September 16, 2018 – Originally, our plans would have put us at Lola’s favorite RV spot, Assateague, MD. We were feeling lucky to have been able to secure a campsite even though we waited until July 1st to make a reservation. However, Lola’s condition – with a nudge from Hurricane Florence – moved us to cancel those reservations and quickly search for a location in NY or CT, near SmithRidge Veterinary Center. We found two that were approximately an hour away and chose a private campground in Hopewell Junction, NY named Sylvan Lake Beach Park.
We then scheduled the three consecutive days of Lola’s treatments. It made the most sense to go up to Sylvan Lake on Sunday, bring Lola back and forth to SmithRidge on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and return home on Thursday. The trip from Sylvan Lake to SmithRidge was about an hour each way; this cut the time and distance from home in half.
These IVC treatments* admittedly were a “Hail Mary,” especially at Lola’s age of 10 years plus, but they made much more sense to us than the Vinorelbine chemo. Essentially, Lola would be marinated in high doses of intravenous Vitamin C and other fluids for 6 to 7 hours a day. Depending upon how well she tolerated the treatment, Dr. Ruskin would increase the amount of Vitamin C each day. A catheter was inserted in Lola’s front left leg and wrapped in a bootie each night, so the liquids could be administered each day. Ozone therapy was also done each day; we were giving it all we had – and all that Lola would tolerate.
*There’s quite a bit of information about both IVC and Ozone therapy on line. IVC has been used and evaluated for both humans and animals since the 1950s.
September 17, 2018 – In addition to dropping Lola off at SmithRidge, we also visited RAWganics, a small raw pet food producer that happened to be about a 10 minute drive from the campground where we were staying. I’ll be writing about our discoveries regarding raw food for pets in a separate blog post; there’s a lot we’re still learning and many available resources.
Lola’s treatments seemed to go well. We would get up at 6am in order to be able to hit the road by 7:15am for our 8:30am drop off appointments. Traffic was unpredictable, so we left a cushion of time. Pick up times were 4:30pm on Monday, 7:00pm on Tuesday and 4:40pm, with a discharge consultation with Dr. Ruskin on Wednesday. She discussed the baseline x-rays taken just before treatment started; they showed a significant increase in the metastasized lung cancer in Lola’s left lobes, but the primary tumor on the right had remained about the same size.
September 20, 2018 – We return home, try to establish our new normal and wait. In two weeks, after another set of x-rays, we’ll know if this had any positive impact to reduce or slow down the cancer.
. . . to be continued