The Journey Ends

It has been nearly two weeks since our girl passed away. These past days have been lonely, grief-stricken, and sad. Everything we do reminds us of her…

We knew from the time that Addie started taking Prednisone (and not taking Neoplasene) that there was a good chance that she might succumb. Unfortunately, what we feared did come to pass. However, without the Prednisone we would have lost her sooner as she could barely walk and would not eat. The Prednisone gave her several more weeks of relatively pain-free and enjoyable life. For this reason we do not regret the decision that was made.

During the last day of Addie’s life I was not here to be with her. I had left to make a long overdue family visit and had left Denice here alone with the dogs. We had originally planned to travel together but I knew that we couldn’t leave Addie in the care of someone else given her fragile condition. I couldn’t bear the thought of neither of us being with her if she were to have passed while we both were gone. So, I stayed behind to care for Addie while Denice traveled and Denice stayed here while I was away a couple of weeks later.

During the morning of the 7th of June, a mere two days into my absence from home, Addie collapsed. Denice was able to load her into our vehicle and rush her to our veterinarian. Dr. Ana evaluated Addie, determined that she was extremely anemic, and sent her for a chest x-ray. After the x-ray was taken, Addie’s condition worsened dramatically and the decision was made to euthanize. The next day, Denice buried Addie with her tennis ball on the banks of the lake near our home. I returned several days later knowing that I would not see my girl again.

What happened?

What typically happens to hemangiosarcoma patients who have had emergency splenectomies is that the cancer spreads via the bloodstream to another internal organ where another tumor grows and ruptures. This process usually occurs within 4-6 weeks after the splenectomy and is fatal. For nearly 5 years Addie successfully avoided that fate while she underwent a Neoplasene regimen. Addie stopped taking Neoplasene in favor of Prednisone on April 29, 2013. 5 weeks and 4 days later she passed away. The veterinarian who took Addie’s last x-ray confirmed the presence of an internal mass. We believe that the mass was a tumor that had probably started to grow after the Neoplasene was discontinued and eventually ruptured. Was Neoplasene responsible for giving Addie that 5 years of additional life expectancy beyond what we were told she would have after the splenectomy and hemangiosarcoma diagnosis? You must decide for yourself.

What happens now?

It is our hope that Addie’s experiences with hemangiosarcoma and Neoplasene (which we have tried our best to document here) will continue to offer hope and real results for others who struggle to find a way to help their pets live with this cancer. For this reason this blog will remain here in silent tribute to our faithful companion and the life she led. We will still receive notices if anyone wants to make a comment and/or ask questions of us through the blog. We are more than happy to continue to help if possible. In this way, we hope Addie’s legacy will live on.

Thanks

To Dr. Friedly and Ione at the Natural Healthcare Center for Animals in Falcon Colorado for everything you did for Addie during the time we lived in Colorado and afterwards.

To Buck Mountain Pharmaceuticals for producing Neoplasene, taking the time to speak with us about how to administer it, and for helping us find a way to obtain it.

To Addie’s veterinarians in Costa Rica, Dra. Leandro, Dra Ana, and Dr. Mario.

To our family, friends, and all of you who followed Addie’s Journey.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF ADDIE18 - Addie

A few days after this post was published we sent an email to Dr. Friedly thanking him for his help through the years.  They sent a nice response which we wanted to share:  Friedly_email

23 thoughts on “The Journey Ends

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Addie. I thank you for starting this blog in the beginning, because it certainly helped us with our Toby. Your blog was instrumental in our search of treatment when Toby had an emergency splenectomy due to hemangiosarcoma. We, too, followed the Neoplasene protocol with success. Due to your efforts in doing this blog and keeping it open, it is my hope, too, that it will help many other dogs and their owners. Bless you all.

  2. I just went back to read your tribute to Addie. Max just passed in my arms about an hour ago. I hope he and Addie are running around together up in heaven. Mighty Max was just shy of hitting the big 2-0. Addie has been a major inspiration in our lives and we have shared your blog wth so many others and will continue to do so through Max’s Blog. I’m not ready to write too much, but my heart goes out to you and Addie and thank you so much for sharing everything with us.

  3. We lost our Rottweiler mix, Rocky, to complications with hemangiosarcoma last December. He only made it 10 years, 4 months post-diagnosis, but your posts helped us help him the best we possibly could at the time. Thank you so much for documenting Addie’s journey…and posting her pictures…we accidentally found your site when we were searching for something else and tripped on the picture of Addie with her tennis ball balanced between her eyes. We have an identical shot of Rocky with his tennis ball balanced between his eyes. Thank you, thank you.

