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First trip to PA, was not what we had hoped for.

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Just picked up handsome man, heading home!!!

Just picked up handsome man, heading home!!!

Snuggled up with Teddy, sleeping in the drive home.

Snuggled up with Teddy, sleeping in the drive home.

That face, seriously...

That face, seriously…

As I posted last time, we headed up to PA this past Thursday night for Bentley’s first vaccine with Dr. Mason’s study at UPenn. It was a LONG journey, as Brandon and I had both worked all day and then packed the car and drove 9 hours through the night. We arrived at 8am for pre-vaccine testing, and then they would administer the vaccine and do all of his follow up work. Unfortunately, during pre-vaccine testing – they found what ever parent dreads going through this..a nodule in his lung. My heart broke, again. Just when we thought we were going to beat this and everything would be fine.. we sat out in the car and cried for an hour (much better than the week I cried after Dx), and then I went back into bad ass fighting mama mode. After driving overnight 10 hours, having gone ย 36 hours with no sleep – we then had to decide if we wanted to take Bentley home and do something else (Palladia), or give the vaccine a try. After speaking with our Onc and Dr. Mason (head of the study), we decided to go ahead and give the vaccine a try. Since this is still in trial phase, there is not really any concrete evidence as to whether this vaccine can help get rid of lung met or not. There have only been 2 other dogs in the study with lung mets, but they were vaccinated at 1/3 the dose that Bentley will receive – and they had MUCH more metastatic growth in lungs. Bentley has only one nodule, about 2mm in size so we’ve caught it extremely early! We know that Palladia is an option, and has shown some promise – but we also know that it only gives an average of about 6 months – where as the vaccine is showing 1.5-2 years so far. We have decided to go ahead and give the vaccine a chance to work, and are going to keep Palladia as our back burner option if it seems as though the vaccine isn’t touching lung met. Dr Mason, and a friend of mine who is a research pharmacist who I trust very much – feel as though we should take Bentley off of all of the supplements he’s on right now to allow maximum efficacy of the vaccine. This is very scary for me, as I feel like I’m not doing all that I can if I take away supplements – but this vaccine has so much promise and potential to do amazing things for him, and since none of the other dogs that have had amazing results were on anything…I feel as though we’ve gotta give it a shot. Well be monitoring his met very carefully, doing chest rads every couple weeks – and will head back up to PA on April 18the for his second vaccine. As far as the actual vaccine, Bentley did well! He did have a fever, which is normal, but did not experience any severe side effects, nausea, or anything! He did end up staying overnight, but that’s because we ended up starting vaccine so late after lung met incident. He was very tired when we picked him up Saturday so he slept the whole 9 hours on the way home..but yesterday he was back to his silly self! It ended up working out great, I have a good friend that lives in Philly that I hadn’t seen in years so we went out for dinner and drinks with them and I had my first REAL Philly cheesesteak! ๐Ÿ™‚ All in all mostly good news – camcer sucks and lung mets suck..but Dr Mason is absolutely amazing and was so good with Bentley and very helpful and caring with us – we are in great hands. And we’re staying hopeful that maybe Bentley will be the trailblazer and be the first dog to go into remission with lung mets in this study! Maybe he’ll go down in history and save lots of other babies! Still taking it one day at a time and enjoy every minute with my handsome man! Here are some pics from our trip.


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9 Responses to “First trip to PA, was not what we had hoped for.”

  1.   jerry Says:

    Ohhh thank you for this update. First, housekeeping out of the way….when you start a blog post with a photo, the only thing that appears in the feed is the photo URL. So that others will be tempted to click on your post, always start a blog post with text, even just 1 sentence, then add a photo..

    Now, about that news. Well DANG! I am SO sorry! But you know what, there’s no time to cry, right? Here’s my gut feeling: you made that major journey for a reason, you were compelled to go and participate and ok, so they found that met, but this is by NO means the end of the journey right? There’s a reason why the discovery was made the way it did, and that’s because Bentley IS going to be that TRAILBLAZER! He is going to go into remission, this vaccine is going to do amazing things, and you are going to make history!!!

