Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sickness from the Chemotherapy

Last night was pretty tough for Laura.   After her chemotherapy (doxorubicin) session on Monday, she came home and acted normal.  She ate her regular dinner.  The next day she seemed fine too.  She ate all of her breakfast and all of her dinner.   About 11pm last night as we were laying in bed together, her stomach started gurggling and she started chomping her gums.   I could tell she was feeling nauseous.

For the next two hours she puked almost non stop.  I went through four changes of sheets and was up steam cleaning carpets half the night.  Poor thing was feeling pretty bad.   It almost made me wish I hadn't gone through with the chemotherapy.  At about 1 am she finally vomitted for the last time and went to sleep alongside her brother.   I tried giving her a benadryl and some pepto chewables, but she couldn't keep anything down. 
Gipper and Laura

I called Dr. B in the morning, and he didn't seem too concerned.   He said it was to be expected from the chemo.  He prescribed some Reglan (Metoclopramide) to calm her stomach down.  I gave her one of the pills first thing this morning and she has been holding water down all day, so hopefully the side effects of the chemo are over with.  I'm hoping she will feel well enough to eat her dinner tonight.


  1. After a lot of research, I've said "no" to chemo for my dogs and we also just said no to chemo/radiation for my husband (who just had extensive surgery for colon cancer).

    It simply makes no sense to me destroy the immune system at a time one needs it the most. It might theoretically extend the life of the dogs by a matter of weeks or months, but at what cost? I realize that some do better than others, but I wish that the medical communities, critter's and human's, would be completely honest with us all. But in order to do that, the drug industry has to be completely honest with them, which doesn't have much of a chance of happening.

    If you research humans and chemo, you find that it will cure cancer about 2.1% of the time. 2.1%! There are 2 types of lymphomas, 2 types of childhood leukemia, and testicular cancer that do well with chemo. The rest do not. Yet it causes so many problems including organ failure and secondary cancers. It is, after all, an extreme toxin.

    My dog, Suki, who has hemangiosarcoma, was horribly ill for a couple of days a month ago. That's when we did an x-ray and discovered her large splenic tumour. We all thought she'd be dead within a week or two. It's now been 5 weeks and she's been bouncing around like a pup for the past 4 1/2 of those. I know it's a matter of time but, had she had chemo, they'd be crediting it with her temporary recovery when, in fact, it is simply her own immune system.

    I'm afraid that vets, like human doctors, get sucked into Big Pharma's propaganda. They of course, want to give hope, but I do believe there are better ways.

    I hope Laura is feeling better now.

    By the way, my vet's dog also has hemangiosarcoma. She discovered the large tumour when she was performing a hernia operation on her. So she removed the spleen and that was over 1 1/2 years ago (no chemo). That is contrary to all data, so one just never knows.

  2. Diane, thanks for your comments and well wishes. The anti-nausea medication really helped and Laura is feeling much better and eating normally again. I keep going back and forth on whether or not the chemo is the best route to take. Best of luck to you and Suki!

  3. Good luck! I went through this with my dog 4-5 years ago. The hemangiosarcoma was in the kidney area, which for made a different though similar story. He was mostly great for 18 months with a similar plan: chemo and holistic care, diet etc (I looked at your diet--similar low carb etc).

    I also kept a blog but it's within a community that requires registration (free). If you want to take a peek--maybe some ideas, I don't know--let me know!

    Best wishes--I know how tough this is!

  4. Hi Leah,
    Thanks for your well wishes. I'd love to read your dog and learn from your experience. Can you share the address with us?

  5. Sure, it's here:

    As you can see, the URL looks odd--the blog was mostly for friends on a forum within that community; it wasn't public so I never fixed anything up properly.

    I tested it after signing out and it worked fine so maybe you can get in without registration. The name of the blog is "The Latest Updates: A Dog, a Human, and a Cancer Diagnosis." I used a nickname, Anne, in case you're wondering but that's me!

    Hope it's useful. I'd give you the specific link for posts that might be of interest but it's not set up like that. Warning: last 5 posts (May 07) are pretty sad. You might want to click on "Archive" on the right and browse through. A lot of my titles don't say anything about the content! But you might want to check out
    05-Mar — Diagnosis, Treatment, Symptoms: Part Two
    05-Mar — Diagnosis, Treatment, Symptoms: Part One

    I'll be very happy if anything I wrote back then can help Laura in any way.

    Please let me know if you were able to get in.

  6. I just read your blog of Lauras battle of cancer and her road to recovery. I wish her and you the best. My heart goes out to you. I have lost dogs to everything but cancer,but as a human I have had bouts with it. AND I know deit,exercise and lots of love dues wonders. So here is some love for Laura from Gappe and Me. Walkforbones.;-)

  7. Thanks so much, we are attempting to determine a course of action for our miniature dachshund who has been diagnosed with HSA - your blog has been very informative and if nothing else helps us feel not so alone.

  8. Gappe and Walkforbones -- thanks for your kind words and sharing some love for Laura.

    Daylily -- best of luck to you and your miniature dachshund. There will be good days and bad days, but never lose hope and enjoy each precious moment you have left together.

  9. Laura, I hope you are feeling better. Hope you get better real soon. I love you. Love, Jaron.