Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Chemo Session #4 (and a new job)

Sedated but always aware.......
Today was Chemo Session #4 for Blue, which has become a routine that Blue finds quite relaxing, but that is on Blue's scale. Any other dog you may feel Blue is far from relaxed, but trust us when we say "he is relaxed".

Blue began the day the evening before, let me explain. Ahead of Chemo, Blue is required to take anti-sickness tablets, these were lovingly crushed in a pestle and mortar, sprinkled and mixed in with a tin of sardines. Once sniffed, for any nasties, Blue wolfs it down, and proceeds to clean the bowl of all evidence that it was ever used to dish up food.

So back to today, we all had a lie in, and Blue went and done his business in the park, before coming home and having a hearty breakfast, unaware of what lay ahead, until 10 minutes before we left, he spotted the muzzle on the stairs. But there was no fuss, that might be in part to the sedatives that he was given at 8:20 am
The previous session the sedatives did not seem to kick in within the prescribed 2 hours, so we gave him them a little earlier so they would be in his system and working before his 10:30 appointment.

We left home shortly after 9:00am needing to get fuel for the car and a minor diversion to Asda to exchange a DVD, a completely different story.

 Reading to Guilford is just over 30+ miles and at this time of the day, very little traffic was encountered meaning we were there at 10:20am As we opened the car door, Blue was not up and alert ready to go, so a bit of coaxing was required, but once his paws were on the pavement we were heading for the door, well Blue was heading for the door, we did well to keep up. The push button on the sliding doors activated before Blue could ram it with his snout, and the same with the inner door. We made our way to a waiting pod in reception, where Blue quickly settled, to await our turn.

Once in the pod with Sue and me, Blue quickly settles, and is very relaxed, although he has been here before many times, he accepts it as a safe place, that is a credit to the Staff, team and designers of this state of the art unit. 

Bliss was disturbed with the arrival of Dr Kelvin Kow, and his assistant Nurse Emma. Moments later Blue settled back down, giving us the chance to recall how Blue has been since his last visit.

We told how Blue had been improving to the point that he had gone for two swim sessions and an hour plus walk at Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire. Also he retained a healthy appetite and was on minimum pain relief.

There was some concerns about Blue that we had agreed to share, it would be in Blue's interest long term. That concern was since Blue had undergone the major surgery to remove the mass from his abdomen, to date we had seen improvement in various different ways. That changed on Sunday, Blue was being playful and boisterous, and rolled over on his back, and gave a yelp. We then noticed he was "hovering" his back leg. From there on in we have tailored back his walks and avoided getting him too excited.

Dr Kelvin suggested we did not jump to any conclusions, let's see how he is. With a bit less than usual handling Blue went with me and Dr Kelvin to the door through to the business part of the building, where Nurse Emma and Dr Kelvin took Blue for his session and checks.

Sue and me sat in our Pod, accepting the offer of coffee while we waited, the 30-45minutes.

Sue recognised Blue was approaching, before he had turned the corner and come into view, Blue was coming straight back to us, with Dr Kelvin on the other end of the lead, doing well to keep up.

Blue quickly settled down enabling us to be updated; Dr Kelvin Kow was pleased on a number of counts, blood tests were normal for Blue, based on previous tests. Although there would be concern for blood results returned in a healthy dog, these were causing no concern in Blue. His weight has gone up about 300grams. 

There was a twist though, not only was the Dr pleased with what he had seen, but was taken aback at how well Blue was walking, and his strength, we joked and said "Blue knows where Blue wants to go" and he said he started to protect me like I was one of the family, when a Nurse approached them.

Sue said, welcome to an exclusive club, fancy that Blue protecting the vet, which made us all smile.

In three weeks time Blue will return to the Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre of Fitzpatrick referrals where he will have a CT scan, this will determine the next stage.

Blue is not following a well defined path, his treatment is bespoke to him. The permutations are endless, even as we were consulting with the Doctor, you could see he was working out options that would best suit Blue and his condition. 

Blue has gained a new friend in this process, one he is keen to protect, and that is Blue's new job.

Blue was even presented with his own file box, to keep his paperwork up together..........

We arrived home safe and sound around about 12:30 and once again found it difficult to scoop Blue out of the car, I said to Sue, we could do with one of them tipper trucks.
Blues medicine for the next three weeks.......

 If you have found this blog interesting, enlightening especially the progress of Blue and his fight against cancer, you can learn more of what this practice does on 4th February 2016

World Cancer Day is the subject of a forum from 6-7pm


Blue stayed awake for one more picture before getting his head down,the eyes say it all!!