The last ten days with Maggie have been gruesome. She had a terrible reaction to Cytoxan, a derivative of mustard gas. As one might expect from such a potent chemical, the side effects can be considerable. Typically Cytoxan induces cystitis-like symptoms, and in Maggie, these were especially egregious, resulting in incontinency and bloody urine.
Several times we thought about putting her down. I was especially distraught at her suffering, something I never wanted for this stoic creature who had already undergone major surgery. She sailed through the first round of chemo, and we expected, perhaps naively, that the second round would follow suit. Alas, that was not to be the case. Even though Cytoxan didn't affect her the first time through, for whatever reason it slammed her during this second course of chemo.
Gradually Maggie is improving, but if the symptoms don't abate by Friday, we will make the hard decision to put her down. The oncologist doesn't seem that concerned: he goes by the old formula of "as long as they're eating and drinking," but we're not convinced, knowing this dog as well as we do.