Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Henry spent the day at the vet yesterday getting IV fluids. He is holding steady and was super happy to see us when we picked him up yesterday evening. Unfortunately, he is going to go back to the vet today for another round of IV fluids. We are thinking he will only need to stay a half a day this time. Hopefully he will be home around lunch time and then get some much needed rest at home.
Thank you so much for the well wishes, prayers and positive juju. They are very much needed and very much appreciated!
Monday, October 20, 2014
After Henry passed chemo round #3 with flying colors, we were feeling pretty good. Relieved and feeling pretty optimistic. The weekend was great, but come Tuesday everything changed. On Tuesday morning Henry started throwing up, then came the diarrhea. By the end of the day, Henry could not hold anything down. He would get a drink of water and immediately throw it right back up.
Since he could not keep anything down, we took him to the vet on Tuesday afternoon. The vet confirmed that Henry's stomach was certainly not happy. But he wasn't running a fever and everything else checked out in good order. Henry got an anti nausea shot to help him keep things down and some fluids to combat dehydration. We left hopping it was just a minor stomach bug.
Henry was under the weather on Wednesday and Thursday, but not throwing up. By Friday, we decided we weren't seeing enough of an improvement and we decided to take him back to the vet. A blood sample was drawn and Henry's white blood cells were off the chart. This helped us determine that we are battling some sort of infection.
Without the full blood test results back, we didn't know exactly what the issue was, but our vet was narrowing in on 2 different things. Either a mild case of pancreatitis or some sort of esophagus issue. Henry has had bad acid reflux since he was a puppy and lately his acid has been off the charts. And the last week or so, it has been particularly bad. So the esophagus issue was clearly in the running.
Both issues would receive the same type of treatment so it wasn't imperative that we had an exact diagnosis at that time. We left Henry with our vet to get IV fluids and a shot of antibiotics.
When we picked Henry up on Friday evening, he was looking a lot better! IV fluids really do wonders. But we knew we were not out of the woods yet and we knew that Henry's adrenaline rush of seeing us would wear off soon.
Our orders over the weekend were to keep Henry full of fluids. That would be what would help him start to feel better. We were to give him subcutaneous fluids once per day and monitor his drinking very closely. Then we would touch base with our vet on Monday and see how Henry was doing.
Friday night went well and Henry drank enough water on his own for us not to be concerned. Henry had a drink of water before bed and then he slept soundly that night.
Saturday was a different story. Henry had no interest in water. He had nothing to drink the entire morning and none of our coaxing was working. Since he wasn't drinking we decided to give him his fluids sooner rather than later in the hopes that they would help him feel better and he would be more likely to drink. Hours after we gave him his fluids he still wasn't interested in drinking anything. The silver lining was that he was resting soundly. Rest would also do him well so we let him sleep. We touched base with our vet on Saturday and decided to give him another round of the subcutaneous fluids on Saturday night to make up for his minimal water intake.
On Sunday, Henry drank a bit more, but he was still under the weather. We touched base with our vet again on Sunday evening and decided it was best to bring him in to the vet on Monday morning. The plan is to drop him and he will receive more IV fluids and have another blood test to see if his white blood cell counts have come down any.
So, Henry is at the vet right now and hopefully he is resting comfortably. I'll keep you updated as best as I can.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Benjamin will always be the Pillow King, but Henry is definitely pillow royalty as well.
In this picture, you also get a good view of Henry's shaved Belly. They shaved his belly and part of his side to do his sonogram and kidney surgery in August. He was having pretty good hair growth, but the chemo has stalled that out a bit. All in all, he is doing a good job growing his fur back.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Henry had chemo #3 one week ago and he did very well. Usually, Wednesday nights and Thursdays are his worst days post chemo treatment. After his first treatment, he was, pardon the pun, as sick as a dog. After dosage adjustments, round 2 brought a much better post chemo week. Henry was lethargic on Thursday and had a little bit of a softer stool, but it was manageable. After round 3, Henry had his best Thursday yet! He was full of spunk on Thursday. This time, the chemo hit Henry on Friday. On Friday, Henry's appetite was pretty non-existent and his energy level was very low.
Knowing these are the usual side effects of chemo, we let him rest and wouldn't you know by Saturday morning he was back to his normal self, bouncing around, ready to go on his usual Saturday morning adventure.
Chemo is by no means easy, but it has gotten much better now that Henry's dose has been adjusted and we have a few rounds under our belts and we know what to expect. One of the hardest things with Henry's cancer diagnosis is that canine cancer is unchartered waters for us. As horrible as a trachea collapse is and all the complications that go along with that, we knew what to expect with Benjamin and Luna because we went through the same thing with Sol. We knew the little tricks, the side effects of the meds and sadly, we knew what the end would look like. I am in no way implying that a trachea collapse is easy or preferred, but we had experience, we knew what questions to ask. We knew the specialists.
With Henry's cancer diagnosis, we were consumed with the unknown and our worry easily got the best of us because we had no idea what to expect. We are by no means experienced in the realm of canine cancer but we seem to have a routine and treatment plan that is working well for Henry. Having a plan, and a plan that is working, not only gives us hope, but makes everything much more manageable.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Since Benjamin and Luna's passing, Henry does not like to be left alone. We understand. He was part of a pack his whole life and when the humans left the house he at least had Benny and Luna to keep him company. His demeanor lately has been, "Humans, you are all that I have left in my pack, so we are going to do everything together, OK?" And we have pretty much obliged whenever we can.
Whenever we pick up a carryout for dinner, Henry comes with. Running out for something quick at the store? Henry comes with and one of us waits in the car with him. Running out to put gas in the car? Come on Hank, you can go. Need dog food? Off the the pet store we go. And since Henry can go into the pet store, we have pretty much put him in charge of buying his own food. And every trip he tries to see if he can get a fish while we are there.
Even though we aren't really doing anything that is fun, Henry really seems to enjoy being out and about with us. We tell him he is the official errand runner and he seems to be pretty proud of his job. And he takes it very seriously!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Yesterday, Henry went for his 3rd chemotherapy visit. While we are always nervous before each visit, we were especially nervous this visit because Henry would be having chest x-rays and a sonogram to make sure that the cancer had not metastasized somewhere else. If everything was clear, we would proceed with his 3rd dose of chemotherapy. If things were not clear, we would need to come up with a different treatment plan.
Luckily, no additional treatment plan was needed as Henry passed his sonogram and chest x-ray with flying colors. Both tests did not indicate any signs of metastasis!
Henry received his 3rd dose of chemotherapy and we are now officially halfway through his treatment process! Go Hank!
We will be closely monitoring him this week hoping he does not have any adverse side effects from the chemo. Fingers crossed that round 3 of treatment is as successful as round 2.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Henry is a pretty spoiled pug. He's been doted on for most of his life, but in the last few months, I'd say his spoiledness has reached a whole new level. Here he is inspecting a care package given to us by friends of ours. He hit the jackpot with this one. It was full of his favorite treats and had some extra special cookies that he loved! In addition to the yummy snacks, the special gift even included a card with encouraging words to help Henry stay #HenryStrongAllDayLong.
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