The M Word

Butchey Hudson’s Momma here.  As many of us know here on, one of the words we hate to encounter after a cancer diagnosis is Metastasis.  It is a nasty word, and unfortunately we have it.

One of Butchey’s chest x-rays back in May showed a spot that would probably be on the lung.  About 6 weeks later, the spot had doubled in size.  That growth spurt happened while we had him on Palladia, so unfortunately the drug didn’t slow the growth of the nodule.

August was not a terrific month for Butchey, but so far September has been much better.  It seems the Palladia didn’t agree to well with Butchey.  We posted before about his bowel issues with it.  The pigment also lightened on his nose and on his paw pads.  Whether a coincidence or not, his paw pads also got really soft and he began to lose traction on his feet.  Not a good thing for any dog, but especially not good for a Tripawd.  At first it was issues with the doing stairs.  Then it was issues on the floor, even though most of the floor is covered with carpet or throw rugs.  Then he was even slipping on carpet.  He also seemed to have some weakening in his remaining back leg, which would flop out from under him quite a bit for about a week in August.  He barely played with Lola.  Then he stopped eating.

So away the Palladia went.  Bye-bye.  After giving him some time off from meds to clear out his system, we are going back to a modified version of his previous metronomic protocol.  We started with Deramaxx (replaces the Piroxicam as the NSAID) and we are also back on Cytoxan.  Holding off on the Doxycycline for now.  He had vomitting issues several months back, which led us off the old metronomic protocol.  We are hoping it was mainly the Piroxicam that caused that issue, and also hoping that where Deramaxx is supposed to be easier on the stomach, we won’t have any vomitting issues.  He wasn’t on the Doxy for quite a while, so we know that wasn’t causing the last bout of vomiting on that protocol.  But we know it can cause stomach upset, so we are holding off on Doxy for now.

So this modified metronomic protocol was one of the choices available to us.  We also had a couple of chemotherapy options.  But we felt that after 5 rounds of Adriamycin last year, we had given him all we really wanted to on that front.  Keeping quality of life a top priority, and we were already quite concerned after the setbacks in August, more chemo just didn’t seem right to us.  We had a good 6 months on the old metronomic protocol before, and it kept the cancer at bay for that time period.  It did seem like the lump on his neck and the nodule on his lung happened while we were off the protocol and trying to get the other issues worked out.  We are hoping the Cytoxan can slow this nodule on his lungs, or even better – stop it from growing.  We rescan in another few weeks and will see what the size is then.  We are keeping our paws crossed.

So, after the Palladia dry out, things did return to normal.  Thankfully!  Gradually, the strength returned in his back leg.  We used Pawz Boots in the interim to help with the slipping issue, but eventually the pigment started returning to normal and we now have traction again.  With those improvements, his confidence has returned.  He started doing some stairs again.  Then one morning last week he went down the long flight of stairs off of our back deck, just like that.  All by himself, no harness, no boots.  I can’t really explain the sense of relief we felt.  After that he initiated a tug game with his leash after a #2 in the front yard.  So we knew he was feeling much better.

We did manage to get some swimming in during August and September. 

And some cuddle time with Tessa…

Trying to enjoy each day and not spend it in tears thinking about what is ahead of us.  Hemangiosarcoma, you suck.

15 thoughts on “The M Word

  1. Butchey looks like a very loving and perfect big brother! I know when she’s old enough, you’ll tell Tessa all about this strong, brave dog. I’m sorry to hear Butchey had a rough August, but I’m really glad to hear September is going a lot better. I really hope this modified MP can do something to slow down the M word. In the meantime, we’ll be sending you positive thoughts, and wishing you many wonderful days, weeks and months ahead. Stay strong Butchey!!

  2. My mum thinks the M word is the scariest one of all. I didn’t enjoy Palladia. Had lots of GI issues. I hope the new protocol is easier on Butchey’s tummy and gives you a lot more time together. Enjoy each precious day.

    Spirit Magnum

  3. Nancy & Brett,
    My thoughts are with you. I’m so sorry that Butchey has the “M’ word now and all he’s gone thru trying to straighten out the chemo drugs. Glad he’s having a good September now! Such a loving dog…sweet pictures of him and Tessa. Many, many hugs to you all!

    Tracy & Maggie

  4. Oh Butchey I’m so sorry that you had such a rough August. I’m also sorry to hear the M word. I am glad that you are having a better September. You sure look sweet next to little Tess! Hang in there buddy, we aren’t ready for you up here just yet.

    Spirit Chili Dawg

  5. Lovely pictures of a beautiful Tessa and beautiful Butchey. I will be keeping you in my thoughts for some positive results with the new protocol. Hoping you have a happy fall.

  6. I’m gonna call you “Bouncin’ Back Butchey!” Wow, mister, you are tough as nails, I’m so glad that you’re feelin’ good again. Sorry the Palladia didn’t work for you. You’re not the first dawg who’s had weakness issues with it, thank you for writing about it because next time someone mentions Palladia I’ll be sure to remember to remind them about this possible side effect.

    Butchey, I know you’ve been through a lot and cancer just SUCKS. But here’s the thing; hemangiosarcoma is one of the most awful, rapidly growing ones out there and you know what? You are kicking it’s BUTT! YES YOU!!! To know that you are thriving and lovin’ life with your pretty human baby there today, well that is simply miraculous. Whenever someone says they’re dealing with a hemangio dx, I’m going to refer to your story because you are AMAZING!


  7. I also am glad your September is turning out much better than your August. It sounds like you had a rough month and could use all the cuddles, snuggles and cookies you can get! I am going to cross my paws that you will find what works for you, Butchey, so that you will keep kicking butt while also feeling pretty darn good. I want you to be happy and enjoy each day.


  8. Oh, Nancy, I’m so sorry to read this. The pictures are wonderful – love the ones with Tessa. Be sure to take lots more pictures and videos – be sure you are in them with Butchey! Cancer, you suck big time.

    I know it’s hard, but try to remember there will be plenty of time for tears later. For now, try to enjoy and focus on every moment.

    Hang in there. Thinking of you. Give Butchey an extra kiss from me and a gentle nose-poke from Rita.

  9. Hang in there cousin Butchey. I’m coming to see you in October and you have better be ready for me to kick your butt. You may have gotten me one time before but now you are mine! See you cuz……

  10. Keep on keepin’ on and keep on kickin’ butt Butchey! And tell your mama to be more dog and not to cry about things that have not happened yet! Tell her not to waste any time on that and to get on with enjoying every single day she has with you!

    Codie Rae

  11. Thank you so much for this blog post. I seem to be having troubles navigating this site ao I have nit found a lot about limb weakness due to Palladia.

    The dreaded Ms were found in my 9 year old black lab Charlie’s lungs in September. We have tried numerous forms of chemo before and after discovering the mets. The latest is Palladia, which gave us an awful scare last night with weakness in his remaining hind leg. He is still very weak today, even though he has not had a dose since Saturday. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it is the Palladia and now that we are off he will bounce back!!

    It sounds like you and Butchey had a rough August so I’m glad your September was better. Butchey sounds like a real fighter!! I hope you are all still doing well.

    1. Hi Catherine,
      This is why we do the blog – So I am so glad you replied. Thank you! When we started this journey, anything we found that was relevent and similar to our dog’s diagnosis we found invaluable. It took about 2 to 3 weeks to see a real improvement after being off the Palladia. It works really well for some dogs, but we just didn’t get lucky with it. I hope Charlie is feeling better very soon!!!

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