February 18, 2017: What’s Best For Bubba

There are still some rewrites to do, a couple of polishes to finish, and a series finale to break but, for now, I’m taking it easy.  For now, it’s all about the dogs.

February 18, 2017: What’s Best For Bubba

We broke out the stroller for the dogs while Lulu managed to limp her way to the dog park long enough to say hit to all the dog owners before calling it a day.  Suji got to put on her wheels and motor around the park as well while Bubba, as usual, preferred to spend quality time with mom –

February 18, 2017: What’s Best For Bubba

So, we’re wrestling with indecision regarding Bubba.  The oncologist recommended a drug called Palladia which is a chemotheraphy medication.  It seemed simple enough: give him a single pill every other day with his meal, alternating with Prednisone, a corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory.  But, when we got home and read the special handling instructions, Akemi instantly had second thoughts.  Always use gloves when handling the pill.  Always wear gloves when cleaning up after your dog and be sure to quickly bag and dispose of your dog’s feces.  Keep pregnant women, children, and other dogs away from your dog’s waste…which, on the surface, seems simple enough unless you consider urine which isn’t really covered in the handout.  Also, we have to other dogs.  What are we to do if Bubba has an accident in the house?  Do we have to start crating him?

Sure, there are answers, but they all lead to one big question: Is it worth it?  We tried to do everything we could for our boy Maximus and he was pretty damn miserable in the end.  Maybe the Palladia will buy Bubba more time, but will it be good time?

So far, he seems in good spirits and his appetite remains typically voracious, but Akemi has noticed changes in him.  He still gets excited at the prospect of going for walks but, the boy who used to love his lengthy strolls now only manages half a block before we have to pick him up and carry him home.  He’s had accidents in the apartment, once even finding Akemi before doing so as if trying to send her a message.  He doesn’t so much nap as he does drift in and out, which makes us wonder what kind of discomfort he is experiencing.  Akemi says she feels like, every days she’s losing him a different way.

I’m looking into some homeopathic and alternate treatments as well.  Chinese herbs.  Mushrooms.  Someone even recommended cannabis oil.  As for the Palladia, we’ll make a decision on that after the weekend.

February 18, 2017: What’s Best For Bubba

I made another batch of hot sauce today using cayenne peppers, vidalia onions, garlic, salt, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, apple puree, brown sugar, hot smoked Chilean merken pepper, organic tomatoes.  Pretty damn tasty.  Akemi thought it mighty explosive (She describes it as “painful on the throat”) but I found it just so-so.  Tomorrow, I make another batch, but this time with the fresh habaneros I picked up from the farmer’s market.

I kicked off 9 day horror-fest with a viewing of The Invitation.  Although I guessed where it was going, I liked how it eventually got there.  A promising start.

23 thoughts on “February 18, 2017: What’s best for Bubba

  1. I’m glad you and Akemi are evaluating the treatments for Bubba. I don’t trust any meds coming from FDA and CDC since they’ve been lying to the American people since FDR and wouldn’t allow naturopathic doctors. Do what you must to keep Bubba comfortable. I remember what you did for Maximus. Prayers…

  2. So hard to make a decision for someone who can’t talk back to you. Akemi seems to know him so well: I’m sure you two will make the best decision for your family. If you do decide to do the meds, at least Akemi is home during the day to monitor what happens & keep the pups away from accidents…but you may have to crate him when you both have to leave the house. So hard to do what can be good for one but may hurt another.

    (HUGS) to all of you!

  3. Valid questions for the Oncologist, I’d say. However, both of you are the Bubba experts. It’s hard being the adult sometimes. 🙁

  4. I commend you both for considering all options. I also believe Bubba will try to guide you and tell you what he wants for himself, in various ways. Just love him fiercely Joe and Akemi (already know you do).
    I wish you comfort and peace.

  5. Hi Joe and Akemi, it’s such a tough decision to make about Bubba. But what ever you decide it will be because you love the little guy, love and prayers, Jo.

  6. I had a dog who wasn’t even 7 yet with lymphoma. Her meds carried the same warnings. Because we could take her out front away from where the other dogs pottied, I wasn’t too worried… but she also wasn’t having accidents in the house. I doubt a small exposure would be bad. Sayblee couldn’t tolerate the drug, so we went on to another protocol. She had a chance, supposedly a GOOD chance, to beat it enough to live years. She made it 7 miserable months. If I knew, obviously I’d have opted out… but we were trying for a near cure.

    I have known people who used Palladia, none who had much success with it providing good quality time. I have heard of others who got several months.

    Many say it is touted because it is “for dogs” but the truth is, regular chemo is just as much for dogs– it just is used off label as are most human drugs for animals. As I am sure you read, Palladia stats aren’t good… average of 12 weeks. If a dog tolerated the drug well, obviously only the people involved can decide if it is worth it knowing that “tolerate” doesn’t equate with feeling good. Being an adult and making decisions sucks sometimes.

    My heart breaks for all of your family, 2 and 4 legged. It doesn’t change anything, but you have to know how many here love him and are glad you have shared him with us all this time.

  7. Unfortunately, you have experience in this. I know you will make good decisions. I will always remember leaving my vets office after having just put my last dog to sleep (cancer). Sunglasses on to hide my crying eyes, I stopped to hold the door for a smiling girl coming in carrying a basket full of baby puppies. I remember thinking… life goes on. An ironic moment.

