I’ve been spending far too much time enjoying life with Orinoco to update his blog, and it’s hard to believe that next month will mark 2 years since his osteosarcoma diagnosis and amputation. So we’ve had ups and downs in that time – but so many more ups than downs. He’s had 2 more surgeries – to remove a lung lobe and tumour on his skin but we’ve also had road trips, holidays, lazy days together and many steak dinners!
Last November, after 5 months on metronomic chemo (Cyclophosphamide), Orinoco developed cystitis which took a few months to clear up then in January this year, a scan showed 2 deposits in his lung, they had been tracking them as the vets thought they presented as calcifications, but one had change appearance and they suspected it could be osteo. Since both deposits were in the same lung lobe, the vets recommended having the lobe removed. We went ahead with the operation which went without a hitch and Orinoco bounced back quickly like it had never happened.
We continued with the metronomic chemo (chlorambucil) after that, and had a clear scan of his lungs in April. His next scan was last month in August, where happily lungs continued to be clear. A week before the appointment we noticed a tiny lump by his hip, so while he was seeing the oncologists I asked them to have a look, assuming I was paying to have a pimple tested. But, it turned out to be osteosarcoma – who knew it spread to the skin, the nasty thing is full of surprises! He’s had the tumour removed and now back on carboplatin for a while to see how that goes.
Back in 2015 / 2016 he went through 12 rounds of carboplatin, and while it eventually failed given the tumour in his lungs, the metronomic has also failed with the tumour on his skin. We were offered doxorubicin, but he’s got an existing heart murmur so didn’t want anything that could impact his heart. At the end of the day, we are slowing progress of the disease and he does tolerate carboplatin well, so I guess time will tell. I bet everyone wishes for a crystal ball when it comes to making those decisions, and now with the time that has passed and the occurrence of osteo on the skin – there’s less research for the vets to use to make recommendations.
Who knows what the future holds, but for now things are looking good. Orinoco has made an appearance on Instagram @orinocopearce to post photos when he remembers.