Sunday, March 30, 2008

Maggie Update

One month into chemotherapy, Maggie is thriving. She had an ultra-sound on Thursday, and she is completely clear: no tumors, no swollen lymph nodes. We're astonished and delighted. She has weathered four treatments with little more than occasional lethargy and a runny tummy, the latter easily remedied with a half-dose of Immodium. Even the dreaded Doxyrubicin exerted little untoward effect: the following day, Maggie bounced around the front lawn with Chloe and bolted her food.

Mags did lose weight about two weeks into treatment, a loss she could not afford on her already painfully thin frame. Frantic, I increased her meals to three times a day, giving her generous portions of salmon, high-quality dog food, and even rice when her stomach was a bit loose. A small bowl of ultra-rich vanilla ice cream at bedtime provides additional calories, not to mention untold pleasure. Every dog I've owned loves ice cream--they'd eat themselves silly on it given half a chance. My efforts are paying off. Slowly Maggie is gaining weight and looking more herself.

It's a cliche about every day being a gift, but so often we take our beloved pets, like our family and friends, for granted, expecting they will always be around. We know that remission won't last long, but as Rod says, we'll enjoy every extra moment we have with this lovable, affectionate dog. And who knows? Rod met a man the other day whose dog was diagnosed with the same virulent form of Lymphoma that plagues Maggie. That dog too was given 4-6 months with treatment but is still in remission a year later and doing just fine. Maybe Maggie too will beat the odds.

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