Tag Archives: cancer

My sweet boy is not doing so well

May 25, 2016

I am sad. Rocco is not well, he seems to be declining. His sight in his good eye is failing. He can still see, but not very well. When he tries to concentrate on something his eye doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. When I take him for walks he crashes into stuff, and when we play bubbles he can hardly even see them. He goes after the ones on the grass, because they are not moving.

well, it's In-N-Out
Going to In-N-Out

He is eating fine, he can get around fine, he seems to be going potty and all those sorts of things fine. I just see him struggling with his sight now, and is afraid to do things. Even on our walks, he just doesn’t seem as happy go lucky as he has always been. Every noise freaks him out, its just so sad! Everything he loves has been taken away. He cant play with the soccer balls, or any toys really. He cant even enjoy the walks anymore. He just lies around. I have to go to work each day so he just lays there on the couch. He doesnt run up and down the hill chasing squirrels, checking out the yard, he just doesn’t have interest in it anymore (probably because he cant see!).Well, It is heart-breaking. This is all happening too fast! I get one thing sort of under control, and then a new problem arises. I just wish there was something I could do to slow it all down a bit.

I’ve been taking him for rides. He still loves to go in the car. I took him to In-N-Out the other night, and of course got him a cheeseburger. He loved both! I have been feeding him lots of good stuff (maybe not good for him, but he loves it). Wet food so he gets some doggy nutrition, then I give him boiled chicken covered in turkey gravy, or fast food burgers, tapioca pudding, all sorts of soft stuff like that.

Every once in a while he goes over to the toys and acts like he wants to play! He has this one squishy yellow ball that has been one of his favorites for a long time. We played kick ball with it the other night. He had fun! It was a little spurt of energy and ‘Rocco’ was back for a few minutes.

The vet said that once his sight starts to go in the good eye, that means that the tumor is either working its way up into the brain or over to the other optic nerve.  We all felt like this was going to be months away, but its all happening so fast!

I don’t think he is suffering. as in pain, but he is suffering in that he cant play, he cant go on walks (well, he can, but its not so fun). He can however, sit on my lap & get lots of love. Im afraid the end is near, but  how will I know when to allow it to happen? The rest of his body is very healthy – its just this stupid cancer that’s the problem.

Vet visit – Pain & weight loss

May 10, 2016

Took Rocco to the vet today. Just for a evaluation / recheck sort of thing. He said the tumor is obviously growing, and its going to be more and more uncomfortable as time goes on. He thinks that some of the muscles/nerves on the side of his face are affected and that’s why his jaw hurts so much.

Neurologically he felt like Rocco is doing great, so he doesn’t think that portion of the tumor that they left in there has grown up further into the brain. He said he was not showing any of the typical issues of meningiomas in the brain, so that was good news! He said he was alert, could concentrate, was looking to him for cues, was walking normal, and acting as he should. He told me to watch for seizures – because once they start there are medications he can have to keep them from getting too bad.  I hope that happens way in the future, if it does advance to that point.

He was a little concerned because Rocco has lost over 8 lbs in 2 months. So he is not eating enough. He told me to feed him more often, and give him anything he likes. I know it hurts sometimes when he eats, so thats why he doesn’t just gobble everything down like he use to. I have been feeding soft foods. I have eliminated dry food, dog treats, cookies (kills me because he loves the pumpkin cookies), and pretty much just giving him soft cheese, tiny pieces of chicken, wet food, cottage cheese, dog ice cream, goats milk… I need to find more options for him.

pain pills
Wiped out Rocco. Pain pills are coming!

I have Rocco back on Rimadyl, which I think does help him feel better. We took him off of it for about a week because he was acting strange. But the vet said its better to keep him on it, and even give him pain pills – if we keep the pain away, and keep a constant flow of the meds – he will feel better overall. Makes sense. I haven’t been great about making sure he has the pain pills. In fact, I have only given him the Tramadol once. He said I should give it to him regularly and that will help him be more comfortable. He says his jaw/cheek probably aches constantly, but there is no way for him to tell us. He cries if he yawns, or opens his mouth wide, so that pain is obviously worse. So I am going to keep him on the Rimadyl and the Tramadol and see if he feels better.

He has had some mild tremors lately, too. The vet said there are many reasons dogs have tremors, but usually its because they are in pain. So that points again to giving him the pain pills. He said I can grind them up and put them in food. Its getting harder and harder to get him to eat the pills. I cant just throw them down his throat because I am afraid I will hurt him.

My poor little guy. I feel so bad! He is such a good boy, I just want him to feel better!!!

The cancer is back!

March 29, 2016

tumor is back. I hate cancer!
tumor is back

The tumor has returned. Poor little Rocco. He is such a good boy, and I love him so much. I cant believe the tumor grew back so quickly! I hate cancer! Here is what has happened in the past few days.

Over the past several months, Rocco jaw has been sore. It seemed to have never healed from the surgery. He has been taking Rimadyl for it, and I think it takes the edge off. The last month or so, however, he has been more uncomfortable. He no longer plays with his soccer balls (well, he tries, but when he opens his mouth wide, it hurts). So he would rather not. It hurts when he yawns big, or gets excited and goes to grab a big toy. Its so sad, he whimpers and looks at me to ‘fix it’. Oh how I wish I could.

We finally decided to take him back in, it seems like its getting worse and I feared that the tumor had returned. My husband thought it was tooth related. So anyway, I made an appointment to go see the surgeon who did the tumor removal. I was going to go to his normal vet, but they missed the cancer in the first place, and I didnt really want to have to explain everything that the surgeon did – I decided I would go right to the person who actually knew what all had happened. So anyway, finally got an appt for today.

We went this morning. The surgeon is really nice, and completely remembers Rocco. He told me that it felt like there was a mass there. His eye socket was hard and it should not be. So he said we could do a catscan or a ultrasound. Ultrasounds are much cheaper and he felt like he could see enough with the ultrasound to see what all was going on. He said it could be an infection/abscess, cyst or a tumor. He wanted to do a biopsy on the tumor (if it was one), but I told him not to. We are not going to do another surgery. The last one only kept the cancer away for a few months. Not putting Rocco (or us) through that again!

So I went to work and they kept Rocco there. About 2 hours later he called me with the bad news. It was definitely a tumor. He said he could see the edges and he said it looked like the old tumor, and it was a crunchy tumor (whatever the heck that means), and thats why he remembered it. There is a little good news, the tumor is on the tmj or near it. The tumor is not near any organs, not in the nasal cavity, not near the other eye or going towards the brain. (he still does have some of the original tumor up in the brain area – that has not grown). So even though the jaw area is painful, its not deadly to have the tumor there, as long as it doesn’t continue to grow so quickly. If we can keep it from growing, then Rocco will have some discomfort, but we can control it with pain meds and anti inflammatorys. He wants me to talk to the oncologist tomorrow to see if they recommend steroids, or anything else to help keep the tumor from growing.

So that’s where we stand. Right now we are doing nothing. Rocco will just go on as he was before. The tumor hopefully will stop growing and he can live a long time. If it continues to grow at the same pace, he wont have many more months. Once it gets to the brain, things go quick.  I have everyone praying for him! Many people love Rocco. Will you please pray for him, too??