Routine Update for Rusty!

October 19th

I was waiting until after our monthly appointment with Dr. Macy before updating Rusty’s blog and then our temperatures finally dropped into a comfortable level and I got busy on some deferred projects. Also, it has been a pretty routine time period for Rusty since my last update and I did not have much to write about, but we are not complaining!  Rusty celebrated his 8th month Ampuversary on September 25th without any fanfare and is still doing well, although his energy levels had been decreasing over the past three months, but now that our weather is cooler he seems to have regained some of his energy.  He still enjoys swimming but for a shorter time and he gets out of the pool on his own, waits to be dried off and then goes in the house; before he would not go in the house if we were in the pool.  We are letting him decide if he wants to go in the pool; some days he shows no interest in going “surfin’” and we give him a day off.

His blood work on October 6th showed another drop in the blood platelets (from the effects of the chemo on his bone marrow), they are still in the safe margin, but barely; Dr. Macy said that it they continue to drop he will take Rusty off of the Lomustine.  As you are aware, putting poison in their systems to battle the cancer definitely has its downside; Dr. Macy indicated that because of the clear X-Rays from last month, he might consider a less lethal chemo drug for Rusty as he would like to continue holding the cancer at bay for as long as possible.  Dr. Macy is not a strong supporter of alternative forms of cancer treatments, saying the studies at CSU have not shown any significant benefit from them.
When Rusty was due for his last chemo treatment he was not feeling well when he got up, would not eat his breakfast and spit up his water after going for a walk.  We gave him an anti-nausea pill and he was much better by the end of the day and we administrated the chemo around 7:30PM.  We gave him another anti-nausea pill the next morning and he had a very quiet day, which is pretty much his normal reaction after the chemo treatment.  I know that we are doing the right thing for him as when he is feeling okay, which is 95%+ of the time, he is such a joy, and is so happy and enjoys each moment to its utmost; it just hurts to see him having to suffer through the off days.

Our HOA has been over seeding (planting winter rye grass over the summer Bermuda grass) of our golf courses, green belts and dog parks which has necessitated that we use a different green belt area (they do the over seeding in sections, so that something is always open) for walking Rusty. The over seeding also wrecks havoc for those of us with allergies as they grind up the old Bermuda grass and I have been suffering for the past three weeks.  Fortunately the grinding is done and the new grass is coming in beautifully.  Walking Rusty in a different area we have meet several dog owners who are not familiar with Rusty and are amazed how well he has adapted to his handicap.  They are also impressed with his personality and love of people; of course Rusty is enjoying meeting new people and being the center of attention.

Dr.’s Huber & Macy have agreed to make a presentation to our Sun City Pet Lovers Club on their diagnosis, amputation and Chemotherapy treatment for Rusty.  They will also discuss the early warning signs of cancer and the advances that are being made in the treatment of both feline & canine cancers.  We probably have close to 1,000 pet owners in Sun City and the club has really been promoting the presentation and a large turnout is expected.  I am making a PowerPoint presentation of Rusty’s photos from the age of four weeks to current along with his X-rays, etc, from surgery.  Rusty will be the only dog present and obviously the center of attention.

Next Monday, the 25th will be Rusty’s nine month Ampuversary!  Nine months ago we were not sure that he would still be with us at this time.  We have been in unchartered waters, at least for us, but it has been a wonderful and gratifying experience and worth all of our time and expense.  We continue to marvel at how well Rusty handles his handicap and appreciate his love of life; we know it all could change in an instant and enjoy every day that we have with him.  Rusty’s next appointment with Dr. Macy is November 5th.

Author: ceholli

Retired – Rusty is our first dog because of my allergies, he is a Labradoodle and I have not had any allergy problems with him.

5 thoughts on “Routine Update for Rusty!”

  1. thanks for giving us an update on rusty – it’s great to hear he’s still swimming and enjoying life, even if it’s a little slower at times. putting on the presentation for the sun city club, you guys are really paying it forward – think of all the great information you are passing on, and the lives you will affect by helping folks know that cancer is not the end. bravo to you!!!

    charon & gayle

  2. I had the biggest smile on my face when watching Rusty’s ‘surfing’ video!!! So cool dude!!!

    I think it so wonderful that Rusty can be an ambasador for Tripawds wherever you go and for him to be the star attraction at the presentation is going to do so much for awareness of the cancers and our fantastic adaptable pups.

    Thank you for sharing Rusty’s progress with us and give him abig hug from me.

    Spirit JD’s mom

  3. Rusty, CONGRATS! We can’t wait to hear about how the presentation went and hopefully see some photos of you and the VIPs. Wow, you really are a celebrity now!

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