Yesterday Lucas was due for his fourth and hopefully final dose of chemo.
As you can probably guess, it didn’t happen.
He had a blood test on Tuesday, and both his platelets and his white counts were too low to administer the chemo. I’m thrilled it saved us the drive to and from Purdue–and all of Lukey’s associated stress–but I was really ready to put this behind me. They want him to get his chemo this week, though, to keep him active in the study, so we’re off to Purdue today because his oncology resident was *pretty* confident that his levels would be okay by today. Probably. So, a 2.5-hour drive each way to see. Please cross your fingers. (I actually wrote this in advance… by the time you’re reading this, we’re already on our way. His appointment is at 9. I’ll let you know…)
I am so. ready. for this to be over.
Our local vet recently suggested that, because they had to lower his dose after the first treatment, we may have to do a fifth treatment. We won’t know for sure until later. As of now, what we understand the next steps include: a repeat of all the radiographs in three weeks to check for metastasis, then repeats of all the rads every three months, plus he’s going to stay on the oral that’s part of the trial, basically, forever. It’s the same one that Emmett’s on, actually, and he’s made it longer than anyone could’ve possibly anticipated or predicted. Maybe it’s not the drug. Who knows. But, I’ll take my chances and keep them both on it!
As for Lucas… well, he’s been doing pretty darn great. I’m so forever grateful that Jackie warned us that the chemo effects can be cumulative because he sure has been tired this time around. Normally when we do walks, we take the dogs one at a time. By the time whoever is third in line gets a turn, that dog is clamoring–whining, crying, pacing, dancing–and if it’s Lucas, it’s amplified times a million! In fact, he’s usually standing at the door waiting, wagging, waiting, whining. Yesterday, he pretty much slept through Emmett’s and Cooper’s walks and didn’t ask for a turn when he was up. We skipped his walk. A clear sign that he wasn’t feeling well.
But, later that night, after he ate his dinner like normal, he tore around the yard, leaped over the fence around the wildflowers, and started to dig them up.
The question I keep getting from well-meaning folks centers around his quality of life. I will tell you this: He may be tired, but his spirit is intact. When he does get out for a walk, he takes lots of breaks. In between those breaks? He runs. After dinner last night, he and Cooper went bonkers running around the living room, knocking into furniture, and scaring the daylights out of poor Newt, who took to the mantle. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, if I had tolerated chemo even half as well as he is, I would’ve had a MUCH better year!
We’ll see how today goes.
These Purdue days are killer: Leave the house no later than 6:30. We see the oncology tech at 9. He goes back with her and gets a blood draw. The blood is sent to the lab. He waits (boo.) there until the results come back. Once the results come back, if they’re no good, I take him home (again, cross your fingers, pretty please). If they are good, then he stays until he gets his infusion, then hangs out for a bit to see how he’s doing. Typically, he’s done after 3:30, though it varies. Then 2.5 hours home. Our average Purdue day is 6:30 to 6:30. If this could be the last? Whooo, boy. Lucas and I would both be pretty darn thrilled.
I’ll let you know how it goes! (Probably not here… it’s very hard to post from my phone… probably on Facebook… I’m really sorry for the inconvenience.) In the meantime, thanks for all the well-wishes and the kind comments and emails. You have no idea just how grateful I am for every positive message on these intense days!! Thank you!