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The Journey Begins..

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Bentley was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his front left leg on 11/27/2013. It was by far the worst day of my life thus far. CANCER. That word in itself, can give chills to most people. It ruins lives. It stops a mother in her tracks. Human child or not, this boy is my world. To say my world was turned inside out, and the wind knocked completely out of my sails in an understatement! I cried for 4 days straight, but then I woke one day with a new fight in my heart. We have vowed to fight the good fight, and will do everything in our power to beat this monster – until the day that my sweet boy says it’s time to let go. We have heard so many positive stories, and although we know that statically this disease in 95% fatal in the first year…we are determined that we can be part of that 5%. Here will will document our journey, prayers and healing thoughts are more than appreciated! Thank you SO much to our friends and family for all of our support!

11.27.13:          OS Diagnosis

11.28.2013:     Began home cooking the “anti-cancer” diet and supplements, he loves it!

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12.3.2013:       Visit to Oncologist, elected to put him under anesthesia and do a complete CT scan to asses the progression of cancer

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12.4.2013:       Results from scans back – no spread of cancer wahoo!!! Found tiny nodule on his spleen, took him in to biopsy nodule

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12.6.2013:        Results of splenic biopsy came back as a fatty tumor!! We’ll take it!

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12.7.2013:        Bentley officially became a member of Tripawd nation!!

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12.20.2013:      Bentley’s first round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy at half dosage.

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1.15.2014:         Bentley’s blood work looks great, second round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at the full dosage.

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2.6.2014:          Bentley’s blood work looks perfect again, third round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered – half way!!

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2.27.2014:   Bentley’s blood work and chest scans all look great, all clear for chest scans wahhoo! Fourth round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at the full dosage.

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3.27.2014:   Bentley was officially accepted into Dr. Mason’s Bone Cancer Study at Penn State Medical School, we traveled up for his first vaccine, and unfortunately we found that he does have a 2mm size tumor in his lung. We have decided that we are still going to pursue the vaccine trial, in the hopes that because the tumor is still so small that the vaccine may be able to destroy it. He seems to have tolerated the vaccine very well – we are now home and resting from our long drive and Bentley seems to be doing great!

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4.18.2014:    Bentley received his second vaccine, chest scans show that his tumor has grown slightly (up to 4mm), but Dr. Mason thinks that this is very minor growth (not typical of what we would see once it is in his chest) – so we’re hopeful that means that the vaccine is working!

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5.7.2014:      Bentley received his third vaccine, chest scans showed no growth in original tumor, but is showing a couple more small nodules that have popped up. Again, still progressing much slower than what you’d typically see. Fingers crossed!

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5.30.2014:    Bentley returned to UPenn for a fourth vaccine, the theory we were following is that because he does have nodules in his lungs, maybe it will take more than the typical 3 vaccines (for dogs with no lung mets) to see some good results. Unfortunately, we were right. This fourth vaccine caused a HUGE inflammatory response in his system – which had a huge negative impact on his heart. His EKG showed his heart rate was EXTREMELY high (220 when he should be between 50-100) and his heart was not in sinus rhythm at all (meaning it was beating, but not from where it should be). They immediately put him into ICU, and he remained there for 4 days..it was the scariest four days of my life. She told us that because his heart was not beating correctly and beating so fast – that he was at HUGE risk for sudden heart failure (the heart is not built to run like that for any sustained period of time). After several different types of IV meds, steroids, and working through a seizure for drug reactions..our boy started to come out of the woods Sunday. It will still take some time for his heart to settle down and get back to normal (fingers crossed that his heart does actually return to normal and that there are no long term side effects). Dr. Mason, Dr. Hezzell, and the ICU team at UPenn are nothing short of extraordinary. I have no doubt that their thoroughness saved his life! Now we have to take a step back and reevaluate and decide where to go from here. We have obviously decided to stop the vaccines, but still have the options of chemotherapy again. We are also hopeful, that because his body had such a huge response this time to vaccine – that maybe that means it is destroying the cancer! We will wait to be sure his heart is ok, and then meet with his oncologist to decide what treatment we want to pursue, if any.

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6.18.2014:     Bentley visited the oncologist and cardiologist to rescan his heart and lungs to see what was going on. His EKG shows that his heart and perfectly back to normal – wahoo! However, his lung scans showed a 5cm mass that was not there previously. It is one of two things: either it is a tumor that has rapidly developed since scans were taken on 5.30 which means more than likely his cancer is becoming extremely aggressive. Or it is actually his lymph nodes that they can see on the xray, and the lymph node is extremely inflammed because his immune system is kicking ass and killing cancer in his lungs! We have decided to not make any extreme decisions, and will rescan his chest in two weeks time to see what’s going on.

 


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8 Responses to “The Journey Begins..”

  1.   jerry Says:

    Love love love these pics! Bentley is just unstoppable.

    Three-paws up to all of you, you’re really showing the world that as scary as cancer is, it’s not the end of the road. There is much life to be lived afterward and you are DOING IT! Yay!

  2.   princess Says:

    Bentley is gorgeous!!!! And I am not biased towards rotties at all 🙂

    We took the approach “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”. This is such an unknown journey, different for everyone. Love your boy every single day and stop to really be in the moment with him. It’s truly amazing how much richer life is when you do that.

    I hope and pray you beat those odds. We didn’t but I can tell you, the 8 months of “extra” time we were given was so so precious and forever imprinted on my heart.

    Good luck!

    Karen and Spirit Magnum

  3.   Angela Says:

    Aw how cute is Bentley!?!? We definitely know the kick in the stomach feeling of cancer. Keep fighting the good fight!!

    Cody and Family

  4.   balshilady Says:

    My big beautiful lab/great dane Max was also diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his front leg in the new year and we had his leg amputated at the end of Jan. he is having carboplatin every 3 weeks. The normal protocol is 4 treatments (three weeks apart) but we are going to ask for 6 treatments after reading about a study at the University of California. It was found that 6 treatments practically doubles the median survival time to 535 days. We have also changed his diet to a completely organic cancer fighting diet with no carbs, rice, grain etc. also we give him supplements of cur cumin, krill oil, extra virgin olive oil and glucosomine. she he finished chemo, I will look at giving him artemisinine.

    There has also been great success with a vaccine by Nicola Mason at the University of Pensylvannia and Dr Mason is hoping it will be licensed in about 6 months. It has proved to extend the dogs survival times and dogs have gone into complete remission. I am hoping this vaccine will be available for my Max and all other dogs like your Bentley.

    Love to you and Bentley x

  5.   Liliana Says:

    Bentley is beautiful! Glad you will pursue the vaccine. Sasha was the 1st dog in the trial and there is no doubt in my mind that her being with us for 2years since diagnosis was thanks to the vaccine.

    Best wishes to you and Bentley!

  6.   Liliana Says:

    There was a licensing agreement announced on March 21st.

  7.   dino Says:

    Looks like you are doing wonderful work of helping Bentley put up a good fight. Bentley is just beautiful and reminds me out our 8 year old Dino who got diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. Hang in there.

  8.   c1nicolei Says:

    It is so wonderful to see other parents so full of love for their fur-children, they will do anything to extend their glorious years on this earth…. So heartwarming and helpful also to those of us also dealing with cancer in our babies. LOVE

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