9 Months and Going Strong

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We missed our month 8 update, and it’s because Nesta and I have been too busy enjoying the summer together and celebrating the good news we found out in late July.  But today I realized I had not shared the news yet on his blog, so here it is:

After a few weeks of going back and forth about whether or not I should comply to the advice of our oncologist and come back every 6 months for a chest xray, I decided that indeed it would be a good idea to know whether or not Nesta’s body was dealing with metastasis.  So right around his 8 month anniversary, we went back to the oncologist for the first time since his amputation.  They gave him an exam, took x-rays, and then our oncologist came back into the room to share the exciting news that Nesta’s  chest looks beautiful – meaning no metastasis!!  AAAHH sweet sigh of relief!!

We were so excited to hear those words; I squealed with excitement and Nesta responded with an approving tail thumping against the floor and big kiss across my face!  I took this to mean that Nesta is cancer-free, and quickly posted something on FaceBook about it, and had 140 of my friends respond to our celebration!  But then I realized the doctor never actually used those words, “cancer-free” because there is no way to tell that for sure.  But it was good to have that celebration experience with him!  And I can tell that over the past month, we have both been a little more relaxed.

Nesta’s breathing continues to sound odd at times, which is what originally made me nervous about potential lung mets, but I was assured at the vet, this was not the case.  I have come to learn it could be a number of things, from natural aging, to possible larynx paralysis (which occurs commonly in older labs), or from his arthritis and/or phantom limb pain.   For the pain, the doctor prescribed Gabapentin for Nesta to take every 12 hours, and reluctantly  we are doing this.  It seems to be helping, but I don’t like the idea of having him on pain meds all the time.  I am looking into other possible options to help with this mysterious pain and discomfort, including acupuncture.

We have beet the odds and estimations of Nesta’s lifespan thus far with no chemotherapy, so it is clear we are doing something right.  I wanted to update the blog with Nesta’s food and supplement regimen in case it can help anyone else going the “No Chemo” route.   But I should also say this has been a work in progress, and every situation and dog is different.  I get tremendous help by reading other people’s suggestions and experiences, and I have also had the input of three different holistic vets, all with varying backgrounds and traditions of practice.  From that information, I have been able to formulate what I “believe and hope” will work for Nesta.

Food: (twice daily, once in AM and once in PM)
1/4 cup EarthBorn Holistic dry kibble (grain free)
3/4 – 1 cup The Honest Kitchen rehydrated food – Zeal (grain free)
Top with blended fresh veggies like kale or steamed broccoli and/or meat like chicken or turkey livers, or sardines
I will also occasionally add seaweed or any other nutritious food I think he needs more of.
*He drools for his food at meal time, and has never been a drooler before!
*If I run out of The Honest Kitchen’s Zeal, and it is a few days before we get the next shipment, then I prepare a crock-pot meal.  (I have recipes from vet if you are interested)
Supplements:
1 Tbsp. Nordic Naturals Cod liver oil – daily
40-50,000 IU Vit. A – SolarRay Food Carotene – 3 times per week, mon, wed, fri.
2-3 ml Hoxsey-like formula with Boneset
100 mg Artemisinin – given late night, 5 days on, two days off (although not been regular with this lately mainly because I added a Chinese herbal called Stasis Breaker, per recommendation from another holistic vet.)
I give him 2-3 K9 Immunity wafers per day as treats, along with other regular treats.
And he now gets his pain pill, and of course his thyroid pill which he has been taking for hypothyroidism for past 5 years.
This is what has pulled him through thus far, and now I am communicating with veterinarian in TN about beginning to cut back on this supplement regimen since he seems to be doing so well.
That’s all for now.  It is time to go lay on the floor with my tired pup and snuggle.  We just got back from a weekend in Mt. Pleasant visiting a friend.   The beach (Sullivan’s Island) allows dogs off leash from 6am-10am, and Nesta and I had a WONDERFUL time walking, playing with the ball and swimming!  He continues to amaze me on a daily basis!

 


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