  4. Thanks to everyone for your posts, we greatly appreciate each and every one. It has been hard letting go, but just knowing she is better now gives us comfort. Better not from the cancer necessarily, but just from aging and the aches and pains and associated discomforts.

    We appreciate everyone who has followed Addie’s journey and wish you the best on yours.

    Rob & Denice

  5. It does get easier, I promise. We will always cherish our dear friend, companion, and the unconditional love they give us each and every minute they are alive. It seems they are here just for our joy, we can only hope that we gave them the same joy.

  6. Thank you for posting your loving tribute to your sweet beautiful Addie. We lost our precious golden, PJ, to HS last year. She lived about 7 weeks post splenectomy. Less than two weeks prior to losing PJ we learned another of our goldens had lymphoma. I wish we had known about the neoplasene for PJ. We do believe it helped Sunny with lymphoma. We didn’t find out about it until after she had gone through several chemo treatments. We’ve learned so much with our precious babies. Your blog is an incredible help. We understand your heartache – we lost Sunny 1/1/13 and PJ 3/13/12 and are still having a hard time. Many blessings to you.

  7. Our dog, Mr Wu (aka Scooby), just passed away Tuesday. He had a splenectomy mid-November and they diagnosed him with hemangiosarcoma that had metastacized to his liver. We knew what the prognosis was but he seemed to be doing well (other than having anemia) and we thought we had more time. My husband has been beating himself up since Tuesday because he let Scooby out in the cold and was convinced that this somehow caused him to collapse. Reading Addie’s story, it helped me to understand that what really happened (most likely) is that one of the liver tumors most likely ruptured and by the time the vet figured out he needed a transfusion it was too late to get him to the emergency clinic. I hate that Addie, Scooby or any of our ‘furry kids’ have to go through this but I do thank you for sharing Addie’s story because it gave me some comfort and helped me to better understand what happened two days ago.

    • I am so very sorry to hear about Scooby. Hemangiosarcoma is such a nasty cancer! We appreciate you sharing your story though and letting us know that Addie’s blog was a little help to you. That is all we ever wanted.

      Sending many hugs to you…

  8. hi, my dog tartufo was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma a month ago, following a ruptured spleen removal surgery… i came across your blog during my frantic research, and it gave us so much hope… it also gave us inspiration to share our story as a blog as well, hoping to contribute information that will help others with the same diagnosis or similar life stories… thank you so much… please have a look at the first entry where we mentioned addie…

    http://healtartufo.blogspot.com.tr

    love,

    merve & tartufo

    • Merve,

      I am so very sorry to hear about Tartufo. Although it has been several years, I still remember the anxiety and stress of when we first received the diagnosis as if it were last week. Good luck on your journey and we will follow along hopefully for many years. FYI, A Dog’s Journey truly is a great read!

      Wishing the best,
      Denice

      • dear denise,

        thank you so much for your response and your he artful support. it means a lot… :)))) addie and my beloved boy paci should be so happy that we connected…

        love,

  9. Hi
    I’m in a very tough situation with both my dogs sick at the same time. My 13.5 year old girl has a nasal cavity carcinoma. I’m from Sri Lanka and radiotherapy in not available for dogs. I have to watch her struggle to breath and deteriorate, but she still enjoys her food.

    My 10.5 year old girl, Candy was diagnosed with two splenic tumours last week after bouts of lethargy, appetite loss, pale gums and a bloated tummy. I’m getting mixed advise on surgery, although it’s booked for next week I’m on the fence. We don’t have good facilities in Sri Lanka for post-operative care, and I don’t want her to suffer for nothing.

    While looking for information I came upon this blog. I had tears reading the last entry. What a beautiful tribute to your dear girl 😦

    I’m interested in Neoplasene, but this is definetely not available in Sri Lanka. Is there anyway you can help me obtain this, I will pay through paypal.

    Please, from one sad furbaby mommy to another…
    thanks

    • I am so sad for you and your beloved pets.

      Unfortunately, at the ages of your girls, my best advice would be to put them down when they no longer want to eat. The splenectomy surgery is a rough one and at 10.5 years, I would not want to put Candy through it.

      We faced the same decision as you with our Toby who was 8 at the time. We did the surgery at a well known university vet hospital, and it was still rough. Seeing what he went through, I don’t think I’d put Candy through it. Besides the fact that I think to get the Neoplasene, you have to go through a vet.

      I’m so sorry…I truly know how you feel. We want to do everything we can to have our furry family members with us as long as possible.

      Blessings to you in your days ahead.

