Maggie Update – March
It’s been a few months since I updated Maggie’s status relative to her osteosarcoma. It’s been almost eight months since her initial diagnosis and we’re happy to report she is going strong (knock on wood).
She completed her chemotherapy treatments for the osteosarcoma after her Stereotactic Radiation, although she continues to get monthly ‘bone strengthener’ treatments. Her limp, which comes and goes, has been gone for several weeks and we have weaned her down to a very low dose of painkillers.
The most significant development has been the appearance of what her Doctor believes to be small tumors in her lungs. While distressing, this isn’t surprising as osteosarcoma is usually diagnosed after the cancer has already begun to spread to other organs. This is the first appearance we’ve seen of metastasis for Maggie. They are small tumors we’ve been watching for two months now and they don’t seem to be growing significantly.
We just put her on a different chemotherapy treatment, Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide), designed to slow the growth of these tumors. The drug binds to the DNA and interferes with normal cell growth – thereby slowing the cancer spread. Since Cytoxan has been known to increase bladder inflammation, Maggie is also taking Lasix, a diuretic in an effort to speed the elimination of the Cytoxan from her body. It’s just two simple pills she takes each morning.
She has only been on it for a few days now, but so far she has not displayed any adverse symptoms. We’re watching for any changes, but she is still living large. She goes for her morning walks everyday, wanders her backyard looking for whatever it is dogs look for, digs under the deck for a cool place to sleep and insists on her “find the food’ game each evening and most of all, she loves lounging in the sunshine, especially now that it is warming up.
We joke that either she really doesn’t have cancer, or contrary to medical convention, the chemotherapy is actually making her stronger. I don’t think either are really true, but we’re sure happy that she is doing so well and hope that it continues for many months to come.