Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Week Four

Good news last week. Amazing news. Totally unexpected. Tank's in remission. Next chemical in the regimen injected. More instructions on things to be on the lookout for that might signal problems because of this specific one.

Tank was in "I'M GOING FOR A RIDE" mode until we pulled into the parking lot. Then he started to shiver. I remember him running after the Wonderdog a couple of days before and wiggling on his back in tall grass, and tell myself it's worth it to him. I feed him a couple of treats that he hadn't been able to eat the week before. His focus is now elsewhere. More treats!

Tank makes friendly with the receptionists, something he didn't do before, and they don't give a hoot that he's behind the counter my legs tangled in his lead. This time, however, he won't get on the scale cleanly. Michelle and I finally get him on — after Tank's butt bounced the plug out of the outlet and she had to reset it — and he's lost even more weight.

Tank will not go in back with Erin BUT last week I discovered their lead-transfer-and close-the- door technique.
High and lows have a new meaning here, especially when Dr. LaDue tells an older woman on the next sofa that her cat's tumor is smaller, and then tells me that Tank dog is in remission. The tastefully placed boxes of tissues are there for a good reason, and it seems it's not always bad news.

Is good news given in the waiting room to shore everyone up? Bad news provided in back? Dunno.

Michelle calls Monday morning to see how Tank's leg is doing. (People, when was the last time someone from your physician's office called to check up on you?) I report: No sign of infection, the fluid when down but it's filling up again. Tank got one of the staples out . . . the bottom one. It's fine. We have the next appointment tomorrow, anyway. No vomiting or diarrhea but his appetite stinks. Chicken and rice?

Which Tank later inhales.

This isn't about him being finicky. Last week's chemical is rough on the digestive tract and in our efforts to get Tank to eat something, we've been doing it all wrong. We've been adding canned dog food, gravy, bacon grease . . . and the fat in it made him queasy.

Bland and low fat for now, and then slowly work him back to his normal feed one handful at a time. Michelle also gives me other "cooking" tips.

We pulled into the parking lot for Tank's treatment today. No shivering or shaking this time. He was just somewhere he'd been before. A place he was starting to recognize like, which specific trees and bushes he prefers to pee on before we go in. Where the entrance is. And no hesitation when we went in. Or anxiety.

When Michelle weighed him, the scale showed Tank has lost three more kilograms since last week. "That's not good," she said. I asked her what that was in pounds, the measurement I understand. She pulled out her pocket calculator and answered: 96 pounds.

"No, that is good," I replied. Up or down, Tank's weight hasn't varied more than four pounds. He's been between 94 and 98 pounds for years.

When it comes time for Tank to go in back, we do the lead-transfer-and-close-door-between-us thing. He may be comfortable with Michelle, but she just ain't me.

Tank's still in remission, and more info today on the type of Lymphoma he has. Type B rather than T or T-cell. Of the two, Type B is more amenable to treatment.

On the way home Tank snoozes on his Lab blanket until we get about a mile away. The way the turns and curves feel to him? I hear him move and look in my rearview mirror. He's sitting on the back seat; his expression saying "There's no place like home."

Previously: Week Three


Anonymous pamibe said...

Still praying for Tank; I'm so glad he's feeling and eating better! :)

6:18 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

Thanks, Pam. If anyone had told three weeks ago he'd be doing this well, I would have told them they were nuts.

2:22 PM  

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