Talk to other owners
whose dogs have lymphoma
Other owners who have "been there" are your best source of emotional support and practical advice about the "at home" aspects of treatment. We hope this web site will serve as such a source. Berry’s foster parents put us in touch with Bill and Linda, who had spent a year treating Murphy, another rescue Golden. Although Murphy had a different type of cancer and was treated by a canine cancer specialist in a private practice, much of the course of drug therapy was the same. Bill and Linda knew the names of the drugs and could tell us how Murphy had reacted; it was from Bill and Linda that we began to grasp that the course of treatment is unpredictable.
More importantly, our emotional concerns were identical. We were asking the same questions that Bill and Linda had confronted a year earlier: Are we doing what is best for our dog, or are we doing this for ourselves? How can we evaluate what the doctors are telling us? If we start chemotherapy, how will we know when to stop? It was from Bill and Linda that we learned that sometimes there is no "right" answer – only an answer that is best for you and your dog.
Today we know we made a good decision: as a result of treatment, Berry has had an extended period of very high quality of life. But this path was not clear in early 2000 when we were faced with a depressed, weakened pet and a terminal diagnosis. Until we were admitted to the VHUP Oncology Service, we were concerned that doctors at a research facility such as VHUP might be too aggressive in their desire to treat. We didn’t know how much time to try treatment and worried that we might be keeping Berry alive for our own, and not his, best interest. See the discussion of Quality of Life in the Links.