Hi All,

We went to the vet this morning because Mocha's lymph nodes were swollen, it happened over night, the vet took some blood, we got Mocha to stop bleeding after 6 hours, turns out his platelet count is very low. The vet is going to refer Mocha to an oncologist on Monday, in the mean time I will monitor him closely.

Two things the vet and I can't figure out:

1.We don't know why his lymph nodes got so big in the last 24 hours?

2. How did his platelet count got so low? What exactly is causing his body to attack itself?

Please keep Mocha in your prayers. I feel like I heaven't been a good dad to him due to me being away - taking care of grandpa at the hospital :(

UPDATE#2 Apr 21 - 9:41pm

After consulting with 4 different emergency vets within the Toronto area, we have a new game plan and it is a double edge sword:

We will treat Mocha with Prednisone / Doxycycline.

if Mocha reacts to this treatment positively, we may just bought some extra time for him but at the same time murky the Lymphoma diagnosis for the Oncologist.

OR

Mocha reacts to this treatment well because it was truly due to a legitimate tick borne disease / other infection. 

On the other hand...

IF Mocha doesn't react to this treatment, he may not live pass this weekend. So, we've made the decision to do something rather than NOTHING at all. 

Thank you for all your prayers, I really appreciate it.

UPDATE#3 Apr 22 - 7:50am

I slept for 4 hours, only to find myself in tears typing this. Mocha never left my side, this is not his style, he's always been independent and choose to sleep wherever he wants. Every breathe he takes sounds like a loud snore due to the size his lymph nodes, it's comforting to hear he's alive yet it breaks my heart to hear him breathe like this.

My wife and I cried all night, at the back of our head we already know this could be Lymphoma, all the signs are pointing in this direction, I'm selfishly hoping its just a curable tick borne disease. A million thoughts went through my head, how could this happen so fast? It was only a couple of weeks ago I took Mocha to see grandpa, everyone was praising how handsome and smart he was. Lord, how much I would give to see my boy's signature smile again? I want to see that nub wagging again. Something is terribly wrong and my head is not ready to accept this reality.

What I'm witnessing right now is only the beginning, do I have the strength to walk down this path with my friend? How do I make sure I'm not doing this for my own selfish fantasy? I just want Mocha to feel no pain. Perhaps this is what heart break really feels like? God please give me the strength and wisdom. I'm supposed to host a brunch in 4 hours, how am I supposed to do this?

UPDATE#4 Apr 23 - 7:46am

Doxy and Pred are doing their job, Mocha's lymph nodes did calm down enough for him to breathe better. However, we are not out of the woods yet. Due to his platelet count being SO LOW, he does not meet the minimum requirement for chemo in the first place. The vet and I talked yesterday, he wants Mocha confined, he doesn't want him walked / bumped / bruised / due to possible internal bleeding. 

While I was entertaining guest / patting Mocha yesterday, my prayers were answered, I was able to catch a glimpse of his signature smile. It reminds me to appreciate the little things in life, treasure each moment because they are not forever.

I am at the hospital all day with Grandpa today, Mocha is at home with Vienna (my other corgi). I will talk to the vet sometime today, we'll determine what the next step is and when to take further tests because we can't do anything when Mocha can't stop bleeding.

I want to thank each one of you for writing, you have no idea how much it means to me and my wife (Silvia). We try to read them while we're on the go, sorry we may not be able to reply to all of them, but those comfort words do bring a smile to our face. Thank you once again and have a wonderful day!

 

UPDATE#5 Apr 23 - 6:34pm

Silvia just got off the phone conference with the vet / oncologist, cytology report came back - Mocha has Lymphoma :( Approximately 2 months to live. We will continue to limit his activity (avoid internal bleeding) and follow up with the vet tomorrow or later this week.

I overhead two chemo patients exchanging bucket lists on my lunch break today, their positive attitude and laughter changed my view.  Instead of drowning in sorrow, I will focus on Mocha's living quality and creating new memories with his remaining time.  "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" Proverbs 17:22

MyCorgi.com exist because we got Mocha back in 03, we wanted to create a friendly community for owners to help each other, Thank you for all your well wishes and private messages! I hope you will give an extra hug and kiss to your corgis today, live life and laugh :) 

PS: I'm open to bucket list suggestions :)

UPDATE 6 Apr 25 5:27am

I've been up since 4am, couldn't fall back to sleep.

