Lymphoma- Radiation or chemo alone? - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
Go Back   Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums > Keep Your Dog Healthy > Health concerns

BoxerForums.com is the premier Boxer Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
New User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Default Lymphoma- Radiation or chemo alone?

Hello. I am new to this site. My poor boy, almost 11 years old, was diagnosed with lymphoma at the beginning October. After biopsies revealed that the cancer was stage 5, we opted for chemo. We completed the fifth treatment last week (it's a 25- week course). He responded very well and very rapidly- his lymph nodes shrank and blood was clear by the 2nd or 3rd week of treatment, with the only side effects being from prednisone, which he is now off of. Our vet who administered chemo, and the oncologist (not the same office) are both recommending radiation to prolong life. They both say that the chemo alone will result in the cancer returning in as little as 3 months after the last treatment. They say radiation (followed by the rest of his chemo) has statistically given dogs a few extra years. The radiation would be two half-body treatments- first the upper body, resulting in temporary fatigue, and the second treatment is the lower body which can have very bad side effects, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc for up to a month. There's no guarantee that it would be a success, although statistics show that the odds are good.

We are torn between going through with it and just finishing out the chemo alone. He is still so full of life - energy is good, stools are good, he is happy and comfortable, has no other medical issues and his appetite is as huge as when we rescued him at 11 months and he was devastatingly malnourished. If he were 8 or 9 we would do it in a heartbeat- sacrifice a month of him being sick in exchange for 3(hopefully) extra years. But we don't know how much longer he would live with or without cancer, considering he is already 11.

Please share your experiences if you have put your dog through radiation. We are supposed to go in for treatment on Tuesday.

Thank you.

-Jakes mom
Jake's mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
GoudasMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Duncan Oklahoma
Posts: 2,240
Default

Im so sorry you are going through this. My Gouda crossed the bridge on 7/19/12. Her original cancer was Cutaneous Epitheliotropic T Cell Lymphoma but osteosarcoma got her in the end.

I just did chemo and holistic therapies with her. She had CCNU(Lomustine). She could only finish 2 courses before the chemo severely damaged her liver. Radiation was one option but for me it would have been unrealistic, the closest place was in Dallas over 4 hours away and the cost of the treatment and boarding was just not feasible.

If it were me and my dog had stage 5 lymphoma, personally I would not go through the radiation. Im not sure I agree with their assessment that your boy could live a few more years with radiation. Stage 5 is the end stage and being your baby is 11 years old (an advanced age for a Boxer) that in itself would sway me not to put him through it.

With that being said only you, not me not the Vet not the Oncologist knows your dog. You are his advocate and his protector. You know him better then anyone period. It's a tough thing. I went through it for over 3 years. If you have Facebook there is a wonderful group I still belong to that helped me immensely called Pet Cancer Support, I recommend you join. They are very informed and have gone through what you are going through now.

I do have a few questions. Why did they take him off prednisone? What chemo protocol is Jake receiving? Have you considered any holistic therapies?

Whatever decision you make do your research. I cant say enough about knowing the disease and knowing your options. I personally took my own path with Gouda after the chemo failed. Vets/Oncologists are only human, not always are they correct. I do not believe my Gouda would have lived as long as she did had a listened and went with everything the Vet/Oncologist said...I did my own research.

I wish the best for you and Jake. Feel free to message me if you ever want more information or just someone to "talk" to. Hugs to you and Jake!
__________________
Gouda 9/6/01 - 7/19/12

Sue - Mom to Kippah rescued 8/19/12

Last edited by GoudasMom; 11-24-2012 at 09:14 PM.
GoudasMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 03:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
New User
 
Wildkatblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Washington
Posts: 15
Default

oh, hated to see this post. lost my 8 year old girlie to the same disease march 2011. Local vet misdiagnosed as renal failure. By the time we arrived at the university vet hospital 3 hours away, she was 2 days from death. They administered rescue drug and in 24 hours she was a new dog! Honey did chemo and pred for 18 months - gave her an excellent quality of life, which is all you should be concentrating on for your boxer. I don't know why they are recommending radiation for lymp. I wouldn't do it because radiation kills good with the bad, and it will be a logistical challenge for you. I can get down to the gory details in a personal email exchange if you want. It is a tough, emotional road ahead. Why did you go off the pred? It keeps the node swelling down and appetite/energy up. Also curious where your dog is being treated.


Sent from my iPhone using Petguide.com Free App
Wildkatblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
Power User
 
tdkent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 535
Default

I dont know if anyone has used the Tagament and Benadryl for Lymphoma. I do know it's been used to reduce rumors. If you go to Www.bavariaboxers.com/cancer.htm
to read about it, possibly message the website owner Vera Koller for advice.

Best of luck with Jake and whatever protocol you choose. You have done more than most people would/can do for their beloved fur-kids.
__________________


tdkent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 09:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
GoudasMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Duncan Oklahoma
Posts: 2,240
Default

I have been thinking about You and Jake and wanted to share a link with you

Lymphoma in Dogs | Canine Lymphoma :: Veterinary Cancer Specialists

A lot of this is very technical I know but good information there. One thing I would like to point out is:

What is the prognosis for a dog with lymphoma?
Most dogs with lymphoma have a medium to high-grade lymphoma that is very responsive to chemotherapy. More than 75% of dogs with lymphoma can be expected to achieve a complete remission with chemotherapy. The duration of the first remission is variable, depending on the chemotherapy protocol used. The stage and the immunotype of the lymphoma also affect remission duration. Median remission times have been reported from 6 months to 20 months, depending on lymphoma stage and treatment protocol. The second remission is more difficult to achieve, with approximately 40% of dogs with lymphoma achieving a complete remission with the second course of chemotherapy. Less than 20% of dogs with lymphoma will achieve a third complete remission. Approximately 40-45% of dogs with lymphoma live one year with treatment. Less than 20% of dogs with lymphoma live 2 years, with treatment. Without treatment, the average survival time of dogs is one month from the time of diagnosis. This is difficult for many pet owners to believe because their dog often appears to be quite healthy at the time of diagnosis.