      Lynn

      • I am so sad for you and your beloved pets.

        Unfortunately, at the ages of your girls, my best advice would be to put them down when they no longer want to eat. The splenectomy surgery is a rough one and at 10.5 years, I would not want to put Candy through it.

        We faced the same decision as you with our Toby who was 8 at the time. We did the surgery at a well known university vet hospital, and it was still rough. Seeing what he went through, I don’t think I’d put Candy through it. Besides the fact that I think to get the Neoplasene, you have to go through a vet.

        I’m so sorry…I truly know how you feel. We want to do everything we can to have our furry family members with us as long as possible.

        Blessings to you in your days ahead.

        Lynn

    • So very sorry to hear you have 2 dogs with cancer. That is never easy…

      Deciding what to do is always so very difficult. Addie was older when she had her emergency spleendectomy. But, all dogs are different. The best you can do is talk to your vet, listen to your dog, and make the best decision you can at the moment with the information you have.

      Unfortunately, I cannot help you get Neoplasene as it does require a vet to obtain and it is not available in the country we currently live either (Costa Rica). But I have read of other holistic options that may be available for you.

      Wishing you the best with both dogs and the tough decision you have ahead of you.
      Denice

  10. Hi Denice,

    I’m Kristyn and I happen to chance across your information on Addie’s blog on Hemangiosarcoma. I’m so happy that Addie and you got 5 more years, way longer than any predicted lifespan. What a testament to our faithful companions’s fighting spirits :’) Thank you for putting up this blog, it is a glimmer of hope for us, whose worlds came crashing down a week ago. I’ve sent you an email too but am not sure if you received it so I’m going to try our luck here too.

    Our Corgi Dachshund Mix, Buttons, who’s 10 this year had just had an emergency splenectomy a week ago as she collapsed. Ultrasound scans showed a spleen tumor and aspiration from her abdomen came up with blood, she was bleeding out from the tumor rupture. Thankfully we caught it in time and she has recovered well from the surgery.

    When it happened, I had dreaded that the lab report of her mass would come back to be Hemangiosarcoma and my worse fears were confirmed as we received the lab report yesterday during her review.

    Her blood tests have all come back excellent during our review and shows that her bone marrow is regenerating new RBCs again, her ultrasound scan also found no other tumours present apart from the one that was on her spleen that was bleeding out and has been removed.
    The lab report came back to be Focal Hemangiosarcoma.

    Of course conventional chemo treatment was suggested, which we are not keen on because even if we go all out with chemo, it will only extend her lifespan by a few months compared to if we just do palliative care, not to mention her quality of life would really suck.. but reading your blog gave us hope.

    We are based in Singapore and many vets here do not practice holistic treatment. So I’m trying to find out as much information as I can about Neoplasene and its effects on Hemangiosarcoma. Our vet is quite open though not sure if she heard of Neoplasene, and if we can give her this information she may be able to help order it for us.

    Just wish to find out how it’s given, and how do we determine and monitor its effectiveness? She used to be on a raw food diet, I read that we can’t give raw diet when on Neoplasene? Would only cooked foods be the way to go? And are supplements necessary? If so, what kind? Would the vet have to calculate the dosage for us or?

    I’m sorry for my tons of questions, as you will probably understand too well our anxiety and grief. Doesn’t help our wedding is in 3 weeks and this happened to her.. 😥
    Buttons has only had 4 years with us as we adopted her at 6 years of age when she was given up and abandoned by her previous owner, and we want to do everything we can to fight for her.

    We would greatly appreciate any help that you can render, and would gladly send any blood tests or lab reports should you require them.

    Thank you so very much.

    Regards,
    Kristyn

    • Hi Kristyn-

      I am not Denise, I am Lynn (Toby’s mom). I am so sorry to hear about Buttons and I fully understand the trauma and timeliness of your situation. I don’t know if Denise still checks this site, so I will pass on the info you need.

      Your vet needs to contact Buck Mountain in Montana…Dr. Fox at the time we were doing this in 2009. Their website is http://www.buckmountainbotanicals.net. All ordering of Neoplasene must be done through a veterinarian. There is a very strict protocol with meds, supplements and a cooked diet. It was suggested to call vs email to get a quicker response. I’m sure they can email the protocol to you, for you to determine if this is the course you want to follow.

      We followed the regimen for Toby and he lived almost a year, but we sadly had to have him put down for other health issues. A necropsy was done & his cancer was gone! Who knows how much longer he would have enjoyed life had he not had other problems.

      I wish you the best of luck, and you may contact me with any questions.