I took Mocha back to the Vet for a check up yesterday, he is now anemic, which means the cancer had already spread to the bone marrow (stage 5 Lymphoma). His gum is losing its colour, he is bleeding somewhere in the GI tract, black tarry stool. We are still waiting for his latest blood platelet result, it'll be in today. 

From the outside Mocha is doing super, he had his signature smile when I let him sit in the front passenger seat, he loved watching the traffic, I snapped lots of pictures. He also love meeting new friends, I caught his nub wag yesterday at the vet, little gesture like that made my day.

While we were on our way to see grandpa last night, My wife and I started discussing euthanasia, its  not a topic we want to talk about but a much needed one. We didn't get too far, I was trying to hold back tears while driving, my wife was balling her eyes out. It was very hard putting our game face on for grandpa.

Grandpa was super high last night (anti-psych rx), he was in an exceptionally good mood, even advised us on helping Mocha with Chinese medicine. It's been a while since we had a good laugh at the hospital, a much needed one.

After we got home, my wife suggested we take pictures in our photo studio. Mocha and Vienna were smiling the whole time. I was holding Mocha while taking pictures but I can't seem to relax and smile for them. My wife picked up on it, I'm a terrible liar.

I have no problem falling asleep, but once I wake up in the middle of the night, I can't help but recheck Mocha's respiration rate, I jumped at any sound he makes. 

It's 6:10am, I need to get some sleep. 

UPDATE 7 Apr 27 9:18am

Grandpa was discharged from the hospital yesterday, so I have more time to take care of Mocha now. Blood work came back, platelet count is up, red blood cell is down (boo), white blood cell is up (boo). During the day time Mocha is quite normal, at night his respiratory rate kept us up. We know if it's greater than 30 breathe per minute = clear sign of distress, but it always gets better in the morning.

My wife and I have finalized Mocha's euthanasia plan, we will have it at the vets office instead of home, we did ask the vet about donating his body for education / medical research, but apprently U of Guelph don't need any this year. Public cremation is the choice we'll make and the total cost will be $2XX CDN. I'm so glad that we were able to talk about it and made the decision together, since the plan is now in place, we can focus on the spoiling now.

12:24pm

I just took Mocha out, he made a healthy colour poop, NOT black and tarry!!! I'm sure the neighbour thinks I'm crazy, weird asian guy dancing with a bag of poop :) YES, healthy poop makes me smile.

UPDATE 8 May 4th 12:04pm

Thank you for all your prayers and messages. Mocha is doing well, his respiratory rate is still a bit faster than I like, but his spirit is good. He is comfortable enough to sleep / roll on his back, put a smile on and look forward to everything we eat. We took him and Vienna to visit grandpa last week, he was back to his charming self and made the family smile :) 

Mocha is no longer on Doxy and we've also stopped using sulcrate + to line his stomach. Right now he's on Omeprazole once daily and Prednisone every 12 hours. Due to the pred's side effect, Mocha drinks and pees a lot, so I have to take him out every two hours, it reminds me of his puppy years.

We will take Mocha in for another blood work soon. wish us luck :)

UPDATE 9 May 15th 12:54pm

We just got back from the vet, he is very pleased with Mocha's progress and gave him the okay to the dog park.

Mocha is losing weight still, currently at 23lbs, we'll need to step up the spoiling and fatten him up, stat!

There must have been 50+ dogs at the park today, all the dog walkers are out. Mocha had a great time, did several chest bumps and messed with the big dogs :) (video)

The family will go camping @ Bruce Peninsula national park this weekend, it is Mocha and my favourite place.

this pic was shot 2 years ago.

Thank you for all your prayers and messages, we are doing ok, taking it one day at a time.

