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 Lymphoma - Original post by Monster

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PostSubject: Lymphoma - Original post by Monster   Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:24 pm

Originally posted on other board by Monster on Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:09 am

Fawkes is a 3 1/2 yr old neutered male gray sugar glider from a reputable breeder, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma on July 30, 2008 after I noticed a large lump had literally popped-up overnight under his chin on the left side of his neck.



I took him to the vet the next morning, where she took a sample of cells with a small syringe and showed me a cytology that looked very similar to the one shown towards the bottom of this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphoma_in_animals

I was told that steroids were not a good idea because, though they could shrink the tumor in the short run, ultimately, they would protect the tumor from anything else we would throw at it. Also, steroids are typically only effective when used with chemo drugs, which cannot be used on sugar gliders.

Surgery was also iffy because we did not know if the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. If it had, the surgery would be for not & would also aggravate the cancer from the stress of the procedure. The only way surgery would be an option would be to have an MRI done at the University to make sure the cancer was localized. If it was just in the one place, Fawkes would be a candidate for surgery. The MRI, however, would cost between $1100-1200 - well beyond what I could afford. So, I applied with the Glider Vet Fund, and I wait...

So, what are we left with? My vet says to me,"How do you feel about Chinese medicine?" I told her I was willing to try anything to help my boy. She continue to tell me about a line of herbal drugs by a company called New Vita. She says that her own father has Lymphoma and has already lived two years longer than his doctors said he would! She says she has had success with dogs and cats, but has never tried it with a suggie. So I say ok, let's try it. Without any treatment, she only gives Fawkes about 6 weeks to live.

Fawkes has been put on New Vita Immuny II at a dosage of 1/2 capsule twice a day, plus one whole capsule mixed into a whole batch of his diet (I feed Priscilla's - it's ok for the other glider's to have this as well). He is also taking 1/4 capsule of New Vita Immune Up twice a day. Both of these herbals are powders inside of capsules, so you need to mix them into something that the glider likes. Word from the wise - NOTHING tastes good enough to hide the taste of this stuff! I have tasted it myself & it is NASTY! The best thing I have found is Vanilla pudding, if I find something better, I will post it.

After talking with some other glider owners who have battled cancer, I found that weight loss will likely be an issue for Fawkes - I am not suprised by this as he has already lost 10g in the last month. To beat this, these other glider owners have suggested increasing the insects and adding 1-2 tsp of Ensure per day. I have increased insects, but I am going to hold off on the Ensure & simply monitor Fawkes' weight for a bit unless I feel I need to add it in.

It was also recommended that I add vits A and E - I discussed this with my vet & she agreed. The vit E has been added by squeezing two 400IU capsules into a whole batch of Priscilla's mix. The vitamin B is added in the form of V.A.L. syrup, which can be purchased from your vet or online & is dosed by weight - Fawkes is 175g & will be getting 0.25cc/day.

The last part of his treatment, for now, will be magnet therapy. I have never done this before, but I have heard some wonderful things about it, so we will try it. Miss Linda is sending me some prescription magnets with specific instructions for Fawkes. I will surely post how this goes.

Fawkes has an appointment on Aug 13, 2008 for another cytology to see if the cancer has slowed down, or if his cells are still dividing like crazy.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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PostSubject: Re: Lymphoma - Original post by Monster   Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:26 pm

Originally posted on first board by Monster on Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:33 am

Ok, so since my last post, we have started the magnet therapy. I have received 8 prescription strength magnets and am doing a regime of 20 clockwise rotations around the tumor, 20 counterclockwise rotations around the tumor, 5 North to South swipes down his body, and 5 South to North swipes up his body...twice per day, taking approximately twenty minutes per session, and making sure that the North pole of the magnets are always facing his body. He gets extremely still during these sessions, and often makes those "popping bubbles" sounds that you hear when a glider is sleeping & content. I find its best to do the magnet therapy before I give him his meds because after I give him his meds, he is just too worked up & it's hard to get him settled back down enough to do the rotations. After meds, I give him mealies to help him get the taste out of his mouth - I find he gobbles them right up, this will also help him keep him weight up.

My vet said that if we could see if Fawkes' cancer had spread, we could possibly remove it, and give him a better chance. So, she referred me to the University of Tennessee's Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Knoxville, TN for an MRI.

Here's what happened at his appt on Thursday:

Fawkes (all suggies) was too small to do an MRI - they said the magnet was too big & the picture would just look like a blob. He was also too small to do an IV catheter, so they could not use injectable dye on him and the vet said that without the injectable dye, the CT scan wouldn't show anything useful, so we did a radiograph.

The radiograph showed that he has a second mass under his armpit on the same side as the big tumor on his neck. The second tumor is about the size of the tip of your pinkie (where the nail is) - now that I know where it is, I can feel it.

They took samples from both tumors (by fine needle aspiration) and sent them to pathology, but the lab was closed by the time they got there, so we have to wait until morning to get the results.

He said that just because there are lymphocytes present does not mean it is lymphoma - there have to be a certain number of them within a certain area & they have to be exhibiting a certain behavior (in layman's terms).

He said it does look like cancer, but it could be benign or malignant, and that is what we will see when we get the test results back. Dependant on the type of cancer (carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, etc), we will treat accordingly. If it is benign, we will do surgery and perhaps chemo (yes, chemo is possible for suggies). If it is malignant, we may do surgery, but some malignant cancers are extremely aggravated by surgery, so again, we will have to wait and see. Chemo may be our only option (besides homeopathic) if it is malignant).


Fast forward, we have the pathology results back:

It is lymphoma - this is bad because lymphoma is unpredictable & will spread just about anywhere.

As of right now, they want to refrain from surgery, start oral prednisone daily, and subcutaneous chemotherapy every 2-3 weeks.

I have decided against the chemo, and am still thinking about the steroids.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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