      Lynn

    • Kristyn,

      I am so very sorry to hear about Buttons and very sorry for my late response, but thank you Lynn for stepping in!

      Lynn is right contacting Buck Mountain directly is the way to go. Calling is preferred. I realize you are in Singapore, but I’m sure you have a way to call back to the US like we do (skype, etc). We never had it shipped to us internationally or had a vet here order it. We worked with a vet back in the US and hauled it back when we traveled there. Not sure how it would work that way. On the blog site (on the side) is the list of supplements that were recommended to us by our vet and yes, we did cook her food.

      Know that you are doing everything possible for Buttons and try to enjoy your wedding. If there are other questions, please feel free to email me at: denice@8990ft.com (I never received your other email). We wish you the best!

      • Dear Denice and Lynn,

        Thank you ladies so much for replying! Sorry for the late reply, as well, we got married and with shifting and her care it took up so much of our time, as you can imagine, haha! We also cancelled our honeymoon cause we just want to be around for her in case anything happens, we want to be around.

        Anyways, since I left the comment I have actually called Buck Moutains straight (chalked up a crazy phone bill last month calling to US hahaha but of course anything for our girl!)

        Unfortunately we are unable to use Neoplasene.
        We have spoke at great lengths to our vets + alot of other vets here and NONE of them are willing to bring it in for us, citing risks that they will be in trouble with our regulating authorities here as Buck Mountains require all their clinic details and vet and clinic license numbers which they are not willing to put on the line with an “untested” drug/herb.
        Buck Mountains will not release Neoplasene to us otherwise. Vets here are also very skeptical on the usage of Neoplasene and strongly advise against us using it without much clinical research.

        I thought all hope was lost, until I joined a Hemangiosarcoma Facebook group with over 1000 members and they all recommend using these 2 TCM supplements which I think you have also used: Yun Nan Bai Yao and I’m- Yunity, which is a Turkey Tail mushroom PSP in a very high percentage and researched by Penn State University of Vet Med, they even did a clinical trial specifically for dogs on Hemangio with it.

        Many owners in the group give these 2 supplements together.

        Needless to say I immediately ordered the I’m Yunity! It’s really expensive but we are willing to give it a shot considering many dog owners have shared how it has helped their dogs.
        Thankfully we can obtain YNBY easily here as we have lots of TCM shops around here and women use YNBY for our periods, never thought what I consumed could help Buttons!

        Buttons unfortunately vomited profusely when on the IY, forcing us to really cut back on her dosage and slowly work our way back up to the needed dose. (She needs 3 capsules a day for her 12kg weight).

        Just about the end of June, We have noticed a growth on her leg which was starting to turn red and look angry and growing, didn’t even need to get it tested to know it’s probably malignant at the rate it was growing, and we were certain it was the Hemangio causing it.

        We have managed to slowly increase her dosage and she is finally on her full dose now daily for about the last week without vomiting (yay!) and the amazing thing is the growth has shrunk, and it is no longer red and angry, it has turned black and has shrunk by well over a cm!

        We aren’t going to claim it is a cure or that it fights and kills cancer cells like how Neoplasene probably can, but it is something. At the very least it has stopped the cancer from aggressing too fast too soon, and we hope it gives her a good quality of life. She is not in pain, still very much herself and still eats, plays and goes on her daily walks. Without knowing what has happened to her she does not look one bit like a dog with such an aggressive cancer!

        We are just praying and hoping that this 2 supps will help her, despite the fact that we can’t use Neoplasene, at least all hope is not lost.

        I am also going to write on her journey with these 2 supplements like what you have done with Addie, in hopes that it will bring hope to dog owners here especially in Singapore.
        Unfortunately cancer treatment for our pets here is very backward, and there is almost zero to none holistic veterinarians here. Chemo is the only option presented most of the time ( I used to work as a vet assistant as well) and it is quite sad.

        I have since learnt a whole lot on Hemangio, and we are hopeful she will beat the odds, just like Addie did.

        Just want to say, Thank you so much for writing your journey with Addie and inspiring so many to not give up on their dogs. We fully admire your dedication and commitment, and only hope we can do the same for her!

        Love,
        Kristyn, Buttons & Family!

  11. Dear Denice and Lynn,

    Thank you ladies so much for replying! Sorry for the late reply, as well, we got married and with shifting and her care it took up so much of our time, as you can imagine, haha! We also cancelled our honeymoon cause we just want to be around for her in case anything happens, we want to be around.

    Anyways, since I left the comment I have actually called Buck Moutains straight (chalked up a crazy phone bill last month calling to US hahaha but of course anything for our girl!)

