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Category Archive for 'Chemo-Lomustine (CCNU)'

Great news!!!   Charley saw his oncologist today for chest x-rays and they were clear!  YIPPEE!!!  YAY!!! WOO HOO!!!


Dr. Buss said that Charley looks great!   He can’t believe it’s been almost 10 months since his OS met was removed!


Our next met check will be on 11/13/14…2 weeks after Charley’s 4 Year Ampuversary!!!


Charley decided to wear a bow tie to impress his oncologist today…I think it worked! 🙂   Here are some pics from today and they are a bit blurry. Charley was a bit anxious today, had difficulty sitting still and was a bit too distracted to pose for pictures.  I don’t blame him at all…he did have his leg amputated there, 5 rounds of Carboplatin, a CT-scan, his OS met removed, 6 rounds of chemo alternating between Doxorubicin and Lomustine, numerous chest x-rays and blood work, countless poking and prodding, 4-1/2 years of oncology visits, etc.   Just a few reasons why Charley is my OS Warrior!







Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers to all of you and your furry babies!


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo  

Charley just wanted to say…..  “HAPPY HUMP DAY!”


The weather was so beautiful today, so we just had to go outside and play!


And in case anyone has noticed, Charley’s grey facial hair that was underneath his nose and under his chin went away sometime during his last 6 rounds of chemo that ended on 3/12/14.  Charley went grey about 2 years of age and now he looks even younger at 6 years old!  He still has a few greys under his chin but they don’t show up in pictures!  🙂


Here’s a picture of his “before” grey from 10/28/13 (his 3 Year Ampuversary BTW)….


….and here’s some pics from today 6/11/14 (7 months after his metastatic OS tumor was removed). What a difference, eh?

Charley 6.11.14 Charley1 6.11.14 Charley2 6.11.14 Charley3 6.11.14 Charley4 6.11.14


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo  


Charley celebrated his 6th birthday yesterday, 3-29-14!

Happy Happy Happy 6th Birthday Charley!!!


Charley hat1


It was a very special birthday for Charley for many reasons!  This was his 4th birthday since being diagnosed with osteosarcoma (he was only 2-1/2 when he was diagnosed)!   It’s  been 5 months since Charley was diagnosed with metastatic OS (the tumor was removed from underneath his amputation scar with clean margins)!  Charley finished his 6 rounds of chemo (alternating between Doxorubicin and Lomustine) on 3-12-14!  Charley celebrated his 41st Month Ampuversary on 3-28-14!  As you can see, we have many reasons to celebrate!


Charley 6th-16


We had a birthday party yesterday for Charley and my dad!  Charley celebrating 6 and my dad celebrating 74 (on April 1).  Both of the birthday boys enjoyed their special birthday meal.  Charley had his famous meat cake and my dad had a filet….and he even shared some of it with his furry grandson, Charley.


The Birthday Boys!

Charley & dad 3.29.14


 Yummy!!!  I can hardly wait…but I’m being a good boy, mommy!

Charley 6th-15Charley 6th-4


Meat Cake:  Before….and….after!

Charley 6 cakeCharley 6th-5

Charley’s Meat Cake Recipe 2014:
*2 pounds of ground sirloin, 2 eggs, and about 1/2 container of cottage cheese (large size container)
*mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
*place ingredients in an 8″ spring form pan (the pan used for cheesecake) on top of a cookie sheet to catch grease from meat
*flatten ingredients level in the pan
*bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes depending on how well you want it cooked; I cooked it for about 50 minutes
*ice meat cake with softened Philly cream cheese
*decorate with turkey bacon


Charley enjoying some fresh air during his pawty!

Charley 6th-9


Mommy, did you say I get a Birthday Cookie?

Charley 6th-10Charley 6th-11


Here I come!  I love cookies!

Charley 6th-12


Oh my!!!  A Birthday Cookie Bone from Treats Unleashed!  YUM!

Charley 6th-7Charley 6th-8


My mommy and me!

Charley & me 3.29.14 Charley & me1 3.29.14 Charley & me2 3.29.14 Charley & me4 3.29.14 Charley & me5 3.29.14



Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo  



Charley had his last and final chemo #6 today!  Dr. Buss, Charley’s oncologist, said that he looks GREAT…and that news made my heart smile!   🙂


Charley doesn’t get the chemo pills at the oncologist in case he would get carsick on the way home, instead I take them to go and give it to him after he eats dinner.  I just gave him his Lomustine (CCNU) wrapped in cream cheese….no worries, I wore the blue gloves that his oncologist gave me to protect myself from the chemo that can penetrate bare skin!


