Chaos has completed his 10 radiation treatments. For the first week there was no observable change in his behavior or symptoms. By the weekend, however, his energy level had bottomed out. He did nothing but sleep for the majority of the time. When he did move, you could tell it took considerable strength. His breathing became worse. Ragged. When he slept his snoring could be heard throughout the house. I was terrified but the doctors assured me that what he was going through was absolutely normal. The tumor’s first reaction to radiation treatment is to swell, causing the increase in symptoms we observed. He was tired because a) he was being put under every afternoon and b) MedVet allows their patients to roam free in the back room. So when he wasn’t under, Chaos was playing with the other dogs and interacting with the staff. The combination of both tuckered the old guy out.
Acute side effects are starting to show up. He has developed ulcers in his mouth and cannot eat hard foods. To combat the side effects, the doctors have placed him on Prednisone, Cephalexin, and Tramidol. We rinse his mouth twice a day with an oral gel.
His appetite has certainly been affected. Corgis are known as the Hoovers of the dog world, and Chaos has always been a prime example of that. We’re trying to spice up his diet but have not yet found anything that will make him eat more that a few bites of his meal. He is drinking well, however, so there is that.
Per the doctors, the side effects are going to get far worse before they get better. We can expect them to peak sometime in the next week. To protect Chaos from making things worse, we have put an e-collar around him. He is not a happy Corgi.
The doctor’s current prognosis is “good to guarded”. Already we’ve seen some relief from the tumor. Chaos is breathing a little bit easier. The mucus that was clogging his upper sinuses has run out. The other morning he even bounced around like his old self and played fetch for a while (this was, of course, prior to the e-collar being added to his life). It is these brief flashes of his old self which give me hope.
We will be taking Chaos in for checkups once a week until the side effects are healed. There is no way to gauge how long the treatment will keep the cancer at bay. We can only wait, see, and try to make Chaos’s quality of life the best it can be.