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

Toby’s Journey with Neoplasene

A couple of days ago I receive a blog comment from Lynn.  It was very sad, but it also has a positive side too.

Toby enjoying his Christmas present!

Toby’s Story:  In July, 2011 Toby had collapsed, had an emergency splenectomy at Purdue, and was diagnosed with malignant hemangiosarcoma.  Their options were to do nothing with life expectancy of 1-3 months or chemo with life expectancy of maybe 9 months.  Lynn did a lot of research, stumbled across Addie’s blog page and wanted to try the same alternative treatment.  Luckily Lynn was able to find a local holistic vet who thought Neoplasene made a lot of sense. They soon began the Neoplasene regimen along with cooking Toby’s food.

Unfortunately, they lost Toby this past May.  BUT it was not due to cancer but because he was quite lame from problems with his neck and his last days were quite painful, which they were trying to manage.  When he quit eating they knew it was time to help Toby move on… never an easy decision.  It was 10 months post cancer diagnosis.

When he wasn’t able to go on walks, they found a way to still have him be part of the pack!

Upon Toby’s passing, they requested a necropsy to see where they stood in the end with the hemangiosarcoma.  Vets do not typically suggest necropsies for pet owners since having to put an animal down is such an emotional issue.  However, when Lynn suggested it, they were very grateful that they were willing to have it done.

Purdue University School of Veterinary Science was interested in reviewing the findings.  They did the necropsy it showed NO CANCER anywhere!  They also confirmed the original diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.  Hmmm… maybe there is something to this Neoplasene and the stopping of the cancer!

How Can We Help?  Dr. Kim Juhlin who has Toby’s holistic vet has seen the benefits of Neoplasene and wants to see if further research can be done to its effectiveness.  She is currently working with Dr. Fischer who is a scientist/veterinarian at Duke University Medical Center and the editor of the American Holistic, Vet. Medical Journal.  Dr. Juhlin has said that if they can get more information from dogs that were diagnosed with cancer and were using neoplasene, they may be able to look into this treatment further.

Currently they already have both Toby and Addie’s information.  But more success cases are needed!  If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with cancer, has been successfully taking Neoplasene for a long time (more than 9 months), please send Dr. Juhlin your dog’s information.  The more information they can receive, the better chance there will be in having Neoplasene be a solution for many more animals.

To contact Dr. Juhlin:  email her at:  valepark99@hotmail.com  and include “neoplasene information” in the subject line.   Let her know your dog’s success story and let’s see if we can’t get more research done on Neoplasene.

Just think, if our dogs can help further research, grants, and better acceptance of Neoplasene, how may other dogs could we help save?  Please help if you qualify!

4 Years Post Diagnosis!

It is a very special day here… we are celebrating Addie’s 4th anniversary of being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma.  Of course we are not really celebrating the cancer or the diagnosis.  We are really celebrating her sheer determination to not let it stop her!

These past 4 years have been quite a ride, but we have all grown along the way.  Now, we are able to take in stride the daily cooking of her meals, obtaining her large supply of supplements, maintaining those supplements (as none of them can be obtained here in Costa Rica), the UTI’s, and the ear infections.  They all just seem normal.

The amazing thing to us is that not only has she lived 3.75 years longer than all the vets said she would, but she is just a few short months away from her 15th birthday as well!  Even a healthy, cancer free, 70+ pound dog would be lucky to make it to this age.

She sure likes to keep breaking all the boundaries that people put in front of her!

Happy Anniversary Baby Girl!!

May Update

Addie waiting NOT so patiently for her food to be prepared. She still LOVES to eat!
Odd, but in the last year or 2, she hates to have her picture taken – this is a rare moment as she was distracted by food!

I was reminded yesterday that it has been over 2 months since the last post.

I remember the urgency and the stress when Addie was first diagnosed.  Because of that  I posted every 1-3 days because so much was happening and everything was so new.  I am glad those days are over.  However, when we receive a blog comment or an e-mail from someone who is entering week 1 of the hemangiosarcoma battle, I recall that time like it was last month.

For the past 2 months, Addie has been doing well cancer wise.  She is now 14 1/2 years old.  Very soon we hope to be celebrating her 4 year, post diagnosis anniversary which is just a few short weeks away.

I feel we did everything we could do for her then and still today.  But as she gets older day by day, I know that we will have the face the inevitable sooner rather than later.  I honestly don’t think it will be from the cancer.  Although she does have many lumps (on her paws, on her sides, etc)  they are internal and do not seem to be growing at an alarming rate.  She has had these types of lumps for more than 4 years.  I think when the time comes, it will be age related.  It chokes me up every time I think of it but I keep telling myself that she has had a good quality of life for each of those 14+ years.

We ask ourselves those quality of life questions on a more frequent basis now: Is she in pain?  Does she still like to be around us?  Does she still love to eat?  Does she still want to play on occasion?  At this time we can say an absolute yes to all but the first.

How do you know if they are in true pain or just achy from age?  It is harder for her to get up and down but it doesn’t look like she is in pain.  However, we know that dogs are great at hiding pain sometimes, aren’t they?  For now, we do not believe her pain (if any) is at a high level.

I think we really just need to keep cherishing every day she is with us.  We have had a lot of practice with that since we have been doing it every day for over 4 years.  I guess that is an upside to the cancer.  We now make sure to appreciate our dogs every day with hugs and kisses.

Have you given puppy kisses to your pups today? 🙂

A Sad Day

Rest In Peace Indy

Today I am sad to report that Indy, a fellow cancer dog that we have been rooting for, has passed away.  Here is the link to the last post on Indy’s blog.  Indy had Histiocytic Sarcoma.  It is a very aggressive form of cancer.  More so than hemangiosarcoma.  But what I want you to read from the last post is that Indy was able to live past the date the Dr.s gave him which was Thanksgiving, 2011.  Unfortunately, he was diagnosed (unrelated to the cancer) with pancreatitis 3 weeks ago.  Indy had been on neoplasene until the diagnosis.  When he was diagnosed, they did a chest x-ray and an ultrasound.  He was cancer free!  Unfortunately they had to stop the neoplasene for 8 days while they treated the pancreatitis.  Upon starting the neoplasene back up, they went back to ramping up his dosage as it needed to be increased due to the type of cancer he had.  Unfortunately, he had trouble walking last night.  They knew something was wrong and rushed him to the ER where they took another ultrasound.  In the short amount of time he was off the neoplasene, the cancer took hold.  They found a fist sized tumor in his abdomen and a smaller one on his lung.  It was too late.

If we can take any good from losing Indy, it is that NEOPLASENE DOES WORK!  He kept the cancer at bay for 7 months!  It is not an exact science and sometimes other things get in the way – like pancreatitis.  But they did everything they could and did give Indy 7 wonderful, quality filled months.

If you are considering neoplasene – please, please try it.  If Addie’s story doesn’t make you believe, I hope Indy’s story does.