It’s all about surviving canine bone cancer. We began to share our story about Bravo and his bone cancer diagnosis last spring, hoping it would help other dog bone cancer patients. He’d begun to limp just about the time the world went into lockdown due to COVID-19. Veterinarians only saw emergencies–and an intermittent limp wasn’t an emergency, right?
Until it is. Most of y’all have already read all the details, but here’s the short recap version, with a final note.
Bravo & Bone Cancer: Recap
By late April Bravo’s limp became more noticeable especially after Bravo played, so he had an appointment on April 21. Our veterinarian gave us medication with instructions to call if he didn’t improve in a month, so we could do X-rays. On May 19, we took Bravo back for a follow-up after he had a particularly hard weekend with increased pain. We got more pain meds, and scheduled an X-ray two days later–he had to be sedated to get good pictures.
That afternoon, May 21, 2020, our veterinarian called with the X-ray results that showed bone cancer. Later that day, a radiology expert confirmed the diagnosis. Our lives turned upside down.
Everything thereafter happened way too slow–and too fast. We traveled to a specialty clinic for a bone biopsy on June 3, but didn’t get the result until nine days later. During that whole week, we kept thinking–it’s a mistake, he’s too young, the biopsy will show it’s cureable… We live for hope, don’t you?
With the biopsy complete, Bravo visited an oncologist on June 15 for an evaluation and treating bone cancer recommendation. Two days later, his leg came off. Oh my doG, we anguished over that decision, especially in the first days after. But by the time his stitches came out June 29, and thanks to good pain meds and a brilliant in-your-face new puppy, he was ready for his first chemotherapy treatment June 30. And again on July 21, August 11 (plus X-rays), September 4, and yesterday was his last chemo on September 23.
RING THAT BELL!
What’s next? Osteosarcoma has a nasty habit of spreading to the lungs. Four months ago, his lung X-rays were clear. Midway through his five-series chemotherapy treatment another chest X-ray also showed no lesions. So he’ll get another picture of his chest the end of October, and if it’s still clear (please doG let it be so!), we’ll have him X-rayed once a quarter.
Meanwhile, Bravo still doesn’t know he was sick! To celebrate his completing the chemotherapy treatment, we had a fun afternoon playing with his “big ball” and eating peanut butter treats. Is he cured? We don’t know–and now we don’t care. He’s happy, he doesn’t hurt, and we’re ringing the bell!
Thank you to everyone who has shared prayers, concerns, and hope to lift us up during this journey. I hope something that we share here helps others if they ever must face a similar situation. Now, go love on your pets!
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