  8. Do what you feel is best for Bubba Joe. You know Bubba better than anyone, make that decision and don’t look back. You know what’s best for Bubba. Things will work out, have faith.

  9. It is never easy making these types of decisions. Over the years, I found I rely a lot on a piece of wisdom an older vet told me about 30 years ago: dogs are in the now. They don’t understand that they may feel better tomorrow or that they need to hold out for a period of time to let treatments work. I try to see it from their side and if their days are more miserable than happy, then…well you know. You and Akemi have such big hearts for your seniors and only you can make the choice that works best for Bubba. Thinking of you.

  10. So sorry Joe.
    The steroid can help shrink the tumours a bit which will give some more time with more comfort. We saw a large shrinkage in Ralph’s neck tumours in a few days but he also had tumours impacting his lungs which with such a large dog caused problems and ultimately had us make the call. Bubba’s smaller size may be of advantage.
    Whatever your decision, you will always make the right one for Bubba.
    Thinking of you guys.

  11. Poor Bubba.
    The tablets definitely sound worrying, with all those warnings. I can only imagine what they might be doing internally.
    If it were me, I wouldn’t want to give those to any of my pets.

  12. Akemi is quite right to have second thoughts when she reads the enclosed medi notes. They are terribly worrying but unfortunately, you are having to fight fire with fire.

    If you are thinking of trying alternative medicine as well, please, please tell your vet. Some herbal medicines double the strength of conventional medicine! And to be balanced here, my homeopath told me that conventional medicine would destroy any properties homeopathic medicine would contain because of its chemical strength (if that makes sense)

    If you seriously don’t feel you can give Pallida to Bubba, speak with the vet, voice your fears – I can guarantee you won’t be the first or the last to query the cancer treatment given to their beloved companion. There may be alternatives … Ask to see a homeopathic vet …

    I agree with @Debra regarding toxicity to Lulu and Suji. Both my mature cats slept alongside my dog when he was receiving chemo, even drank out of the same water bowl. It hasn’t affected them at all.
    Regarding the urine situation, I was recommended to carry a bottle of water to douse and dilute the puddle, particularly if on a pavement or roadside. That’s all.

    As my vet told me, there is no wrong way to deal with this impossible situation.

    You both love Bubba so very much. What ever you decide …. It will be right!

    Again, I have gone on. Apologies
    I’m just hoping some of this helps?
    (PS It doesn’t need to be published)

  13. PPS What @Narelle from Aus says re steroids and tumour shrinkage is quite true.
    When I was a Vet Nurse (1980s on)Preds were used extensively in cancer treatment here in UK. Saw remarkable responses to its use

  14. My thoughts are with you guys, and I know you’ll ultimately do what’s best for Bubba. He could never ask for better caretakers than Akemi and you.

    That hot sauce sounds… hot.

  15. Thinking of you Joe and Akemi. Bubba will let you know when, and you will make that courageous and loving decision.

  16. @Tam re: Q. from last week.

    They do offer immunotherapy for canines.

    As we both know it is the single most effective alternative therapy in fighting lung cancer and worked well in helping Dr Jo in her fight when the cancer spread. Unfortunately, that the most effective of the therapies are still in clinical trial phase, a human patient is only accepted to the trials after traditional chemo treatments fail. I would think? that rule likely applies to canine care, as well.

    Albeit, @Joe might gut tells me, if you’re not sure about going the traditional chemo route, your best bet is to do as @Ponytail and others initially suggested – get more option opinions on treatment via contacting places like Ontario Veterinary college and others that offer clinical trials,
    And start keeping a daily log on all things Bubba.

    Note ‘Everything’ daily! From time, amount and description of stools and urine to how far he walks. To when he drifts in and out, for how long, What, when and amounts he does and does not eat and drink. Personality changes, etc. These detailed logs are extremely helpful tools to bring with you when seeking consultations for alternatives to help personalize the absolute best care for Bubba. There is even an effective photodynamic therapy available for lung cancer.

    No matter what you decide,
    The most important factor in the quality of any treatment is LOVE , which is, without doubt, something you and Akemi have always easily provided in greatest abundance.

    Warmest hugs and positive energy to You, Akemi, Bubba, Lulu & Suji – today and always.

  17. And so now I’m caught up. I already wrote you a personal note about all this. This all sucks and I think you and Akemi will decide on the exactly right plan. The balance between helping Bubba have some more time but without having him struggle because you want more time (if that makes sense).

    If Palladia (and yes, it does actually sound like a planet’s name) isn’t really going to extend his life with quality, and have all these worries about it, it probably isn’t the way to go.

    That picture of Akemi and Bubba are just beautiful.

    My heart hurts for all of you.

  18. Thoughts and prayers to all of you. Sometimes the right decision is the one that breaks your heart. Trust that you will make the right decision when the time comes. And hug all 3 dogs every chance that you get.

  19. I agree with 2cats, let Bubba guide you, follow your heart, and cherish the time you have with him!

    What is it with the hot sauces? I find that those who love the hot stuff are always ramping up the hot factor, I can barely stand a simple pepper seasoning though I do love garlic. Hope you have a well-deserved week off!

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