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Feb 08 2014


Charley is 2/3 through chemo…and Superbowl!!!

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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!

Charley&me3

….and another!

Charley&me4

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 


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4 responses so far

Jan 28 2014


Happy 39th Ampuversary Charley…and chemo #4 tomorrow!!!

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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 

9 responses so far

Jan 12 2014


Charley’s 1/2 way through chemo….and SNOW!!!

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!

 

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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 

23 responses so far

Jan 04 2014


Charley cheers on M-I-Z-Z-O-U!!!!

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)!!!

 

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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 

13 responses so far

Dec 19 2013


Charley’s done with chemo #2….and a beautiful “chocolate” ornament!

Charley had his chemo #2, Lomustine, yesterday afternoon and he is doing fine!

 

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 will start antibiotics (cefpodoxine 200mg) on day 5 (12/23/13) after chemo.  He will take the antibiotics for 7 days to prevent an infection because of low white blood cell count (leukopenia).

 

Charley will have to have his blood work done between 7-10 days (at nadir) and he will also need a liver profile since Lomustine can impact liver function.

 

Charley is scheduled for chemo #3 (Doxorubicin) on Thursday 1/9/14….and then we will be at the half way mark!

 

Charley’s Great Dane buddies, Beau and Cayman, and their mommy and daddy (Cindy and Will) sent him a beautiful Christmas ornament.  The ornament is a “chocolate” stained glass paw print that was hand made locally where they live in Maryland.  The ornament is very beautiful!  I love it!!!  It is hanging front and center on the Christmas tree.

 

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Charley gained almost 5 pounds since his last chemo 3 weeks ago, so we are going to cut back a bit on his food….and he’s not going to be happy!   He weighed 69.5 pounds which is still a good weight for him, but he doesn’t need to gain any more!  We wanted him to gain a few pounds so we increased his food, but I guess I didn’t factor in all the cream cheese he gets to hide all of his supplements in.  I think he’s going through a block of Philly cream cheese every 2 weeks, so that’s a lot of extra fat grams and calories.

 

Here’s a few pictures from yesterday after we got home from the oncologist.  The long car ride and all of the waiting really wears him out!

 

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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 

22 responses so far

Dec 15 2013


Charley update…chemo #2 is this Wednesday 12/18

Sorry it’s been awhile since I posted an update.  Charley is finally back to his happy Labby self!  Yippee!!!

 

The doxorubicin hit him a bit hard (he had no side effects at all from his 5 rounds of carboplatin).  We gave him Cerenia, but there were still days when the saliva would just drip out if his mouth….he was lethargic and you could tell he didn’t feel well and couldn’t get comfortable….although in typical Labby fashion he never lost his appetite.  He wanted to lay outside in the cold on the deck by himself and did so for hours which is not like him at all (he typically does not stay outside at all unless we are with him).

 

Charley had his blood work done last Saturday 12/8 (day 10 for nadir) and his neutrophils and platelets were low (still in the range to not have to delay his next chemo), but his onco isn’t worried about the numbers because they should rebound fine.

 

Charley is scheduled for chemo #2 (Lomustine) this Wednesday 12/18….and then he only has 4 more to go!

 

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 

 

I love this picture….especially his soulful eyes!

Charley 11.28.13

 

Handsome Charley!  This is the photo he is submitting with his Harvard application!  He looks so ivy league!

Charley sweatertie 11.30.13

12 responses so far

Nov 27 2013


Charley’s done with chemo #1!

Thank you for keeping Charley in your thoughts and prayers! Charley had his 1st round of chemo (Doxorubicin) this afternoon and now he’s relaxing at home.

 

When Dr. Buss (onco) tried taking Charley back, Charley had other ideas. He put on the breaks and tried to run to me….all while crying and yelping…he’s a bit of a momma’s boy (and a bit dramatic)!!! I had to walk back with Charley so he would go with Dr. Buss.

 

We have 4 doses of Cerenia, so Dr. Buss said to start Charley on it tomorrow before any nausea and vomiting would start…which is in 3-5 days. Charley tolerated Carboplatin well without taking Cerenia, but Doxorubicin is harder on the GI system.  Charley will have his blood work done in 7-10 days to check his blood counts (nadir).