    You are one brave, selfless pawrent who is not only participating but taking a big leap of faith by following doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed so as to make the most impact. BRAVO! We applaud you a thousand times for doing this. I know that eliminating his protocol for a while isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s SO clear that you have not just Bentley’s best interests in mind, but that of all cancer dogs everywhere. Kudos for taking this big step! You are our hero!!

    Keep us posted OK? Glad you’re home and recuperating from such a long weekend. Good things are in store, I know it!! xoxo

  2.   benny55 Says:

    BENTLEY, YOU ARE SOOOOOO DARN HANDSOME!! I want to come over right now and smooch that mug!! SMOOOOOOOOCH IT!!

    Okay, I kow this is gong to sound crazy to say not to worry aout the met…..but realy, it’s so small and can stay that way a very, very, very long time AND, even get smaller AND disappear!! This dog has ZERO symptons of any “disease” and that’s Bentley’s reality and you are doing a great job of making it yours too!!:-) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yeah, I understand your concern about the supplements, but he already has a nice “foundation” of them in his system, so I dn’t think it will be an issue to have him off them for awhile.

    How is he today? Any side effects, etc. that they prepare you for? How many doses does he have to have and when is next trip?

    Bentley knew exactly what he was doing when he picked you as his humans!! The love and devotion… OMD!!! He is sooooooo loved!!! And love is the most powerful medicne ever!!

    Look forward to more great updates AND wo derful pictures of the MAGNIFICENT BENTLEY!!

    You are a great team!

    Sending love and hugs!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  3.   benny55 Says:

    Just saw Jerry’s post….so full of wisdome about you “being there for a reson”…..and so true! So know that all this IS happening as it’s supposed to.

    Bentley is defiitely another “pioneer in the making”!

  4.   ktrabucco Says:

    Thank you guys so much for the love and encouragement, it means a lot to me!!!!! Bentley seems to be doing great. He did have the fever Friday after the vaccine which is what they expect because it is a live bacteria – he came back down over night (again what they typically see), and he was a little pooped out Saturday when we picked him up – but I’m not so much convinced that’s from vaccine and not just from being away from us in strange ace and not sleeping. They said to expect some crappy feeling for a day or two (think about how we feel when we’re fighting something off)..same thing. And they sent us home with antibiotics, nausea med, and something to help his liver while it’s in overdrive for a week or so. Other than that they said just to keep an eye out for lethargy and nausea but he seems to have neither! ๐Ÿ™‚ We will travel back up on April 18th and May 9th for two more vaccines and then every 2 months for follow up! We will keep you posted and thank you so much for your encouragement! xo

  5.   maximutt Says:

    Wow, this is really exciting! Well, not the part about the lung met, but everything else! And I agree: everything happens for a reason. So, Bentley needs to keep fighting, and to know that all of the Tripawds Nation is pulling for him and sending positive thoughts his way. Bentley’s journey could be the beginning of something really amazing for many pups to come! Stay strong Bentley!!

  6.   Codie Rae Says:

    Echoing what folks have already said….you are SO brave to take this path with Bentley. It is so important that we participate in studies such as this so that going forward others may have a better chance to beat such a nasty disease. And it is so awesome that you will be able to share your experience with the rest of us!

    Bentley, the Oaktown Pack has all lucky 13 paws crossed for you and we are sending you and your pack all our strength and love!

  7.   Karma Says:

    We all hate hearing about that stupid little lung met, but since it is a stupid little guy, maybe this vaccine will kick its patootie. Bentley is adorable and what wonderful pawrents he has. Hopefully this vaccine will do the trick. Paws crossed.
    Karma, Adelaide and the crew, and our forever angel Brendol

  8.   Charley's Mom Says:

    Hi Kate!
    I didn’t know Bentley had his own blog, now I’ll have to bookmark it! I know we’ve already emailed back and forth, but I just wanted to stop by, say hello, and send Bentley lots of positive thoughts and prayers! Keep being in the bad ass momma mode and tell that cancer to get the hell out of his lung! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses from me and Charley xoxo

  9.   Liliana Says:

    Hi Kate, how is Bentley doing?!

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