Some of you were wondering about my sister’s dog, Aspen, who made an appearance in yesterday’s blog – a video of him following his post-chemo treatment, clearly feeling a little zoned-out. Well, here’s the update. In early June, the poor boy was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bladder and lymph node. He started chemo and, after a full round, he was switched to daily leukeran chemo pills. Pictured below, Aspen following one of his treatments, receiving some TLC from his buddy Roxy.
A recent ultrasound showed a slight increase in the size of the mass on his prostate and lymph node so his treatment was again changed. He is now receiving a high dose of mitoxantrone every three weeks. Another ultrasound in six weeks should reveal whether he responds to his new treatment.
Compounding the problem is the fact that he also suffers from autoimmune issues and takes medication for that as well. The side effects of these meds include frequent urination, which requires sis to line to cover the floor and beds with pee pads (which must be handled with extra caution because of those chemo treatments). Despite all this, sis and Aspen are in high spirits. Hopefully we’ll hear some good news in late September.
Not sure whether it was yesterday’s video of Aspen or just coincidence, but I dreamt of my boy Maximus last night. As most of you know, Max (pictured in the blog banner) passed away early this year after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in July of 2011. Like Aspen, he underwent a series of treatments, radiation rather than chemo, in addition to an anti-cancer vaccine. It was expensive and exhausting and, ultimately, still wasn’t enough to save him in the end, and yet I don’t regret having done it. Rather, I’m sure I would have regretted NOT having done everything I could have at the time.
Anyway, yes, I dreamt of Maximus. But it wasn’t the sick, tired Maximus in the last few months of his life or the laid-back, chunky Maximus of most of his adult life. It was puppy Max. In the dream, I happened to look over and there he was, happy to be back with us. And, as I went over to pat his head, he sat up and started to gently nibble on the tip of my fingers with his front teeth. It was something he used to do all the time when he was a puppy, something I’d completely forgotten about until I was reminded about it in my dream. How weird is that?
I’m dedicating this entry to all of the furry four-legged friends who are no longer with us. Tell me about them. Post a pic if you have one.
Continuing the melancholy theme of this blog, I’d like to remind everyone to cast your vote for The Most Heartbreaking Moment in Stargate History. And leave a comment on the poll page for a chance to win a signed script! Polls close Sunday night.