Moving to another stage…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m wishing I had come back sooner with good news because there have been lots of good times in the past several weeks. Abby is such a sweet girl who makes friends everywhere she goes. Anyone who thinks Rottweilers are evil and ferocious has never met her. Here she is in one of my favorite poses which I refer to as her donut look.


Unfortunately, today I come back with not-so-good news. Abby was supposed to have her 4th chemo session just before the holidays, but her white blood cell count was low so we opted to wait until after Christmas. Today was one of those days when you go to the vet with a single-minded focus – just get the chemo dose. She looked good so I assumed her blood count had recovered and we’d be in and out in under an hour. Her numbers were fine, but they found a mass on one of her front legs. In the end, the mass was nothing, but it prompted x-rays which revealed lung mets.

We had x-rays done just 4 weeks ago and everything was normal, so–even though I know osteo spreads to the lungs– the diagnosis was still unexpected, and devastating, to me. She’s so young and so full of life and cancer can be so unfair!!!

We are moving to the next stage of medication which is a daily oral dose of dasatinib, which, as I understand it, is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. As my vet explained, the carboplatin was designed to target microscopic cancer cells and prevent them from rapidly dividing. Since we’re no longer at a microscopic phase, we’re moving to a drug that has the potential to work in a different way (which I can’t effectively explain). Sadly, she has many mets in her lungs and two of them are at least 5 cm. This is apparently very aggressive growth in 4 weeks and is likely just the way cancer behaves in a dog that was struck at such a young age.

The medication is coming from a compounding pharmacy so we’ll get started tomorrow. We’ve been told that in clinical trials, it has been very effective in 30-50% of dogs. Unfortunately, there isn’t definitive data out there right now that says exactly which dogs with which disease the drug will be effective on, so we’re relying on HOPE!!!

It’s been a long day, but at the end of it, I am faced with the realization that we don’t go through all these extraordinary measures just for the hope of extra years of life. We go through them for the here and the now. If we get extra years, that is a bonus. At the end of the day, I cherish each and every moment I have with her. Even the hard times.


10 thoughts on “Moving to another stage…”

  1. Look at all that sweetness just oozing out of that photo! Soooo cute!!

    Okay, it is not easy to hear “mets”. I, like so many others here, understand the kick in the gut when you are rold your dog has mets. And I, like so many others here, can also tell you that is NOT an immediate death sentence, if at all!

    Sassy, Jerry, my Happy Hannah, just a few who got great extended quality time chock full of more loving and spoiling and tummy rubs than you could ever dream possible.

    My Happy Hannah had a met the “size of a baseball”! And, as you’ve discovered, there are options for treatment. Many have gone with metronomics, some Palladia, and other various treatments, including holistic.

    You’ve got the “life lesson” that this journey teaches us…living in the moment, being more dog. You are doing an excellent job of BEING MORE ABBY!! And you darn right, there is always hope!!! It sounds like you are working with an Onco who believes in hope and that’s a real plus!

    Remember,NOTHING has changed in Abby’s world. These xrays don’t mean squat ro her! She is symptom fee and feeling great! That is the kind of “diagnosis report” that is most important!!

    Just a suggestion, you may want tompost under “Ask A Vet” in the forums about the treatment Abby is taking. I’m just curious if she’s had any experience with it. Her own dog Tazzie had osteo/amp and she’s very well versed on these things. She’s not an Oncologist though.

    Looking forward to more pictures as we all continue to cheer for Abby!!! There here and now is all that matters and you are doing a spectacular job of embodying it!

    Love and hugs to you, Abby and Quinn too!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. Yes, the life lesson takes a while to sink in and accept but I am getting it. Thanks for sharing all the great heroes who have walked in these paw prints before Abby. It helps!

  2. Rotties, evil? Hahahaha that’s funny, every one we’ve ever met has been a sweetie. People are so weird.

    Oh man I’m sorry about the latest news but I’m just gonna say that your vet ROCKS and with her on that new therapy, odds are pretty good that she’s going to keep kicking cancer’s butt. Who is doing the therapy and where? A university? It’s a pretty progressive treatment and you’re so lucky to have access to it.

    You sound really optimistic which is awesome. I’d be too, Abby is getting some fantastic care.

    Keep us posted on how the dasatinib is going, we want to hear all the details OK?

    1. I do love my vet, but heating that from you Jerry makes me feel even better!

      We see Dr. Harris at Animal Medical of Seattle. Not a university setting or anything fancy, but Dr. Harris did a research trial on this type of medication when she was in school.

      We’re hanging in there!

  3. Ok, listen Sassy had mets 7 3/4 months. We did metronomics not the drug you are planning we did dang it can’t remember the 1st drug which cause cystitis then we went to leukeran. I am glad you will continue on.
    May Abby be as fortunate as my sweet Sassy and live awhile.

    We are thinking about both of you. I was wondering how she was doing

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    PS Rotties evil LOL. Doubt it.

  4. Ok so I am a sobbing mess now! You so right cancer is mean and so unfair!
    My thoughts are with u both!
    She doesn’t look like she’s fecious or mean lol she looks like a super softy!
    I think people take dignity, handsomeness and pride wrongly as a Rottie always are beautiful and pose very well! Give me a rottie cuddle any day!

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