Week 1 is over, and it has felt like the longest week of my life.
Boy was it a whirlwind.
On Saturday, a day after his first treatment, I noticed his glands went down almost completely. I assumed it was a good sign, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I left Sunday for a business trip and was gone until Wednesday night.
Leaving him two days after being diagnosed with a cancer that does not have a good prognosis was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. As always he was with my Dad, so I knew he was in good care. Still, it was tough. But, someone’s got to pay for his treatments.
I had spent much of the weekend researching lymphoma, canine cancer and clinical trials. I even sent
numerous a few emails to veterinary schools within driving distance, or ones with lymphoma clinical trials. (And, when I say driving distance, anything within 12 hours or somewhere I knew someone that lived close)Because Toby started treatment already he is not eligible, but everyone who did get back to me was super nice and offered other resources to help.
Walking to dinner one of the nights I was away, I passed an independent pet retailer who I was previously familiar with, and stopped in. They had doggie cannolis, which are Toby’s favorite, so of course I picked up a few.
When I got back he seems so normal. And, of course he couldn’t wait for this cannoli. Not sure if he was excited to see me, or just wanted his special treat.
As I was getting ready to go back home – literally, the car was packed – I noticed Toby’s poop was bloody.
That derailed our plans a bit as I waited for the oncologist to call back. Toby is on prednisone and was on something for nausea. No one mentioned bloody poop as a side effect, but apparently it can be of the prednisone. When he called back, he explained this and decided to lower Toby’s dosage a little earlier than called for.
I also mentioned to him about the glands on Toby’s neck going down on Saturday. He sounded a little surprised, but explained that’s exactly what we want to happen and that means he is responding to the treatment well.
While I was very happy to hear that, he of course told me not to get my hopes up, either, but it was a good sign.
It so tough, because Toby is, for the most part, acting so normal. He is being more cuddly and is drinking more water, which means he needs to go out a little more than usually, but other than that, he is pretty much himself. You wouldn’t know anything was wrong with him if you just looked at him.
One of the things I go back and forth on is wanting to give him anything he wants and making sure he is still being healthily. For example, I made chicken the other night, and made some separately for him. I gave him extra pasta the other night, too and a little bit of my bacon the other morning.
I just want to make sure he is happy and comfortable.
It’s just me. I am his sole caregiver, and I am finding that a little hard in terms of making sure I am doing the “right” thing. Yes, I have family and friends who have been supportive. But, at the end of the day, it’s me. I’m the one sitting here with him on the couch alone. There is no one else.
And, sometimes, that’s a huge responsibility that, honestly, freaks me out a little.