
  • Goldendoodle, female
  • 4 years old
  • multicentric lymphoma, stage III, diagnosed November 2012

Owner Information:

  • Shari M.
  • PayPal is accepted through Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective by clicking on the following link                                                                                        DONATE to the Doodle Mesenger (click the Donate line to the left)
  • Please Specify "Doodle Messenger Bella" in the Memo Box
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We brought Bella home as a puppy (from a breeder) in September, 2008.  My son (age 13 at the time) and I decided we were in need of a new family member.  This decision came after some sad times for us; my father (at the age of 59) passed away suddenly in June, and I was also having a hard time conceiving another child after remarrying the prior year.  We agreed on a Goldendoodle because of the personality traits of the Golden Retriever and the lighter shedding characteristics of a Poodle.  We fell in love with her right away.  She has always been very intelligent, loving and gentle.  She learned our property lines and our neighbors have asked many times if we owned an invisible fence.  The answer is no, Bella is just that intelligent!  We did eventually add to our family in 2009 and 2011. Bella was so wonderful with the new additions. She has been growing with our two little children, who are now 3 and 2 years old.  They love playing with Bella indoors and out.  Bella is like our "babysitter", she keeps an eye on them and they are each others' side-kick! 

 


In November 2012, we noticed Bella's raspy breathing, especially on activity.  It seemed as if she had a "cold", like the rest of the family.  I took her to our primary veterinarian's office and we saw an associate.  The associate vet noticed a growth within Bella's mouth and referred us to a surgeon at the closest veterinary hospital.  A few days later, when we saw the surgeon, the surgeon informed me that it was not a growth in Bella's mouth, but rather her tonsils were enlarged.  She also then informed me that all of her lymph nodes were enlarged as well.  Two biopsies were taken from aspirated lymph nodes and the surgeon informed me that the initial diagnosis was lymphoma.  She explained as best she could and then referred us to oncology.  We started Prednisone and I went home a complete wreck, to research for financial help and more information on canine lymphoma. 

The prognosis given on Prednisone alone was 4-6 weeks.  We were devastated and heartbroken to think that we could lose our sweet girl around Christmas.  I found and applied online to the Magic Bullet Fund.  We were accepted and started a fundraising campaign for 30 days.  We also started chemotherapy immediately after being accepted in December.  When our campaign ended on January 5, we had only received about a third of the cost of chemotherapy treatment (which is equal to $74 per treatment).  It was very difficult to fundraise over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. However, we have already started Bella on the chemo protocol and we must finish it to acheive the best outcome.  Bella has been in clinical remission since the end of January.  All of her lymph nodes and her tonsils are back to normal size.  She has had some side effects to the chemotherapy including nausea and vomiting.  I continually have to change her food as she has become very finicky.  I also now cook for her and give supplements and probiotics to protect her delicate system from the chemo.  The last three months have been very difficult.  The cost of chemotherapy is a financial hardship for our family.  We have no saved funds to cover the cost of chemotherapy, diagnostics, bloodwork, high quality food, supplements, and probiotics.  I am financing the amount not covered by donations with Care Credit. I will eventually have to find a way to cover those payments as the interest rate is extremely high.


Bella has completed 9 out of 16 chemotherapy treatments (the 10th treatment will be on 3/8/13).  The treatments are working on the cancer cells, but they are also destroying her healthy cells.  We are doing our best to keep the side effects at a minimum.  Despite that, Bella still has many days of playfulness and spunk.  She continues to wag her tail when she sees us and that alone is a reminder to me that she is still fighting and not ready to give up in her battle against this awful cancer.  We love her with all our hearts.  She is only 4 years old and we are not ready to give up on her.  She has a lot more life to live and lots more love to give!
Any help you can provide for our sweet girl will certainly be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Update - April 3, 2013

 

Bella has lost remission. We have changed veterinary hospitals because the one we were going to does not have all the drugs in a rescue protocol. The vet we were seeing was also an internist (no oncologist on staff) and we are now seeing an oncologist at the new hospital.