 

His next chemo, Lomustine (oral chemo), is scheduled in 3 weeks on Wednesday 12/18 pending his blood work. Dr. Buss said that Lomustine is back ordered and hard to get but he will be able to get it.

 

Dr. Buss said that he’s attacking Charley’s metastatic OS with these two different chemos so Charley will hopefully be around for many more years! I really hope so too….and to be honest, when Dr. Buss said this I couldn’t help but smile since his approach is always straight forward without any hint of subjectivity!

 

Here’s a few pictures of my very tired chocolate boy!

 

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Here’s Charley sporting his preppy sweater since it’s been really cold here and his fur hasn’t grown back yet.  As you can tell by the look on his face, he’s not thrilled!  The sweater is a dark hunter green, but you can barely see it since he’s so dark brown!

 

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We bought Charley his very own T-bone steak to eat tomorrow on Thanksgiving!  He’s going to be super excited!  We have so much to be thankful for and Charley is #1 on the list!

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!  Even though I’m not Jewish, I wanted to wish a Happy Hanukkah also to those who are!

 

Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, good karma, hugs, kisses, etc.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!  We couldn’t go down this road alone….and again….without all of you!

 

  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley!  xoxo 

14 responses so far

Nov 21 2013


Charley Update – Oncology Visit and Plan!

We had Charley’s appointments this afternoon with Dr. Luther (surgeon) and Dr. Buss (oncologist).

 

Charley’s staples were removed…Yay!!!   Dr. Luther was excited that she got clear margins and after explaining to us how she had to cut the tumor out by feel and by using the CT imaging, it is amazing that she got clear margins especially since the tumor was around his Brachial Plexus (the nerves and arteries for his missing front leg that come off his spinal cord).  Dr. Luther gave us a tour of the facility which included the ICU, chemo room, Ultrasound, x-ray, and surgical suites (just got to peek through the outer windows).  It was very cool to get to see all the “behind the scenes”.  I asked if I could see Charley’s CT scan, so Dr. Luther brought Joe, Charley and I to her office and she went through the entire scan with us level by level which was really cool!   I gave Dr. Luther a big hug when I was leaving and thanked her for doing such a great job with Charley (twice)!

 

Now, on to the oncology visit…..

 

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…..specifically, Telangiectatic OS…..from his primary OS tumor that was in his proximal humerus (removed in October 2010).

 

There was an area near the bottom of Charley’s incision site that had scabbed over.  Once the scab was removed to get to the staples, the incision was open.  Since the incision was open, Charley was not able to start chemotherapy today.  He will have his 1st chemotherapy next Wednesday 11/27, which will be i.v. Doxorubicin.  His next chemo will be 3 weeks later and it will be the oral chemo Lomustine.   Charley will alternate between the 2 chemos every 3 weeks for a total of 6 rounds (Doxorubicin, Lomustine, Doxorubicin, Lomustine, Doxorubicin, Lomustine).

 

Dr. Buss said that we can continue giving Charley the Immunity4Pets and Artemisinin/Artemix during chemo, so we will continue with his holistic regimen too.

 

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.

 

 

Charley is and will always be our hero….our Super Dog, our Cancer Warrior, our miracle boy.  He has defied the odds for over 3 years and he has no plans to quit now!  We will continue our fight traversing down the familiar chemotherapy path again!

 

We will pray for a miracle and hope for the best!

 

We will pray that Charley’s journey here is far from being over, that he has many more people to inspire and bring hope to, and that he has plenty of life lessons still to teach us.

 

We’re not finished fighting and either is Charley.  We will continue this battle with Charley as long as he wants to fight!

 

Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, good karma, hugs, kisses, etc.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!  We couldn’t go down this road alone….and again….without all of you!

 

And most importantly, Charley is back to his Happy Labby self….and boy did we miss that smiling face!  He’s back to counter surfing, stealing food, barking loudly, jumping on the furniture, bringing us his babies, and he’s even started to do his “zoomies” again!

 

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

 

Charley cancer costume

Charley survivor1

 

23 responses so far

Nov 20 2013


Charley’s path report…tomorrow: staple removal and oncologist

Hi everyone!

