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Griffin's Journey

Dec 26

Griffin and I were lucky enough to have an extended stay with my godchildren this month where we experienced the first snow of the season!  Griffin has always loved the snow and I was so happy to see him romping with the kids.  During our visit, Griffin also  supervised virtual learning, went for walks in the foggy park, took some well-deserved naps, toured the neighborhood to check out the Christmas decorations, guarded the children while they were sleeping, and learned a bit about playing rugby.

After returning to NYC, Griffin had an oncology appointment on December 23, 2020, where chest x-rays showed that unfortunately, his lung metastasis has continued to progress.  Griffin had been taking cyclophosphamide (metronomic chemotherapy) for 7 weeks, so the growth of existing tumors and new ones signaled that the chemo was not working.  I made the decision to change Griffin’s metronomic drug to chlorambucil, which will be his 5th type of chemo.  Griffin tolerated very well 3 of the 4 previous chemo drugs (carboplatin, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide), so I feel comfortable giving a new one a try.  If there are any signs that he is not doing well (as occurred with palladia when he stopped eating), I will immediately stop.  It is possible that the chemo is having no effect, but it is also possible that the chemo is slowing the growth of the lung tumors and in the meantime, doing something feels better than doing nothing.  Aside from the x-rays, Griffin exhibits no side effects from the lung tumors.  The oncology team said that his breathing sounded good (no wheezing or crackles) and he is still active, playing fetch and walking a mile each day.  I was recently reminded (thanks, Rene!) that very little about Griffin’s tripawd journey has been normal, and I’m holding onto that true statement with hope that he will continue to defy the odds.

One new medical concern is a cough that Griffin developed about a month ago that his oncologist believes is related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  The cough is a hacking, non-productive cough that ends with Griffin gagging and swallowing.  It never occurs when he is active and almost always occurs when he has been lying flat for a period of time.  The episodes are short (5-10 seconds) and occur 6-7 times a day at their worst.  His oncologist first recommended famotidine (Pepcid, 20mg/day), which worked well for about a week (reducing his coughing episodes to 1-2 times per day) before the cough resumed at the previous levels.  We added omeprazole (Prilosec, 20mg/day) a few days ago and it seems that the combination of the 2 drugs is having a positive impact.  I also try to elevate his head when he is sleeping on the floor (my mom sent Griffin a 2-foot long Lamb Chop stuffie, which works great as a pillow!) and I feed him 3 smaller meals each day.

In the meantime, Griffin and I continue to enjoy every day we have together.  He was able to frolic in the NYC snow for a day after we returned, making a few snow angels and leaving 3-legged paw prints along our walk.  He loves spending time with his bestie, Murphy (a mini-goldendoodle), racing to see who is first in getting to the ball that Murphy’s mom endlessly throws for them.  Our Christmas was a quiet one with just the two of us at home, but with the results of my most recent covid test back quickly, we are heading to Buffalo, NY tomorrow to see my mom, sisters, and nieces whom we haven’t seen in a year.

Griffin and I hope that your holidays have been filled with peace and love, and that 2021 brings good health and great joy to you and your loved ones!

2 comments so far

  1. pittens
    7:35 pm - 12-28-2020

    Hi so very special and beautiful to see this. Hope you both are well. logged in to check in on everyone and you!

  2. steveh
    2:10 am - 1-4-2021

    Hi Stacy and Griffin, I’m glad you guys are enjoying every minute, Griffin is such a trooper and special guy. Ziva and I will keep you guys in our thoughts and prayers, and hope the treatments will give you both happy and many more years together.
    Remember we are watching and praying for all good. God bless and let’s have a better 2021. Steve & Z

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