Condo Blues: Blitzkrieg is Losing the Lymphoma Fight

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blitzkrieg is Losing the Lymphoma Fight

We are losing the cancer fight. We put Blitzkrieg on a different chemo protocol after the our first protocol of the aggressive Kick Cancer's Ass and Take Names CHOP protocol failed to keep Blitzkrieg’s cancer in remission.

I totally play the cute dog with cancer card to convince Lisa to l stay home from band practice and stuff me full of salmon steaks - doctor's orders! Sitting on her practice flag also helps.

If Blitzkrieg responded to the second chemo protocol we were looking at months with him instead of up to a year like we might have had with CHOP.

The second chemo protocol failed.

We put Blitzkrieg on third chemo protocol. The prognosis and expiration date is the same as the second. We wouldn’t have up to a year with Blitzkrieg but we could have a pretty dang good summer. Husband and I kicked Operation: Best Damn Doggie Summer into overdrive.

My Condo Blues appearance contract specifically states I earn treats posing
for ALL PHOTOS Lisa! That includes Instagram!

Blitzkrieg’s doctors were concerned Blitzkrieg’s weight is down. We fed him extra helpings of breakfast and dinner. We use every excuse to have him earn treats. Blitzkrieg welcomes the extras and gobbles them up wholeheartedly.

Is that a carrot I see before me? Gimmie!

Blitzkrieg responded well to the first dose of the new chemotherapy protocol. Soon after, I noticed a bulge under Blitzkrieg's eye

The bulge is cancer.

Last Thursday the oncologist said Blitzkrieg isn't responding to the second chemo protocol. Did we want to try a third? Yes, absolutely! If Blitzkrieg's body accepts the third chemotherapy protocol, the expected prognosis would be the same as the second drug. 

Husband and I were drained after picking Blitzkrieg up from the vet hospital and the news. We went to a pub for dinner. We talked about how we hoped the third protocol might work for Blitzkrieg since his appetite is up and he is asking for lap time and cuddles.

Husband and I were asked to monitor the swelling mass under Blitzkrieg's eye over the weekend. If the swelling went down, it is a sign Blitzkrieg is responding to the third chemo protocol.





The third time is not a charm.

The swelling is still there. In fact, it's a little worse.

Blitzkrieg is not getting a break. Blitzkrieg is experiencing every side effect and drug failure that can happen. It is extremely unusual for this to happen in canine lymphoma. His medical team cares for him so much. He is one of their favorite patients. They tell us at every opportunity that he is a favorite and they are pulling for Blitzkrieg.

His doctors discussed why Blitzkrieg is in the rare exception to the lymphoma rules amongst themselves and looked for an answer or alternative for us.

Long story short, there is nothing we can or haven't done. We are losing the battle. We do not have months or even end of summer anymore. All we can do now is to make Blitzkrieg comfortable. The doctor expressed her sorrow at our situation. She said we have to discuss End of Life things. She used the E word.

I hung up the phone and saw Blitzkrieg laying at my feet. He looked up at me with that swollen eye and gave his tail a come pet me flip. I bent down to scratch him behind his ear, crumbled into a ball on the cold kitchen floor, and bawled.

Blitzkrieg sat and watched.

Through all of this Blitzkrieg has been eating, snuggly, and in good spirits. Husband observed last week Blitzkrieg is not ready to leave us yet and I agreed. Blitzkrieg always has been an independent dog. Last week, we discussed that maybe Blitzkrieg will leave us on his own terms, not cancers.

That most likely is not the case.

PS: My apologies for using Instagrams for the photos in this post. My fingers are barely typing on the correct keys on my keyboard. Finding and editing real photos isn't happening today.

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