gingeroldboy
Hi all,

We are currently treating our 11 year old Staff with chemo and what the vet calls a CHOP protocol. Hes has his 2nd treatment of a total of 16 and I'm noticing that it is affecting him more than I had anticipated and more than the oncologist prepared me for. Maybe that's my own naivety but this is my first close up experience with cancer. We decided to treat because we caught it early, he is in good health and other than this he has never had health issue in his life (apart from rolling in a fish carcass somebody had left by the river and having to have the bait hook removed).

Would anybody be willing to share their experiences of chemo treatment? I want the very best for him, but don't want him to suffer needlessly.
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CK1991
Dear Jordan, I’m sorry your boy has been diagnosed with horrible cancer!
I lost 2 little dogs to cancer. I had elected not to treat as they were older dogs and my friend who was a vet tech told me about some of the side effects. It wasn’t an easy decision but for me it’s always about quality of life. I can understand why you chose to treat as your vet said you caught it early. However you will need to be proactive for your pet as I’m concerned when you say the treatment is already affecting him more than you’d expected. My understanding is that it gets worse after each treatment (a cumulative effect)
Boy oh boy, this so hard! I guess I’m wondering what the other options are. What did the vet say his prognosis would be without putting him through chemo? I think what you want (even more than to have him here) is to have him here enjoying his time with you. I wouldn’t want that taken away from you because it could be very precious time that you could all enjoy together. If he is suffering from effects of chemo after only 2 treatments and still has 14 to go, at 11 years old, it may be a lot for him, and all of you, to go through. It’s a tough decision but you’ll know in your heart whether to continue on because your love for him and wanting to put what he needs above all else will ultimately guide your decisions.
Please update us when you feel up to it. All the best and hugs to you!
CK
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gingeroldboy
Without treatment he will have a month or so at most. Alot of the side effects we were told are not manifesting such as sickness and diarrhoea, hes just a lot more lethargic than I expected but maybe this is normal, I've not had experience of chemo before so dont know if it is normal or not. Our oncologist has not expressed concern as yet.

At the minute we are just taking it day by day, and measuring it as we go. This is one of the hardest things in the world. I love him unconditionally and obviously his well being comes first. I would not of opted for treatment if our vet and oncologist weren't so optimistic about him. I just feel guilt no matter what decision we consider.

Thank you for replying
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enorton
My 9 year old Westie had histiocytic sarcoma and the diagnosis was horrible... the cancer would take him. The oncologist explained that chemo was palliative for my baby and without it he would get really really sick very quickly. We were in such shock with the diagnosis there was no other decision than the one to help him stay comfortable and maintain his quality of life. The first session was not bad at all- he came back and was thriving. He did have a difficult day around day 6 after the chemo. I disagree with the person who said the chemo gets worse with each treatment. My babies cancer was super aggressive and I did all I could but it was not enough. I ask myself all the time if I did the right thing, the oncologist says the chemo and jumping into it is what helped him have any remission. It's a personal decision and you have to do what you can live with. Nothing can change the fact that we lose them and the pain is unbearable and leaves a huge hole in your heart that will never go away. I get pretty angry that such an innocent, sweet, loving dog could get cancer of any kind!!! 
Esther Norton
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CK1991
Dear gingeroldboy,
I wanted to check back and see how things are progressing. It’s easy to tell how much you love your boy! This is so terribly hard for all of you. I think you are wise to monitor the chemo and side effects closely. I hope things have improved!! Please update when you can. Hugs to you!
CK
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