Charley starts his antibiotics in 5 days and he will take it for 7 days to ward off any potential infection because this chemo lowers his blood counts that he needs to fight infection.


Charley doesn’t go back to see Dr. Buss for 2 months.  His next follow-up appointment is scheduled to May 15, 2014 for chest x-rays.


March is a BIG month for Charley!  March 28 is his 41st Month Ampuversary….and March 29 is his 6th birthday!  When Charley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 2, we never thought in a million years that he would still be here with us to celebrate birthday #6!  We are so amazed and grateful that he is celebrating his 4th birthday since being diagnosed with cancer!  We’re planning a birthday party in late March for both Charley and my dad, whose birthday is April 1!


Stay tuned for some ampuversary and birthday pawty pictures later this month!


Here’s some pictures…and a video….from Charley enjoying the 80 degree weather earlier this week!








Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!



  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo  



Charley started limping at about 20 months old and the limping was on and off for a few days.  We took Charley to the vet after my husband was playing with him and he hugged him around his front legs and he yelped in pain.  We requested x-rays immediately (instead of the recommended course of anti-inflammatory meds and a re-check in 2 weeks).   X-rays revealed a lytic lesion in his left mid-humerus that looked like osteosarcoma except that it was not in the typical location of “away from the elbow and towards the knee”.


We were referred to Dr. Buss, an oncologist, and he did a FNA (fine needle aspirate) of the lesion and it was not cancer but rather an aneurysmal bone cyst, which is extremely rare (there are only a few documented cases).  We went back to Dr. Buss every 1-2 months to monitor the aneurysmal cyst, which was resolving on it’s own, when 7 months later Dr. Buss noticed a lytic lesion in his left proximal humerus (same bone at the cyst, but up towards his shoulder) on the x-ray.  Dr. Buss put Charley on antiobiotics for 3 weeks in case it was a bone infection (his humerus bone was already compromised because of the aneursymal cyst and an infection was a possibility) and x-rays showed improvement after week one, but worsening of the lesion after week 3.  Dr. Buss did a bone biopsy of his left proximal humerus because Charley’s history was so atypical.  The histopathology results from Charley’s bone biopsy stated:  “primary malignant neoplasia of bone; most consistent with Poorly Productive Osteogenic Osteosarcoma”.…and so began our unwanted OS journey.


Charley was 2-1/2 years old when he was diagnosed with OSA on 10/19/10.  He had his left front leg and left scapula amputated on 10/28/10 followed by 5 rounds of i.v. Carboplatin chemo every 3 weeks apart.  Charley started chemo on day 13 after his amputation, immediately after his staples were removed.  Charley’s blood work after chemo was always fine and he tolerated the Carboplatin chemo well without any side effects.  Charley had follow-up appointments with his oncologist and chest x-rays to check for lung mets every 3 months for the first year after his amputation.  After the first year post-amputation, Charley’s follow-up appointments with his oncologist and chest x-rays moved to every 6 months.


Unfortunately, we found out on 10/24/13 that Charley’s OS came back as a met underneath his amputation scar…. almost exactly 3 years to the day after his amputation.  Charley had surgery on 11/8/13 to remove the cancerous mass (and prescapular lymph node) and the surgeon was able to get clear margins around the cancerous mass (1cm at the narrowest margin because the tumor extended down to his Brachial Plexus; and 2cm at the widest margin).


The histopathology report from Charley’s cancerous mass  removal stated:  “The mass of the left prescapular incision site most likely represents the recurrance of the the prior primary osseous sarcoma.  The recurrent mass may represent telengiectatic variant of osteosarcoma.  However, morphologically is somewhat more suggestive of hemangiosarcoma suggesting that the prior mass may have indeed been hemangiosarcoma of bone origin.  Margins in relation to the mass were clean in examined sections.  I am also suspicious of local metastasis to the subscapular sinus region of the prescapular lymph node.”


Dr. Buss does not think the tumor was a hemangiosarcoma, nor was his original leg tumor.  He believes the tumor that was removed was an osteosarcoma metastasis and specifically, Telangiectatic OS, from his primary OS tumor that was in his proximal humerus (removed in October 2010).


Here’s your oncology lesson of the day:

Subclasses of osteosarcomas are determined based on the characterization of the cells as well as the type and amount of matrix present.  Subclasses include osteoblastic, chondroblastic, fibroblastic, poorly differentiated, and telangiectatic osteosarcomas; however, there is no evidence of different biological behavior between the subclasses.