UPDATE 10 Jun 13th 9:52AM

 

We had a great time camping a few weeks back, here' a video for those who missed it.
Mocha is doing ok, appetite is good, his weight is stable, but still losing fat around his skull area, it feels very boney to the touch. He sleeps good, no obstruction in the airway, prednisone is doing its job.
I still walk him everyday for 1hr, however he looses coordination, stumbles at times , taking it slower on stairs, he cannot jump into our car on his own anymore.
Due to all the extra human food we give him, he's becoming more entitle and "daring", he snatched food off my hands several times, always giving me the smiles, hoping for more food.
2 weeks ago we invited the church youth group over for bbq, it was all good until they started feeding Mocha onion (destroy red blood cell), time after time we told them not to feed our dogs any human food, they ignored the warnings, sigh....so we had to induce vomiting on the spot / feed Mocha charcoal pills. Note to self: Some teenagers cannot be trusted. (boy i'm getting old)
I finally got around to get some Bacon, you can watch the video here. I think Mocha likes the sausage more, or may be he's saving the best for last?
We're having a father's day pool party this Sunday, Mocha was never a fan of water, so it'll be another day of yummy food.
LAST UPDATE: July 30th 8:46pm
 
I was cooking some chicken for Mocha this afternoon, Mocha came by and slept on my foot. I gave him a neck massage as usual, he took his last breath after several minutes. I held him in my arms for 2 hours, waited for my wife to come home. All the family members said their goodbyes.
It was peaceful, his eyes were open, with a smile on his face. I'm happy that his last moment was spent with me, it was all I ever prayed for.
I am lost for words right now, forgive me for taking some time off. Thank you for allowing me to share his stories with you.

The update continues on another thread... Aug 1st 5:58pm


Thank you so much for all your messages, our phones were beeping non stop from notifications. Your words brought tears to our eyes and we are filled with love.

 

I took Vienna to the vet yesterday, the cytology result came back today, she also has stage 5 Lymphoma. So this thread will continues and I'm starting another bucket list for Vienna as well.

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Replies to This Discussion

Sam, I am so sorry about Mocha.  I will continue to pray for him and your family.  I would like to lend support to Beth's suggestion above.  I am a microbiologist, with viral chemotherapy as my speciality.  When I first got out of grad school, I had the chance to work at a research institute exploring potential drugs to treat virus infection.  I continued that most of my career.  What was so shocking was the toxicity of the potential drugs for the animals without the infections. Even though I continued that type of work I have been investigating alternative therapies.  If you can find a good practitioner, I would at least explore alternatives.  There is lots of info on the internet but I know your time is limited.  If you have time, you might look at www.earthclinic.com.  A good deal of the info is from lay people who hadn't found the solutions needed through traditional medicine.

May God give you strength and wisdom.

Thank you Lois for your suggestions, I'm open to alternative therapies, thanks for the link!

Thank you Beth for your suggestions, we made him waffles last nite and some chicken today :) Thank you for your ideas as well, I have a human oncologist friend who may be able to give me some ideas on alternative treatment :)

I'm so very sorry for the latest news on Mocha.  He will be in our prayers and many warm hugs to you, Sylvia and Vienna. 

 

Thank you Steve! Appreciate the prayers!

THoughts are with you all....yes, enjoy every little thing..take lots of pictures..try to do your favorite things together

Thank you Jill :)

Poor Mocha and poor Sam and Silvia.  I will say a prayer for you all every day.  As for a bucket list.  Let the little guy do all the things he wasn't allowed to do and eat what ever he wants.  Belly rubs galore.  Peace to all of you.

Thanks Annemarie, I'm sure Mocha would love that :)

Mocha is an inspiration to everyone and like everyone has been saying, the legacy lives on with MyCorgi. This site has provided me with such comfort and support recently, and such vital information over the years... and I'm just one person. Mocha really is an angel in furbaby form, and I hope that your time together is filled with so much love and good energy. Do not think about the end, because Mocha will live forever through you and your family, as well as through every person and every corgi on this site. And you might get more time than you think.

Just cherish every moment, every smile, and every nub wiggle. Take lots of photos.. get professional ones done! And Costco does some amazing canvas prints.. get a sepia toned print of your favorite shot and have Mocha put his pawprints on it once its printed. Make a list of the little things he does.. it's the little things that creep up in my memory and make me smile so hard that it hurts.

And tell him every chance you get how you feel about him, even though he already knows. :-)

Thank you Miranda, I'm glad the site has provided you with comfort and support :)

My heart aches for you and Mocha, but it calms me to know that he has led a terrific life and is deeply loved and cherished by two wonderful owners. I admire your positive attitude throughout this ordeal. Enjoy the time you have left with your little angel! 

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