Friday, July 12, 2013

Hanging In There

A couple of days ago, we made our fourth trip to K-State with our sweet Hope. She's had lots of ups and downs in the last few weeks, but today's been a pretty good day and she's definitely hanging in there. When she was first diagnosed just over three weeks ago, we really weren't sure that she'd make it this far, so we are incredibly thankful.

Three weeks ago Hope started the normal chemo/steroid combination for mast cell tumors, and just like with her first cancer in 2007, her cancer seemed to respond initially. Although we can't see her tumor(s), her snottiness and sneeziness definitely subsided a little, and her lymph node seemed to shrink slightly as well. Unfortunately, as soon as we started weaning her off of the steroid (which the doctors do because of the side effects), Hope's symptoms returned--just like they did in 2007. While I was in California last week visiting my brother with my mom, Hope's nose started bleeding again off and on. By Wednesday, her bloody, mucousy nose had gotten so bad that Chad and I had a serious conversation about having her put down that afternoon. However, when we got to K-State, Dr. Burr was confident that Hope still had some fight left, just based on her appetite, activity level and general attitude. She suggested we start a new chemo drug, and thankfully this one only has to be given once every three weeks instead of every week. It will be such a relief not to have to drive to Manhattan next Wednesday!

The good news is that Hope's icky nose secretions have subsided a little once again, so we are hopeful that this chemo will keep her discomfort at bay a little while longer. It's just so hard to know if we're doing the right thing for our little girl. People keep telling us that we'll know when it's the right time to let her go, but when you own the toughest dog in the world, it's nearly impossible for us to know if she's really in pain! We just keep praying that she will clearly display some signs that she is done fighting when that time comes. Until then, we'll continue with weekly bloodwork, lots of drugs, and potty breaks every couple of hours! Our little Hope is worth it. :)

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