Cancer sucks

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Re: Cancer sucks

Postby julie64 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:45 pm

I also feel like I failed her by somehow not catching this earlier -


Please don't feel this way, you did not fail her. It seems like mast cell is becomming way to common now. Get the links that Sharon is mentioning, lots of good info in them. Lots of hugs and good thoughts coming to you and Rain.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby Leslie H » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:52 pm

I'm very sorry to hear this. I hope the for the best results for the beautiful Rain.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby patty » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:59 pm

:hug: My very, very best wishes and prayers for Rain. What a lovely girl!

I'm going through the same thing right now with our female. When you made your post about weight I gasped when I saw her picture. My girl looks very similar now.

I will be thinking of you!!!
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby ClickNtreat » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:22 pm

More positive vibes coming your way. Hang in there miracles do happen every day...
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby mpetva2 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:28 am

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate cancer....it took my Ducati boy in April of this year and he had only just turned 6 years old...(the vet's screwed up and he bled to death long before the cancer would have killed him) due to a number of errors & wrong decisions made by his oncologist whom we trusted too much) and life will never be normal or the same for me...Nasal Adenocarcinoma, one of the hardest to treat.

One thing you may want to check into is the NAVY Protocol:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 ... ncer_x.htm

Another thing to try to find is a Clinical trial (which a lot of times will give the meds and/or treatments for free or reduced rates.)

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig& ... cer+trials

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz= ... =&gs_rfai=

I will ask my Ducati pupper to watch over your Rain and I am sending you, your family and Rain lots and lots of love and positive energy! Miracles do happen and hope and a positive outlook is very important for Rain and you both.

{{{Hugs}}}

PS: Among the things I learned about this dreadful disease is that carbs feed the cancers, so a low carb, high protine diet is important. I put Ducati on this:

95% Salmon and Herring
Canned Dog Food
95% Beef
Canned Dog Food
95% Chicken & Turkey
Canned Dog Food
95% Duck
Canned Dog Food
95% Venison
Canned Dog Food

Turkey & Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Turkey & Chicken Formula Small Bites
Dry Dog Food
Red Meat Formula
Dry Dog Food
Red Meat Formula Small Bites
Dry Dog Food
Herring & Salmon Formula
Dry Dog Food

http://www.naturapet.com/default.asp
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby mpetva2 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:04 am

I forgot to mention this in my previous post:

One thing I found that saved us quite a bit of money during Ducati's cancer treatments (Radiation and Chemo) is asked the vet/oncologist (don't be shy, they are used to it) for a prescription (most meds used are human meds) instead of buying it at the vets/oncologist and fill it at Walgreens or Walmart:

If there is a Walgreens near you, go and sign your pet up for their RX Plan, $20 for a year, less for additional family members, human or pets, or sign up on line), they allow you to sign up pets (they actuall recommended it to me when I went to fill his first RX):

https://webapp.walgreens.com/MYWCARDWeb ... tid=97708#

Start Saving Today!
More than 5,000 brand name and generic medications
Over 400 generics priced at $12 for a 90-day supply - that's less than $1 a week!
10% bonus on purchases of Walgreens brand products and photofinishing services*
Medications in all drug classes covering most common and chronic health conditions
Includes insulin and diabetic supplies
Can be used for pet prescriptions
No age limits, health restrictions, medical exams or prior authorizations required
Can be used at any Walgreens retail store nationwide


I know this because when I went there for Ducati's eye & cancer reatment related medication, they recommended that I sign him up for it. The cost is $20 for a year, very reasonable. Once you get an RX filled there, you can refill on line and pick it up.
I know it saved us a ton of money on many of Ducati's medications. CVS was a lot more expensive.
For instance, I got 100 Tramadol, 50mg, for $13.98. It appears that Gabapentin is also on the list.
You can check most prices here:
https://webapp.walgreens.com/PrdPSCTool ... alMetaData

Another place to sign up is at Walmart, not sure about pets, though, but a few people told me that they had signed their pets up at Walmart though.