 

I called Charley’s surgeon this afternoon to inquire about the histopathology from his mass removal and lymph node removal.  The results were in, but she did not call to tell us the results since the oncologist will be the person to discuss treatment options.  She didn’t want to go into any more detail than was given in the report since we meet with his oncologist tomorrow afternoon.  I’m glad that I called today so I could read over the report before our appointment tomorrow and have time to digest the information.

 

Here are Charley’s histopathology results….skip this section if you don’t want to read medical jargon!!!

__________________

 

DESCRIPTION:

1.  5 cm mass removed at incision (amputation) scar:

Representative sections are examined on 4 slides.  There is a somewhat multifocal and variable coalescing infiltrative neoplasm identified within the deep subcutaneous tissue.  Some areas of the neoplasm is densely cellular, other areas loosely dispersed.  Neoplastic cells are poorly differentiated and irregularly spindle-shaped with indistinct cell margins.  In some areas the cells form relatively solid haphazard sheets, sometimes with interspersed blood-filled cleft-like spaces.  In other ares the neoplastic cells form larger vascular type spaces containing variable numbers of erythrocytes.  There is little interspersed stroma.  In a few areas a small amount of collagenous-type stroma is observed.  There are also some areas where streams of eosinophillic amorphous stromal material reminiscent of ostoid are observed  within the neoplastic infiltrate.  The mitotic rate is up to 3 per high power field and the mitotic index is 22.  Mutifocal generally small areas of necrosis and hemorrhage are observed within the neoplasm.  There are some areas where small aggregrates and lobules of well-differentiated adipocyctes are identified intimately interspersed amoingst neoplastic cells/tissues.  The narrowest clean deep margin is approximately 2 cm in relation to the neoplasm.  The narrowest clean lateral margin identified is approximately 1 cm in relation to the neoplasm.

 

2.  Left prescapular lymph node, 1 x 3 cm tissue specimen with node

The section of lymph node with surrounding adipose tissue is examined.  Moderate hemosiderosis is observed within the lymph node.  There is also an area of vascular-like tissue proliferation within and mildly widening the subscapular sinus of the node.  Mesenchymal cells forming vascular-like spaces exhibit minimal to mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis.  No mitotic figures are seen.

 

MICROSCOPIC FINDINGS:

1.  Left Prescapular Incision Site:

Poorly Differentiated Sarcoma.

Locally infiltrative.

Hemangiosarcoma versus Telangiectatic Osteosarcoma.

 

2.  Left Prescapular Lymph Node:

Chronic congestion with area of mildly atypical sinusoidal vascular-like proliferation.

 

COMMENTS:

The mass of the left prescapular incision site most likelu represents the recurrance of the the prior primary osseous sarcoma.  The recurrant 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.

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In a nutshell, the good news is that the surgeon was able to get clean margins!!!  Yippee!!!!  The expected news is that were are most likely dealing with a metastasis of osteosarcoma….the unexpected news is that Charley’s original bone tumor could have been an hemangiosarcoma instead of the poorly productive osteosarcoma that was originally thought.

 

The bottom line is we are still dealing with a highly aggressive sarcoma as we expected.  Charley sees the surgeon tomorrow at 3pm CST  to remove his staples (he is going to be so excited because he’ll be able to move without the staples pulling) and then we see Dr. Buss, his oncologist, to discuss treatment options.  Hopefully the treatment option will be the oral chemo that he mentioned previously which is Lomustine (also known as CCNU).  I will keep everyone posted after our visits tomorrow!

 

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 collage 10.31.13

Charley collage 10.30.13

 

 

 

16 responses so far

Nov 11 2011


Charley’s 1 Year chest x-rays are clear!!! :)

Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts, good wishes, prayers, finger and paw crossing, etc…

 

YIPPEE!!!  YAY!!!  WOO HOO!!!  Charley’s chest x-rays are clear and Dr. Buss, his oncologist, says that he looks great!!!  What a wonderful early Christmas present to receive!!!

 

Everyone thought Charley was mighty handsome in his “Survivor” tee!  We don’t go back to see the oncologist until February!  Wow!  4 months is the longest we have had in between appointments.

 

Pets and scratches to all of your furbabies please! 😉

 

Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
Ellen & Charley  xoxo

9 responses so far

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