Week 13 Recap and Oncology Visit #14
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
Margarita has been the ultimate Warrior. Both her primary veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, as well as her oncologist, Dr. Risbon, have told me that Margarita is doing much better than some dogs do when going through chemo. Not only do some dogs have many more or worse side effects, but some dogs unfortunately aren’t even able to complete the 16-week plan for different reasons. I am in awe of Sweet Reet’s strength and resilience, and she has inspired me to transform my worrier tendencies into Warrior energy these past 13 weeks.
As her PAWrent, it was extremely difficult at times over the last 13 weeks to clear my mind of distress, transform that negative energy into the positive strength needed to make clear decisions, and to physically and emotionally assist Margarita in her most important battle. Keeping a calm, upbeat demeanor was important to me, knowing the vibes I emitted would undoubtedly transfer to Margarita. A positive attitude and a calm, gentle peaceful voice made her feel happy and secure. Like all dogs, Margarita is extremely sensitive to silent communication as well – so it was just as important for me to keep my mood and body language optimistic, despite the anxiety and heartache that I felt.
However, the mind is a treacherous battlefield, and if I was not careful…if I let my guard down jus a little…the Warrior in me disintegrated into a worrier instantaneously. So what have I done to help train my heart and mind to be a Warrior like Sweet Reet? Call me crazy – but I watched Rita – closely. Despite not feeling well 100% of the time, I saw Rita still take joy in small things. Undeterred by the side effects of chemo, she still woke up with her tail wagging and happy to be alive. Her bravery and endurance truly inspired me to start each day anew with an optimistic mind and happy heart, no matter what transpired the day before. How do you like that? SHE was the one going through battle, yet she was helping ME all along…A true example of a Warrior.
Week 13 Recap
The week following her treatment day was great. Margarita did not have any reactions to the Vincristine, and was feeling well enough to enjoy a trip to Maine with us. The hair from her splenectomy surgery area has not grown back yet – which we kind of expected. But more recently, Margarita has had a bit of hair loss in her face, and some pigment discoloration in her muzzle. Below are not the best of pictures, but I tried to show a “before'” (left side) and “current” (right side) for comparison.
We first noticed that her nose, the skin around her eyes and lips, and her muzzle were all turning darker:
Then we noticed hair loss on her face…
…and on her muzzle:
Definitely some noticeable changes – but still one of the prettiest gals we know!
Oncology Visit 14
Margarita’s CBC revealed a very mild drop in her white blood cell count, but the levels were still acceptable for continued therapy. Her physical examination was normal, and her weight was stable. Dr. Risbon said that after the chemotherapy is completed, Margarita’s hair should fill back in, and she should regain the original pink coloring in her muzzle.
This Week’s Treatment
Dr. Risbon changed the treatment for today. Rita was supposed to have Cyclophosphamide today. However, the last time Rita had Cyclophosphamide, she displayed was suspected to be sterile hemorrhagic cystitis , a side effect with this drug seen in about 10% of dogs. To be sure this didn’t happen again, the Cyclophosphamide was substituted with Chlorambucil .
This Week’s Treat
This week’s treat was extra special. Margarita surprised her 2-legged cousin, James on his last day of school!
First car in the Parent Pick-Up Line!
Margarita was patiently waiting for James.
James was happy and surprised to see Rita when he opened his door!
Rita’s Grammy drove us all to get a treat.
We went to Evergreen Dairy Bar . This well-known restaurant and ice cream stand opened in 1949 and is a popular spot for locals, as well as road-trippers passing by on their way to or from the Jersey Shore.
James and Margarita enjoyed a hot dog for lunch. As you can see, Rita thinks her lunch is lip-smackin’-good!
After lunch, James and Margarita also enjoyed a delicious ice cream treat!
As always, thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.