Lymphoma Blues

Lymphoma Blues

Just this past Tuesday, the 5th of March, our little Roscoe was diagnosed with Lymphoma and what a ride it’s been already.

Sweet Boy

I would say that the first wave of emotions that seem to hit centered around what someone goes through when they’re mourning a loved one that has passed with Guilt being the first in the family of nasty of emotions to arise.

I think as “pet parents”, when something like this hits, the first thing that happens is we begin to play back mistakes we made OR focus on things maybe we should have done.  It’s the whole “should have”, “would have”, “could have” mentality.  We begin to second-guess our previous decisions from the food we had been feeding our fur-kids down to feeling guilty because we got busy and didn’t kiss them good-night.  As hard as it is to go through this, I do know that it’s harder on Roscoe and now more than ever, he needs us, his family, to be the strong, secure pack leaders we have always been.

Lymphoma is a strange cancer that seems to come out of the blue and can quickly be mistaken for simple lipomas especially in the older dogs.  For us, once we felt the hard nodules in Roscoe’s neck area, we knew something just wasn’t right (though we hoped it was just fat).  Having Roscoe diagnosed with this cancer has made us be extra vigilant at checking and feeling lumps on not just our dogs but the dogs that we take care of.  If a lump feels hard and is either in the neck, the “armpit”, the groin area or above the shoulder OR if you find more than one lump in those areas, get your pet checked out immediately.

Loving Our “Little P”

Though I have wanted to blog Roscoe’s journey with cancer, I decided not to, as far as, a daily blog.   Personally, I would rather be spending my time with him NOW rather than writing about what he’s going through.  Therefore, I’ll be posting updates on him from time to time (we have many people praying for us and him–THANK YOU!!) with what we think has worked for him and what we believe hasn’t.

For now, Roscoe is on 20 mg of prednisone twice-a-day (12-hours apart), pumpkin (just added today) as a stool softener that gets incorporated with his food, and Pepcid 10 mg twice-a-day (the prednisone can upset stomachs).  He’s diet has been a homemade one the past few days as he started to dislike his normal dog food (for Roscoe this is BIG since he’s always been a happy eater and has always loved whatever we put in front of him).  He liked the cottage cheese and rice for about three feedings and then quickly stopped eating it, so we moved on to fixing him scrambled eggs with a little ham.  He loves the ham and eggs!

Ross and His Sister, Lanai

Some things I’ve learned already in my daily walk of care-giving for Roscoe that may help someone who finds themselves new to this trek with their fur-kid are as follows:

  • First and foremost, give thanks to The Lord for every minute
  • Be flexible in your day and don’t get bogged down with things that can wait (don’t sweat the small stuff)
  • Don’t necessarily coddle your pup to where they’re not living but let them live (going for short walks, chewing on bones, playing with other dogs, etc.); don’t be paranoid
  • Have a great veterinarian with open lines of communication (they’re worth their weight in GOLD!)
  • Take each day as a gift and don’t “pre-mourn” your pet (this can be difficult to do but try)
  • Journal what your pup intakes (food, medication, treats, water), as well as, exercise, how much and when (this will come in handy when you go to your scheduled veterinarian appointments).  Evernote is a free app that works well for taking notes 😉
  • Do your homework and get an idea of what you’re up against treatment-wise and so forth.  This will help you in determining how best to spend the money you have because cancer treatment is very costly
  • Take pictures and videos but don’t get so engrossed with such that you’re always looking at your pet through a camera lens instead of the naked eye.  Your fur-kid will enjoy the close, personal time with him/her <3