The part I put in bold is something in my years of research I have seen over and over especially the life expectancy. Now with that being said there are exceptions to the rule my Gouda being one. She was given 18 months with clean margins(they were dirty) and a full treatment of CCNU(which she only had two courses) and it wasnt the CETCL that got her in the end it was osteosarcoma and she lived 3 years and 3 months post diagnosis. But in reality I think Jake living 3 years with both chemo and radiation is highly unlikely although he could be the exception to the rule. Im not trying to be cruel or pessimistic here, Im trying to give you the facts and I do believe your Vet and Oncologists arent being realistic.

One other link you might want to read

http://www.lymphomainfo.net/articles...mphoma-in-dogs
__________________
Gouda 9/6/01 - 7/19/12

Sue - Mom to Kippah rescued 8/19/12

Last edited by GoudasMom; 11-25-2012 at 09:15 AM.
GoudasMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
BoxerForums Addict
 
Laneysmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,632
Default

I wish nothing but the best for poor Jake.... Personally, I would not put him thru radiation at his age either. Sue, Gouda's Mom, probably is the most knowledgeable person here on cancer with what she has been thru with sweet Gouda. I don't believe the vet or oncologist are being realistic about Jake's treatments either. Why put the poor guy thru that? I wouldn't, but, only you can be the judge knowing your pup... I pray it all goes well for you and Jake.
__________________


Laneys Mom,
CAROL
Laneysmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
New User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Default

Thanks so much to Gouda & Kippa's mom for the helpful info and the links. We have spoken to a few people, including a relative who is a vet. We are most likely not going to do the radiation. We just don't want to put him through that at 11 years old, especially with his bad GI history (colitis as a young boy). We feel lucky and happy with the results we have had with chemo, and thankful for the very minimal side effects and we are going with that for now. We owe it to him to give him the treatment with the least amount of suffering. We will hope for the best and continue giving him all that we can.
Jake's mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
GoudasMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Duncan Oklahoma
Posts: 2,240
Default

I wish you the best and many more happy days with Jake. Dont be afraid to go back on prednisone if needed. At the end of life care the side effects from long term use really isnt a factor in my opinion. Hugs to you and keep us posted.
__________________
Gouda 9/6/01 - 7/19/12

Sue - Mom to Kippah rescued 8/19/12
GoudasMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 03:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
New User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Default

So sorry to hear about Jake. I lost my Oscar to lymphoma oct of last year. He was diagnosed with stage 5 in march 2011. We did chemo every week for 5 weeks then he went in remission. Still continued on the treatment til the 8th week he was doing so good the doctor gave him a week break. Then cancer came back. Still continuing chemo but different protocol because 1 of the meds was causing his liver to fail. Went in remission again and continued on chemo til sept. My mother was hospitalized for 6 weeks. During that time, oscar's meds were not being administered on regular time as i was in the hospital most of the day & night. I felt so bad but mom needed me too. Cancer came back but we have already tried 3 protocols and was running out of chemo options due to the strong meds causing liver failure. Doctor suggested radiation treatment. By that time, I have exhausted all my funds (chemo costs were $950-1500 per treatment. Yes, $1000+ a week not including ultrasounds, MRIs, etc). I did not work while mom was at the hospital. If i could only afford radiation i would have given it to him. He was the closest i ever had to a child. He was happy til the end. His back legs stopped working on his 2 final days, he did not sleep and kept panting. On the most dreaded day of my life, i carried him to the car and he was so happy. He thought we were going to the park to play. I miss my baby so bad everyday. He was 8 years old. I would have given him the treatment if i could. Someday, when the time comes, the first thing i would do is give him a great big hug. Sorry for being emotional. You do what is best for Jake. He is 11. If you think he wouldn't be able to handle the treatment (too much negative side effects, could cause him to be depressed, etc) then don't do it. I regret deciding a day too late because i didn't want to lose him yet. I thought i was loving him but later i realized i was being selfish. I wish i didn't prolong his agony just because i didn't want to let him go. I will pray for Jake to be happy and comfortable everyday. Stay strong and know that Jake knows how much you love him.
Chivee's mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
BoxerForums Addict
 
af_wx_wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,441
Default

I am so sorry. Please give Jake lots of big hugs letting him know you love him. My Maggie had lymphoma & by the time we found it, it was to late. We did prednisone treatments on her till the end. She was 12.5 yrs (had her since she was 3 months) & we could tell she was suffering. On August 22nd we made the biggest decision of our life & had her put to sleep. She was the best dog & I couldn't let her suffer no longer. She had the best life with us. I held her while the vet administered the meds & didn't want to let her go. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. She was my TDY & deployment dog so it will be hard when hub has to leave again. I wish you & Jake the best.
__________________
af_wx_wife is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:54 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com