August 29, 2007

Dear Friends,

Took Devo into see Dr. Wilson today. She took another 800ml of fluid from his lower chest area. We could do this every week, but it’s not contributing to his cure, it’s only relieving pressure thus allowing him to breath a little easier and be more comfortable (OK, I guess if it lets him sleep better, it does help). At $200 a visit, this can add up fast. As the disease progresses he may become more resistant to having needles poked into his chest. Right now he puts up with it with very little squirming. I doubt that will last much longer.

Started his regiment of supplements last night after spending the day (Tues the 28th) with a herbalist (Justin, a nice lady) who has experience with treating cancer in dogs. Armed with my extensive research, Justin and I agreed on a list of starter supplements that support what is called “the shotgun approach”. We can’t just focus on one supplement. We are hitting Devo and his cancer with every nutritional supplement that works well together and I can afford. I won’t get into the fine details of all the available supplements reported to help fight cancer. Ted Schneck’s book about his (layman’s) experience treating his dog has been my most valuable reference.

However, this doesn’t mean that the course of action I am taking does not take into consideration the “curative” potential of many of the ingredients. So here I sit, with Devo finally sleeping (hard REM) next to me, under the desk. Next on my list is to document all the supplements, their dosage, frequency and application method. Some can be mixed with his food (he is much more finicky and prefers the stankiest tripe canned food to be mixed with his kibble). The rest is administered with a large oral syringe. So far Devo has been good natured about dad squirting this gross tasting brew in his mouth. All of this, twice a day.

Additional details a year later -- After this first fluid removal, Devo had his chest drained every two weeks until the end. Dr. Earl preformed the remaining fluid draws and was astonished by Devo’s willingness to put up with such an invasive procedure with no complaint at all (he just slowly wagged his tail). The supplements and routine described above was pretty much the way we spent our days the last two months of Devo's life. I didn't send any emails the last 27 days, just withdrew into the role of head caretaker in Devo's own personal MASH unit.

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