Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Birthday Blues, stitches out, hard news.

Blue is 8 today, a remarkable feat after what he has gone through, not only these last two weeks, but since September last year.

Blue has attracted a lot of attention on twitter and other forms of social media, he has gained a lot of support and admirers.

Blue is having a "birthday week" because he is a special dog who through no fault of his own had a double booking today, the other booking was to return to Fitzpatrick Referrals to have his stitches removed after his spleen removal two weeks ago.

Those two weeks have been a little difficult, as he gives an indication that he wants to play, but tires very quickly, his walks have been no greater than 10 minutes, more often shorter. The removal of his spleen seems to have hit him harder than the original operation to remove the mass, and today we were not feeling too confident of the visit.

Blue had a bit of interest in opening a couple of gifts, more often more interested in the wrapper than it's contents, he is very interested in the treats, but they can only be given in moderation.

Blue was given 5 sedatives today, and seemed more restless on the journey to Guildford.
As we arrived the sedatives were really taking hold, barely able to walk, walking headlong into anything in his path, he barely noticed the joyful birthday greeting of the receptionists as we walked through the lobby of the Oncology department.

We made it into the consultation room, where Blue soon laid down partially on the weighing scales inset in the floor.

Shortly after our arrival, Dr Kelvin Kow came in, to discuss Blue, we explained how Blue had been since his spleen removal. For the first time there was a change in our discussions, it would be hard to avoid the inevitable discussion.

The discussion was honest and open from both sides, Blue had done remarkably well, he had reached 6 months and one week since his initial operation, survived 6 sessions of chemotherapy, had a port inserted, had his spleen removed and several blood transfusions.

The fact is Blue has surpassed what few dogs can, only 50% make it through the early stages of Chemotherapy, to have gone 6 he was now where only 1 in 5 dogs reach.

If we were to spend a million pounds, nothing would change, the big question was, had Blue hit the wall that could not be beaten, options were now becoming limited and we could soon be at a crossroad, but before we spoke any further it was important to remove Blue's stitches and take blood samples.

Blue was very weak, and Dr Kelvin seemed concerned at the change, though as he led Blue away, Blue summoned the strength and will to show he was not yet beaten.

Sue and I had an honest discussion, that for now will remain between us, it was not a cheery discussion, the emotional rollercoaster was in full swing, but in all of this we would put our thoughts to one side and do what was best for Blue.

Dr Kelvin returned alone, there was a problem, the machine needed to analyse Blue's blood was out of action, they had to rely on a back up one. His mood did seem to give mixed signals, he then explained that Blue's blood count had risen since his spleen removal, which was contrary to what we had described, he explained how positive this was, compared to what he was expecting.

This does change very little remarkably, it means that Blue must continue to gain strength and weight before he can receive any further treatment, and the treatment is our decision to make by the end of the week.

  • Return to the original chemo, but risks of heart problems and less impact
  • Chemo that requires an antidote to protect the heart
  • Chemo of a new lesser strength without risks to the heart
None come with any guarantees, namely because who knows where the wall is for Blue.

Given what we had just sat through, talking it through with Dr Kelvin, Blue had given us the sign that he was not ready to leave us yet.

Bouyed, we waited for Blue to return in one of the reception pods, he came through, with Dr Kelvin and a nurse with renewed strength. As he laid at our feet the nurse gave him a cuddle, while Dr Kelvin proudly showed a photo on his phone, Blue being cradled and cuddled in the lap of the nurse, so the dog that would not stay the night or let anyone approach, was now giving out cuddles, amazing.

Blue was put in the back of the car, where he made himself comfy ready for the drive home.

Traffic was an issue due to an accident on the M3, but we picked a route home, where we arrived an hour later. We opened up the car, and this is what we were greeted with.....

But Blue soon perked up when his lady-friend came walking by

Blue is welcomed home by Daisy

Birthday kisses
While I have been writing this, Blue has been sleeping quietly in his crate, he is just stirring, so we will be back soon to tell you all about his birthday week.

Oh I forgot to mention, on Saturday he helped me in his own way, when I put in a garden pond..

As seen on Youtube