I hope this helps :-)
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby trip8581 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:49 am

Thanks so much everyone for all of the positive thoughts and good information! I am hoping it will help tomorrow :pray

I got the results back from the lymph node biopsy today and the cancer has definitely metastasized to the lymph nodes. I plan on going into the appointment tomorrow with the oncologist as a fact finding mission - getting all of the options, costs, prognosis, etc and then taking at least the weekend to weigh them before making any final decisions. I will let you all know what I find out after tomorrow.

mpetva2 - thank you for all of the information! I am so sorry you lost Ducati :crybaby: I have a lot of research to do, but your links are definitely helpful. I already get my other dog Roc's epilepsy meds at Target, so I definitely know it can be cheaper to go the human pharmacy route. I will have to check walgreens/walmart to see if they are cheaper!

I will keep everyone updated - please keep the positive thoughts coming!!!
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby turtle » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:11 pm

I am so sorry... I hate cancer. I hope you can find a way to fight it and keep her comfortable.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby trip8581 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:15 pm

So overall I think the visit with the oncologist went well. Rain, of course, was a very well behaved, happy pit bull - someone forgot to tell her she has cancer!

The oncologist thinks the first step would be to get an ultrasound on Rain's abdomen and also take some samples from her internal organs (liver, spleen, etc) to make sure the cancer has not spread there. The quote for having this done is $800 at the specialty hospital, but my vet offered to do this at her hospital and said it would probably be cheaper to have it done there, so I will probably go that route - not sure on the cost of that yet though.

As long as the cancer has not spread to her internal organs the oncologist thinks that surgery to remove the tumor is the best treatment. She says we would start Rain on antihistamines and prednisone first to reduce the swelling of the area before doing surgery. She thinks the tumor is actually not as large as the lump that we are seeing as MCTs release histamines and therefore can cause swelling to occur. So hopefully we can reduce it's size and then remove as much as possible of the MCT and also do reconstructive surgery of her face at the same time (because of the tumor's placement). They would also remove the affected lymph node in her neck. We would probably not get clean margins with a surgery like this, but the idea would be to get out as much as possible. After the surgery they would decide if chemo or any other treatment was necessary. She thinks the surgery would cost around $3500.

From what I understood from the oncologist if the tumor has not spread to the internal organs and we do surgery then Rain has a good prognosis. We would have to keep our eye out for MCTs in the future, but that is always the case and there would be a 30% chance that an MCT would reoccur in the same place, but actually a higher chance an MCT would occur in another place. If the cancer has spread to her internal organs then she says we could still possibly treat with chemo and some dogs do go into remission.

The most concerning thing to the oncologist was Rain's weight loss, but since I just noticed it and just started upping her food intake I am hoping that maybe her nutritional needs have changed and it is not the cancer causing it. Supposedly she weighed in at 52 lbs at the vet today, so that would mean she was up from 49 lbs on Monday - so that is a good sign.

I have spent $800 in the past week to diagnosis Rain's cancer and it is not over yet. I still need to find out whether it has spread farther ($$) and then if not I need to somehow find $3500. I have maxed out my carecredit this week. But if Rain's prognosis is actually as good as the oncologist seems to think it is then I don't think I could not do it. Am I crazy to be doing this? I work in nonprofit and live paycheck to paycheck as I am sure others on here do - what would you do?