Telangiectatic osteosarcoma is an unusual variant of osteosarcoma, forming 3% to 10% of all osteosarcomas.  Radiographically, these tumors appear as purely lytic destructive lesions located in the metaphyses of long bones.  The location and x-ray appearance of telangiectatic osteosarcomas are reminiscent of an aneurysmal bone cyst and can test the acumen of a diagnostic radiologist. Distinguishing between the two entities microscopically can also be quite challenging. Telangiectatic osteosarcoma shows dilated blood-filled spaces lined or traversed by septa containing atypical stromal cells, with or without production of a lacelike osteoid matrix.


Because Charley had Carboplatin after his amputation, Carboplatin can not be used again because it will not work anymore because some cancer cells survived after that chemo initially and were dormant before becoming metastatic OS.  Dr. Buss explained that he would attack this metastatic OS with 2 different chemo agents for 2 reasons:  1)  to attack the cancer from 2 different angles; and 2) to minimize the side effects of each chemo.


Charley’s chemo was  alternated between i.v. Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and oral Lomustine (CCNU) every 3 weeks for a total of 6 rounds (Doxorubicin, Lomustine, Doxorubicin, Lomustine, Doxorubicin, Lomustine).  Charley has had 5 of 6 rounds of chemo (11/27/13: Doxorubicin; 12/18/13: Lomustine; 1/9/14: Doxorubicin; 1/29/14: Lomustine; 2/19/14: Doxorubicin).  His next and FINAL chemo #6 is Lomustine and is scheduled for 3/12/14.


Charley did take Cerenia (anti-nausea) starting on day 2 after the Doxorubicin for 4 days since the Doxo is harder on the GI system and GI side effects are the worst from days 3-5.   Lomustine is an oral chemo that is also referred to as CCNU.  It is commonly used to treat some cancers of the brain (it can cross the blood-brain barrier), lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and non-resectable soft tissue sarcomas.  Because Lomustine has a greater impact on myelosuppression (a condition in which bone marrow activity is decreased, resulting in fewer red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.), Charley starts antibiotics (cefpodoxine 200mg) on day 5 after chemo for 7 days to prevent an infection because of low white blood cell count (leukopenia).   Charley had his blood work done between 7-10 days (at nadir) after his first 4 rounds of chemo as well as a liver profile after his first 2 rounds of Lomustine (since Lomustine can impact liver function) and all has been fine.  Charley does not need to have blood work after his last 2 chemo rounds per Dr. Buss.


Charley is now 5-3/4 years old and he will celebrate his 40 Month Ampuversary on 2-28-14 and his 6th Birthday on 3/29/14…so he has lived over 1/2 of his life as a Tripawd and with OS, so miracles can and do happen!





My goal with Charley’s protocol is to accomplish 2 things:  1) to support and strengthen his immune system in order to fight the cancer; and 2) to kill any rogue cancer cells by apoptosis; which will in turn give him a better quality of life and hopefully a much better quantity of life!  🙂


Here is my disclaimer about Charley’s protocol:
Every dog is different and no two cancers act exactly the same (even when comparing OS to OS, lymphoma to lymphoma, etc.).  I still tweak Charley’s protocol and nothing is written in stone.  Some pups tolerate lots of supplements without any issues and others don’t….too many supplements are not always a good thing in my opinion.  You have to do what works for you, your dog (or kitty), your family, your finances, etc.  Most importantly is to always remember to NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!!


Since Charley’s OS returned this past October, I’ve added in Immunity4Pets and I’m back to giving the artemisinin/Artemix/Butyrex or artemisinin/artemether/Butyrex on a daily basis.  I’ve also moved his vitamin C and vitamin E from breakfast to lunch because you can’t give vitamin C within 2 hours of the Immunity4Pets.  I’ve also doubled his K9 Immunity Plus Chews to 4 chews per day.


Charley’s Protocol (68 pound, 5-3/4-year-old male neutered Lab):


Charley eats Orijen Six Fish kibble 3x day and we give Charley bottled water, not tap water because of the fluoride.


