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Miss Margo

Margo\'s battle with Osteosarcoma

Miss Margo

The Start

May 17th, 2018 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today is the start of a new journey.

Margo several months after adoption, still in Ohio

It’s been eight days since Margo was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and I’m finally not crying every time I think about it. But I am tearing up today. It’s amputation day. I’m tearing not because she’s losing her leg but because it is the beginning of a new reality. The leg had been nonfunctional for three weeks now and she and I will both be glad once it’s no longer in her way. But today is the day it has become real. My dog has cancer and not just any cancer but a very aggressive one. I suppose you can say she’s lucky. There’s no visible metastasis in her lungs yet. Yet. It’s a good sign but it is inevitable.

When I was told the news, first you think of the options. Being a devout Catholic, I believe all living creatures have a natural end and it killed me to think that I may have to cut it short. So, for me, quality of life was the single most important consideration. As a scientist, I take a lot of stock in statistics and they aren’t the best. I could either go straight into palliative care and spend time with her for maybe two more months while drugging her to not feel the pain. (She was far too happy and energetic to go that route.) Second option was to amputate her leg and then enter palliative care. It would relieve the pain and allow nature to take its course while being monitored. Third option was to amputate and start chemo. While this could give me up to a year or slightly more with her, it would involve 4-6 hr drives to see an oncologist for chemotherapy. It was the hardest decision I’ve made so far in my life, but I decided on amputation with palliative care.

It’s difficult to know every time you look at your dog that she will die sometime soon. But I can’t take the cancer away and have had to accept it. So in her best interest, amputation will take the severe pain away and allow her to get back to normal life for as long as possible. Of course we’re not giving up. She’s starting a holistic diet that has anti-cancer properties and a regimen of supplements for the same purpose. She will take as many trips as possible to visit the pet store (her favorite store), the dog park, and hopefully the beach.

I don’t know if anyone can ever be ready to see their dog leave them with four legs and come back with only three. Not because she has one less leg but for what it means.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • jerry

    Margo and family, you found your way to the best place on the planet for dogs with osteosarcoma, and we are so glad you did. We felt exactly like you are way back when Jerry was diagnosed. And like you, we opted out of chemotherapy for similar reasons (we were also 6 hours from a chemo hospital). And you know what? Jerry lived TWO YEARS with just good love and care, nothing but the amputation. He blew those prognoses out of the water!

    And since we started Tripawds, we’ve seen it happen many times. Not always, and you know there are no guarantees, but anything is possible.

    We hope with all our heart that Margo beats the odds and lives a very long, hoppy, healthy life! Please know that you are both in good company. Among our many other wonderful active members right now we have Gayle and Sessy, another Greyt pack who have been beating the osa odds for almost two years now. Gayle staffs the Tripawds Helpline (844-TRIPAWD) on Fridays so please do call in if you want to talk to her specifically OK? And if you can’t call Friday, all our volunteer hosts are wonderful. I also try to be in the live chat room ( during weekday mornings).

    Please keep us posted and know that we are thinking of you two.

  • dawn3g

    Margo is beautiful!!

    We’re wishing you and Margo all the best. What Jerry said–there are all kinds of stories here of dogs who busted the odds–we’re hoping Margo breaks the mold for timeframes!

    Sending you positive energy–you’re in our thoughts.

    Dawn and Fallon
    (and Paul and Maggie)

  • tlahaye

    Well, “Jerry” will correct me, but I thought I remember him going on a metronomic therapy regimen with Cytoxan and Rimadyl. There are options out there other than IV chemotherapy agents, and they can be administered at home. While Carboplatin and other injected medications are intended to kill the cancer cells, metronomic therapy is intended to starve them and slow their growth.

    Just a thought . . .

  • boscodog

    I’m so sorry you and Margo have to go through this. You did come to the very best place possible though. I agree with Jerry.

    I’m wondering about other options you might not have considered. What about oral chemo meds? Our vet put Bosco on them before metastasis. To be fair, they did find an artifact on the x ray and were being cautious. Perhaps adding a metronomic regimen might be worth considering. The side effects are typically minimal and it only requires a trip to a local vet for occasional blood work. You can have the meds shipped.

    Also, there is a vaccine for Osteosarcoma that is in phase 2 trials right now. In order to be in the study Margo would of had to of had chemo but they might still treat anyway. It only involves 3 appointments but travel is likely and it’s expensive.

    Anyway just a thought. I hope the surgery goes well and that Margo recovers quickly. It’s an adjustment for sure, but we’ll worth the stress.

    Best of luck!

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