So keep your fingers crossed that the cancer has not spread. I am hoping to get Rain in sometime next week to my vet to have her do those diagnostics.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby Leslie H » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:30 pm

I don't think you're crazy. Can you work out a payment plan? If they think she has a good prognosis, she's a relatively young dog, if there is a way to swing the cost, I'd do it.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby mpetva2 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:25 pm

Leslie H wrote:I don't think you're crazy. Can you work out a payment plan? If they think she has a good prognosis, she's a relatively young dog, if there is a way to swing the cost, I'd do it.


x2

No, you are not crazy at all... we (luckily we had some home equity left after the market collapsed) mortgaged our house to the tune of over $18,000.00 to treat and to try to give Ducati another 1-3 years with us, because he was, other than the cancer, a young and healthy dog and we thought, if we can somehow swing it, he deserved that chance. Sadly, through wrong or ignorant decisions made by the oncologist etc...he died a lot sooner than he should have....but we will never regret giving him the chance.

here is no crazy when you are trying to save a loved one...there is only love!
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby trip8581 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:34 am

I am going to talk to my vet tomorrow to see what the cost is for the tests to see if the cancer has spread to her internal organs and when it can be scheduled. I have no money to pay for it, so I will have to see if I can carry a balance at the clinic for now otherwise I will have to postpone it for awhile.

I have started her on benedryl twice a day and we will add in prednisone once the other tests are done to try to reduce the size of the lump.

I am trying to go back to school right now to start my prereqs for vet med and was hoping to start this fall. I have been waiting on loan decisions and it is taking forever. With this coming up I think I might have to postpone until the winter semester. Not sure what else I can do. :sad:
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby trip8581 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:15 am

Update -

Dropped Rain off yesterday at my regular vet to test to see if the cancer has spread to her internal organs. The vet did an ultrasound of her organs and took needle aspirates of the spleen and liver to send out cytologys to the lab. Rain got a nice shot of some heavy duty pain drugs too, so when she came home last night she was a bit loopy.

Amazingly we got the results back this morning from the lab as the guy she requested to do the slides worked on them first thing. There is no evidence that the cancer has spread to her internal organs, so that is really good!'

My vet spoke with the oncologist some more and said that after surgery no matter what we would definitely need some sort of chemo and there are different options which can be discussed. Anywhere from using one chemo drug to using a combination of drugs. The surgery will cost somewhere between $3500-4000 and then the chemo would be on top of that. I would have to discuss with the oncologist what route I want to go for chemo treatment to see the cost.

Before surgery we need to do about a week of prednisone and benedryl to shrink the tumor and my vet wants to speak with the surgeons as well directly. My vet thinks I should schedule sooner than later within the next few weeks, so not a lot of time to come up with the funds. Now I have to figure out where I am going to come up with the $$$$$$ as I have none. I am going to call the specialty hospital where the surgery would be done to see what kind of payment options they offer and if they have any sort of payment plans. I think if I hold off surgery too long then we would have to do extra tests to make sure it has not spread again plus just not a good idea anyhow. My mom, of course, says I need to think with my head and not my heart. But with surgery and chemo she has a good prognosis, so I am thinking with my head as far as I can tell as spending this money will save her life.

All I need now is a sugar daddy! Anyone have any funding ideas???
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby Leslie H » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:20 pm

Everyone has said good things about Care Credit. Have you looked into that.

I'm very happy to hear of the good test results. I think you're right about wanting to act quickly.
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Re: Cancer sucks

Postby trip8581 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:51 am

Yes I already have CareCredit and am maxed out at $5000 because of all of Roc's past medical bills and the $800 I spent last week on Rain's diagnosis. I am not sure I can be approved for a credit limit increase and just thinking about asking for one makes my head spin.

This whole thing is making me sick to my stomach - I am stressed beyond belief. My parents think I should just not do anything - not treat her at all. My dad being a doctor thinks he knows all and does not think doing surgery and chemo is a good idea. He thinks it will not help at all - granted he is not an oncologist, nor is he a vet, nor does he know anything about MCTs. I don't think I can do that - just wait for the cancer to spread and watch her die. I am just not sure how/where I am going to find the money to treat her - I don't have credit to put it on and putting myself in that kind of financial situation is not a good idea either as I am already living paycheck to paycheck. I have a lot of thinking to do. I just feel like :po: :po: :po: :crybaby: :crybaby: :crybaby:
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