Breakfast: 7:00am
-20mg generic pepcid about 20 minutes before breakfast
-Orijen Six Fish Kibble 3/4c

-Immunity4Pets: 4 tsp sprinkled on food; dosing on container by weight (
-Berte’s Green Blend (; dosing on container by weight
-(2) K9 Immunity Plus Chews (


Lunch: between 12-2pm
-Orijen Six Fish Kibble 1/2c
–Berte’s Ultra Probiotics (; dosing on container by weight

-500mg of Vitamin C (Esther C)*
-400iu of Vitamin E*
-(2) 1000mg of fish oil
-(2) K9 Immunity Plus Chews

*Vitamin C and E are given daily to help flush the system so you can give the artemisinin/Artemix on a daily basis.


Dinner: between 5:30-6:00pm
-20mg generic pepcid about 20 minutes before dinner
-Orijen Six Fish Kibble 1/2c
-(2) 1000mg of fish oil


4-5 hours after dinner (between 10:30-11:00pm)
-Charley gets artemisinin ( daily with or without Artemix/artemether ( wrapped in Philly Cream Cheese
-200-300mg of artemisinin along with 4 Butyrex* (; when I add in Artemix or artemether I give him 1-2 caps for a total of 40-80mg of artemether


*Butyrex enhances the effect of the artemisinin/Artemix.


**Charley does not tolerate the fish oil at the 6500mg range and he gets the runs (based on the recommendations for cancer of 1000mg per 10 pounds), so he gets 4000mg/day.



I am one of the moderators on the artemisinin_and_cancer Yahoo group.  If you want more info about dosing the artes (including Artemix/artemther which is toxic at high doses), please consider joining the arte group.




Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!



  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 


Charley survivor1


Charley had chemo #5 today, 2/19/14, which was Doxorubicin (Adriamycin).  This was his 3rd Doxorubicin so he is now finished with this chemo agent!  YIPPEE!!!  Charley will start on the Cerenia for anti-nausea tomorrow and will take it for 4 days (nausea from the Doxo typically hits days 3-5).


Since Charley’s last 4 bloodworks and his 2 liver profiles have been fine (he had bloodwork done after his 1st and 2nd Doxo and his 1st and 2nd Lomustine), he does not need any more bloodwork after this chemo or after his next chemo.  YIPPEE  again!!!


Charley has his last and final chemo on 3/12/14 which will be Lomustine (CCNU) which is an oral chemo pill and then he will be officially done with chemo!  Another YIPPEE!!!  I asked when Charley would need chest x-rays and Dr. Buss said we would most likely do it 1-2 months after his next chemo!


Dr. Buss, his oncologist, said and I quote, “Charley looks GREAT!!!”  That made my week again!  I told Dr. Buss that Charley will be 6 on 3/29/14…and that would be his 4th birthday since his OS diagnosis which is amazing!  Dr. Buss agreed that Charley is indeed amazing!  🙂


Charley LOVES the snow (but it has all melted now), so here are some recent snow pics!


I love the wavy fur along his back.  🙂

Charley 2.5.14


Wanna play??

Charley2 2.5.14


One of my favorite all time pics…look at that happy smile!

Charley3 2.5.14



Charley4 2.5.14


Hi there! 

Charley5 2.5.14


Snow face!

Charley6 2.5.14



My little chocolate Valentine!

Charley Valentine


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo  ♥

Charley had chemo #4 on 1/29/14 which was Lomustine, an oral chemo pill also known as CCNU.  Charley is now 2/3 of the way through chemo!  Dr. Buss, his oncologist, said and I quote, “Charley looks great!”.  Boy did that make my day!  Charley had his bloodwork and a liver profile done on 2/5/14 and everything looks good.  His next chemo #5 is Doxorubicin which is scheduled for 2/19/14.  Charley’s 1st Doxorubicin chemo hit him a bit hard, but he sailed through his 2nd without any issues so we are hoping that #3 goes smoothly as well!


Last Sunday was Superbowl Sunday and my birthday, so Charley and I were sporting our Peyton Manning jerseys and cheering on the Broncos together.  Even though I was bummed about the Broncos, I couldn’t complain too much.  I had the best birthday ever with Charley by my side!  He is doing great with only 2 chemos to go and he is absolutely the BEST birthday present ever!!!  I would have never thought when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma that he would be celebrating with me on my special day almost 40 months later!


Shhh…don’t tell Charley that he’s wearing a girls XL!

Charley Broncos1

 Charley looks like a linebacker in this one!

Charley Broncos

 We traded jerseys, so here’s Charley and his mommy!

Charley & me

…and another of Charley and me!


….and another!


I love this one!

Charley & me2



Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 

Just wanted to share some great news!  Today is Charley’s 39th Month Ampuversary!!!   YIPPEE!!!  YAY!!!  WOO HOO!!!


