Time for a long awaited Otis update. The old guy has made an unrivaled comeback. We went to spend some more money at the vet this week and were told that the way Otis is responding to treatment, he might just hang around for years to come. There is still no sense in doing surgery on the primary tumor since we have conclusive evidence that the cancer has spread about his body, but there's no telling how long his body will continue to function properly as long as the herbs keep doing the trick. And also, as I was lectured in a very nice way, the power of positive thinking goes a very long way. Doc told me that there's a huge difference in the health of the pets of people with a positive outlook versus the crabapples who whine, moan, worry and complain. His point to me was to stop fretting over whether Otis had two days, two weeks or two years and just be happy with the time we got. I told you Dr. J was a straight shooter. Then he brought out his camera and took our picture for a case study!
Anywho, here are some snaps and a breakdown of what all these herbs are all about. I'm no doctor, and I don't even play one on TV, so don't hold me to the facts, but I believe what I'm about to explain to be true.
NATURAL HYDROCORTISONE aka, Steroids. Natural steroids, not anabolic, which means Otis won't be gunning for the Tour De France this year, after all. I think this particular steroid comes from the adrenal glands of cows. There is nothing synthetic, which means Otis' head won't grow even bigger than it already is, and he won't be prone to temper tantrums and questionings on Capitol Hill. Natural Hydrocortisone is credited with stabilizing and breaking down the Mast Cell Tumor, and preventing the histamines from having their way with poor Otis. Without this miracle pill, Otis would already be marking territory in dog heaven.
Neoplasene combats swelling and histamines, which were the cause of all the swelling in the first place. It wasn't the tumor itself that caused Otis' 3am visit to the emergency room, it was the histamines that were being fired out of the tumor that caused it. Most likely, it was the needle biopsy of the tumor that angered it and caused it to react. For Otis, it was akin to having an allergic reaction to a bee sting. In hindsight, it would have been wise to start Otis on the steroids immediately after the biopsy, just in case the histamines went on a tear, which they did, and is why Otie woke me up in the middle of the night as if to say, "Uh, WTF, daddio?"
Also, Neoplasene slows growth of cancer. As it was explained to me, normal cells die off and are replaced by new ones. A tumor is basically a cell that won't die. That's a bad thing. So Neoplasene works to break the tumor down and possibly die.
Lotus is like newly fallen snow on a mountain the night before the skiers arrive - it's fresh powdery goodness. It's also the Chinese herb formula that Dr. Judkins concocted about six years ago after Otis' first go 'round with these pesky Mast Cell Tumors. We had Otis on Lotus for about a year before we decided he could survive without. Now that the cancer is back, he's back on and will stay on for the duration. This particular concoction is derived from old Chinese formulas, and prepared specific for Otis' pattern of symptoms, so says the good doctor. Again, tumors are stagnant, and this formula is meant to create energy in the tumor in order to treat the stagnation and possibly break it down, even.
This one is no fun but very important. It's no fun because twice a day I have to stick two dropperfuls into Otis' mouth completely against his will. It was easier when he had no energy to object, but now that he does I usually end up squirting it on the floor, my pants, the back of my hand, the wall, or in his eye. Anywhere but his mouth, it seems. The tincture is detox in case the tumor is actually breaking down. It cleans out toxins and makes him feel better. Of course, that's just my side of the story. Based on the whole experience of injecting it, he might tell you otherwise.
Next post we will cover Otis' diet and how he eats like a freaking king.