Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Max Again

Max, enjoys being spoiled. Posted by Picasa
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars." ~ Henry Van Dyke (American short-story Writer, Poet and Essayist, 1852-1933)
I promised an update on Max. Max does indeed have lymphoma; actually it is a high grade T-cell lymphoma. This is an unusual form as it appears to be confined to his skin at this point and this is why he has so few symptoms. It would be analogous to a Mycosis fungoides in humans. Looking back now, he probably has had this in its earliest form for at least six months. Max had an ultrasound back in October and the vet said he had inflamed skin patches on his stomach. This stage of cutaneous lymphoma is almost impossible to diagnose. Now it has gone into the nodule phase. It may eventually spread to his internal organs or lymph nodes or bone marrow, but for now, just his skin.

So, Max started his first chemotherapy with the oncology vet yesterday. The vet knows that Max has been treated for heart worms in the past and so we are going the CCNU (Cytoxan) route. It is in pill form, every three weeks and he gets prednisone along with it. Any of the protocols with the more high powered drugs would require IV treatment and this is next to impossible with him. We should know in a couple of months if this does anything for him. I do believe he is on a "steroid" high right now, he didn't want to settle down to sleep last night and he wants "in" and "out" pretty much at the same time. But he does seem happy, as long as his basketball is by his side.

If this works, he could have a year more with us; if not it is uncertain. As long as he doesn't seem to be in pain or discomfort and as long as he still enjoys his walks, his basketball, his food and his friends then we will continue. If Max is like my other dogs, he'll let me know when it is time. For now, he is spoiled rotten and loving it. Does anyone know where we can find another basketball? Max knows that two are better than one.

I'll send this to the Carnival of the Dogs as several people have sent very nice comments and best wishes from there. Max loves to meet new friends. (end of post)

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