    Unfortunately we are unable to use Neoplasene.
    We have spoke at great lengths to our vets + alot of other vets here and NONE of them are willing to bring it in for us, citing risks that they will be in trouble with our regulating authorities here as Buck Mountains require all their clinic details and vet and clinic license numbers which they are not willing to put on the line with an “untested” drug/herb.
    Buck Mountains will not release Neoplasene to us otherwise. Vets here are also very skeptical on the usage of Neoplasene and strongly advise against us using it without much clinical research.

    I thought all hope was lost, until I joined a Hemangiosarcoma Facebook group with over 1000 members and they all recommend using these 2 TCM supplements which I think you have also used: Yun Nan Bai Yao and I’m- Yunity, which is a Turkey Tail mushroom PSP in a very high percentage and researched by Penn State University of Vet Med, they even did a clinical trial specifically for dogs on Hemangio with it.

    Many owners in the group give these 2 supplements together.

    Needless to say I immediately ordered the I’m Yunity! It’s really expensive but we are willing to give it a shot considering many dog owners have shared how it has helped their dogs.
    Thankfully we can obtain YNBY easily here as we have lots of TCM shops around here and women use YNBY for our periods, never thought what I consumed could help Buttons!

    Buttons unfortunately vomited profusely when on the IY, forcing us to really cut back on her dosage and slowly work our way back up to the needed dose. (She needs 3 capsules a day for her 12kg weight).

    Just about the end of June, We have noticed a growth on her leg which was starting to turn red and look angry and growing, didn’t even need to get it tested to know it’s probably malignant at the rate it was growing, and we were certain it was the Hemangio causing it.

    We have managed to slowly increase her dosage and she is finally on her full dose now daily for about the last week without vomiting (yay!) and the amazing thing is the growth has shrunk, and it is no longer red and angry, it has turned black and has shrunk by well over a cm!

    We aren’t going to claim it is a cure or that it fights and kills cancer cells like how Neoplasene probably can, but it is something. At the very least it has stopped the cancer from aggressing too fast too soon, and we hope it gives her a good quality of life. She is not in pain, still very much herself and still eats, plays and goes on her daily walks. Without knowing what has happened to her she does not look one bit like a dog with such an aggressive cancer!

    We are just praying and hoping that this 2 supps will help her, despite the fact that we can’t use Neoplasene, at least all hope is not lost.

    I am also going to write on her journey with these 2 supplements like what you have done with Addie, in hopes that it will bring hope to dog owners here especially in Singapore.
    Unfortunately cancer treatment for our pets here is very backward, and there is almost zero to none holistic veterinarians here. Chemo is the only option presented most of the time ( I used to work as a vet assistant as well) and it is quite sad.

    I have since learnt a whole lot on Hemangio, and we are hopeful she will beat the odds, just like Addie did.

    Just want to say, Thank you so much for writing your journey with Addie and inspiring so many to not give up on their dogs. We fully admire your dedication and commitment, and only hope we can do the same for her!

    Love,
    Kristyn, Buttons & Family!

  12. Thank you so much for getting back to us and letting us know what is going on with Buttons! And of course congratulations on marriage!!

    I personally do not think that neoplasene is the one and only miracle solution. I believe there are several natural methods out there that will help with cancer. Unfortunately, most of the western world can’t bring themselves to see/research the other options. It’s sad. But I applaud you for doing what you could and finding something that would work for you in your current situation. We did use the yunnan. Not easy to get here in Costa Rica, but we brought it down from the US. We had a lot left over and actually still use it when we work spay/neuter clinics. The vets find that it helps with potential bleeding and also as we trim their nails after surgery, it stops the bleeding there too if we cut a little to close.

    Please let me know the link to your blog if you do create one. I would love to hear the rest of the story!

    Sending great thoughts your way,
    Denice

    • I agree with Denice…I’m glad you got back to us, Kristyn. You & Buttons have been on my mind. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to get the Neoplasene, but it sounds hopeful with the protocol that you are doing.

      I was very lucky to have been able to find a holistic vet, they can be hard to come by.

      I, also, feel your frustration. When it was determined that Toby had been cancer free, I thought Purdue University would be quite anxious to do a study. They didn’t have funding, but our vet talked to Duke University & they were very interested, but Buck Mountain was not interested… just too many regulations and red tape. I was so dismayed that no one was willing to do an official study that could possibly make this a protocol for all.

      I, too, would love to hear the rest of your story.

      Also, congratulations on your marriage!

      Prayers, thoughts, good vibes being sent to you!
      Lynn

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