Ongoing success at fighting lymphosarcoma
Hailey and Gibson were our beautiful, female Dobermans. On September 17, 1999 (Hailey was six) the lab results came back with the dreaded diagnosis of lymphosarcoma (a malignant cancer in her lymphatic tissue, caused by the growth of abnormal lymphocytes). Within five days of Hailey's diagnosis, we started her on chemotherapy. After some hurried research, we opted for the VELCAP-S chemo protocol (the 'S' in VELCAP-S stands for 'short'). Our version was a 14 week program, whereas VELCAP-L (longer duration, different doses of chemo drugs) can be 37 weeks or longer. The VELCAP protocol includes: Vincristine (Oncovin), Elspar (L-Aspariginase), Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide), Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) and Prednisone.
In addition to the chemotherapy, we started Hailey on numerous supplements, as well as Hill's Prescription Diet N/D. It is a cancer specific diet ("high fat, low carb, quality protein" preparation with some anti-cancer supplements already included) that follows the clinical findings of Colorado State University and the Morris Animal Foundation.
Hailey's first remission lasted five months. We were obviously hoping for more time in remission, and we were saddened and scared when the relapse of cancer was confirmed. We changed our plan of attack for her second go-round, and started her on the Wisconsin / Madison Protocol (sometimes referred to as the WSU protocol, or simply the Madison protocol). A second remission was achieved that lasted six months (then her submandibular lymph nodes became enlarged, and a needle aspirate confirmed the recurrence of abnormal lymphocytes)
We chose a unique rescue protocol in the hopes of achieving a third remission. To our obvious delight and relief, Hailey had a complete response when CCNU/Lomustine & Methotrexate was used. However, unknown to us at the time was the liver damage that occured because we gave these two drugs too close to one another (their should have been a minimum 21-28 day break between treatments) With the help of some liver medications and good luck, Hailey's liver condition improved dramatically over the next two years.
Hailey's third remission lasted 8 months. Because she was still a happy 8 year old pup (and clinically she was in great health - except for the obvious 'C' and elevated liver enzymes) we decided to try chemotherapy one more time and go for an unheard of, fourth remission. Firstly, we had to carefully choose a chemo drug/protocol that had minimal liver toxicity (Hailey's liver would not have been able to handle another insult). This was virtually impossible to find. With the advice of some local vet friends (Drs. Mark Norman, Stephanie Ball & Leslie Vanstone - actually, Mark & Leslie thought I was crazy :) and Dr. Kevin Hahn (a leading veterinary oncologist in the U.S. (www.gcvs.com) we chose a simple approach, and used Mitoxanthrone twice - 21 days apart (if Hailey's lympohoma did not respond to the mitoxanthrone, I was going to use my own version of a liver-friendly, reduced dosage D-MAC protocol). I also made use of the CCES supplement protocol (down to a 'T' this time) that was recommended by an oncologist in Scotland while Hailey was receiving Adriamycin (doxorubicin) treatments during her second treatment protocol. CCES simply uses anti-oxidants (Selenium, CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamins C & E) before, during and for a few days immediately following chemo treatments to reduce chemotherapy side effects and enhance the effectiveness of Anthracycline Antibiotic Chemotherapy drugs (which Mitoxanthrone, Adriamycin / Doxorubicin etc. are)
Hailey sailed through her two mitoxanthrone treatments, and her lymphoma responded within hours of her first treatment. I decided she was in remission on December 3, 2001, when there was no longer any clinical evidence of her lymphosarcoma. With the help of a strict cancer and liver disease diet, the introduction of doxycycline, chinese herbs, as well as a revised vitamin and mineral supplement program, she achieved an unheard of fourth remission, and stayed in remission for an additional two years until she passed on from complications of kidney failure)
I would like to use this area to sincerely thank some people who are directly responsible for Hailey's success: Firstly, my incredible better-half (i.e. my wife, Tess) for putting up with me and being my 'rock'. Next, Dr. Debbie Henderson for initially treating Hailey & whose previous experience with pet cancer started Hailey's succesful fight against cancer. Next, Dr. Mark Norman & Dr. Stephanie Ball, incredibly great people for always being there for us, staying open minded & current, and continuing to provide guidance at times when I became an emotional wreck over Hailey & Gibson.
Next, Dr. Wanda Vockeroth (Elbow Valley Pet Clinic) & Dr. Yanhui Qi (Calgary Holistic Vet Clinic) for opening our eyes about holistic approaches to fighting canine cancer. Again, I know in my heart that Hailey was the success that she was, because we used the "best of both worlds" when treating her, by incorporating conventional western medicine treatments with alternative medicine treatments.
Finally, and as importantly as all others, Paul & Robin Huisman - brothers who own the Golden Sun Health Foods stores in Calgary & Red Deer. They helped us immensely with their compassion & knowledge of supplements that were incredibly beneficial to Hailey's success.
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