Tomorrow Charley has chemo #4 (Lomustine aka CCNU) of 6, so we are getting towards the end!  Charley tolerated his last chemo Doxorubicin without any side effects this time which was a big relief (the first Doxorubicin hit him pretty hard).  Charley’s most recent (and 3rd) blood work on 1/16/14 was fine, which hopefully means he won’t need any more during the rest of his chemo.


Charley has been his happy Labby self.  He loves the snow!!!   He’s been doing zoomies around the great room and he’s always counter surfing and begging for food!


This is one of my favorite pics!  Look at those eyes!

Charley 11.28.13


Snow zoomies!!!!!!!!!

Charley9 1.5.14


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 

Charley had his 3rd (of 6) round of chemo, Doxorubicin, on Thursday 1/9 so now he is officially at the 1/2 way mark for chemo!  YAY!!!  Charley started taking Cerenia on Friday to help with any nausea or vomiting since Doxo is really hard on the GI system and so far, so good.


Dr. Buss thought Charley looked great and said he was “perfect” during chemo and he just layed on his side (although he’s an anxious maniac mess in the Lobby…go figure)!  Blood work again in 10 days and if his counts are fine for the 3rd time in a row, we won’t need anymore CBC’s done for his remaining chemos of Lomustine and Doxo!


Charley had so much fun playing on the snow last weekend!  St. Louis got close to 10-12″, so he had lots of snow to play in.  Unfortunately the “Polar Vortex” made the high temps Monday of -2, so his outside time had to be limited to less than 5 minutes or his paws would get too cold and he would hold up a paw.  I think he looks super handsome in his puffer jacket!


Here’s a few snow pics of Charley from Sunday!  The golden in the one picture is our neighbor, Louie!  Charley with 3 legs can run circles around Lou!  Charley steals all of Louie’s balls from him…when Charley sees their garage door open, he bolts over there goes into their garage roots through their children’s large storage container of balls and then helps himself to what he wants.  It’s quite embarrassing that Charley has about 10 tennis balls that are Louie’s and sweet Lou doesn’t mind.  I do take them back, but I swear Charley counts the balls and knows that I returned a few!  LOL!


Charley and our neighbor’s golden, Louie!

Charley8 1.5.14


Charley doing zoomies in the yard!  Notice Louie, the golden, way in the background! 🙂

Charley7 1.5.14


Charley running….

Charley9 1.5.14


….and running!

Charley4 1.5.14


Brr….it’s cold!  Charley’s eyebrows are starting to freeze!

Charley3 1.5.14


Charley doesn’t seem to be cold!

Charley5 1.5.14


Charley’s so happy that he’s smiling!

Charley6 1.5.14


Charley says, “The snow tastes so yummy!”

Charley1 1.5.14


My FAVORITE snow picture!

Charley 1.5.14


The is the last picture because he was getting ready to jump on me to tell me,  “Enough pictures, Mom!”

Charley2 1.5.14


…and a video!



Charley did a great job cheering on the Colts last weekend and this weekend, but since the Colts lost and won’t be advancing to the playoffs he’ll have to cheer on Peyton Manning with the Broncos!  Go Broncos!  Charley doesn’t have a Broncos jersey, but his Colts jersey is Manning jersey so that’s going to have to count!





Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


♥  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 

Here’s a picture of Charley from last night cheering on his Missouri Tigers in the Cotton Bowl!  Charley must have been their good luck charm because Mizzou beat OSU (41-31 if anyone wants the score)!!!




Charley is doing well since his chemo #2 on 12/18/13.  He celebrated his 38th Month Ampuversary on 12/28/13 (and I’m a bad mommy because I didn’t post)!!!  Charley’s 3rd chemo, Doxorubicin,  is scheduled for this Thursday 1/9/14 and he’ll be at the 1/2 way mark!


Charley will be sporting his Colts attire this afternoon and rooting for the Colts to beat the Chiefs!  He’s already wearing his Colts collar, but he’s snoozing on the couch waiting for the game to start!  No worries….he’ll have his Colts jersey on before game time!


St. Louis is supposed to get close to 12″ of snow tonight into Sunday and Charley is going to be so excited since he loves to play in the snow!!!  Too bad wind chills are going to be -20 to -30 below because his snow play is going to limited because of the severe cold.  I guess I’ll just have to put his puffer jacket on him and hope that his paw pads don’t get too chilly!


Wishing everyone a belated happy and healthy 2014!!!


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


♥  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 

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