Two weeks ago, I discovered lumps on my dog’s neck and knowing this was lymphoma I doubted whether D.J. would be with us for Christmas.

The next day lymphoma was confirmed but blood tests and X-rays seemed to indicate nothing else was wrong (although lymphoma is a major wrong thing). I was hopeful that with treatment he may be that ‘average’ dog that survives 12 months and we might have him for 2 Christmases.

Over the week between his diagnosis and first treatment his health declined. His lymph nodes became enormous and he was very tired all the time. I began to doubt that such advanced disease would respond to treatment.

The first treatment went well with no noticeable side effects. His lymph nodes shrank remarkably and quickly and with in 48 hours he seemed to be his old self again. I was once again hopeful and thought maybe he was one of the 25% of dogs who would live 2 years with treatment.

The nodes got a bit bigger as we approached treatment 2 one week later. He was tired again. On the day of the second treatment he didn’t eat his supper. He is a Labrador Retriever and has never missed a meal. He was eating again by the next day but was tired. I noticed he had lost weight. The treatments were working but not winning and he didn’t seem well most of the time. I wasn’t so hopeful and wondered if chemotherapy was the right choice.

Yesterday, he played tug’o’war with his buddy Blue and today he kept the pace on his walks. Treatment #3 is tomorrow and is a repeat of the first treatment which seemed to go well. We will try another dose.

As the chemo battles the cancer, and D.J.’s body battles both the disease and the treatment I will continue to feel hope and doubt. I hope the treatment, D.J and hope win.

 

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