Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 1682

Dot is finally home again. After spending an entire week in intensive care being poked with needles, hooked up to IV tubes, and being cut open by a surgeon, I think she is very glad to be back on familiar turf. The cancer center officially released Dot late this afternoon, sending her home with a big sack of meds, and special instructions on how to care for her for the next few days. She still isn't eating well, but her doctors thought that being back in familiar surroundings would encourage her to resume eating normally. So far, the plan seems to be working. Within two hours after returning home Dot ate a small can of Hills A/D Critical Care. I'm glad she seems to tolerate this special prescription diet, because as much as dogs would prefer cheeseburgers, bacon and fried chicken to help them get well, people food just isn't a good long term solution.

Dot has been through a lot this week and is very tired. After eating her small special dinner and surveying the house and yard to make sure everything was still there, she settled in on top of a soft pile of her favorite blankets in the living room and went to sleep. We'll go back to the cancer center on Saturday to get her surgical bandages removed and then two weeks later to get her stitches out. I'm hoping that is all we'll need to go back for. Assuming that everything goes well with her convalescence, the next major milestone will be getting the pathology report on the tumor that was removed. If the growth is not malignant, all Dot needs to do is continue her recovery and get healthy again. If the growth turns out to be cancerous, we'll have to come up with a plan of action. That can be dealt with later. Right now, the important thing is recovering from some very major surgery. We'll take things one day at a time.

While Dot was being evaluated by her doctors this afternoon, I paid a visit to my own doctors. They wanted to do another series of tests to determine if my Hepatitis C treatment was still working as expected. I keep waiting for a final thumbs up from these guys, but it appears I may never get one. When I asked whether the disease ever returns after this type of treatment, my doctor essentially said that nobody knows yet. I was among the first large scale group of people in the world to receive the new Sovaldi drug and there are no historical records to compare. I am one of the test cases that will ultimately determine whether Sovaldi works as well long-term as it does during the initial treatment phase. So far, the drug appears to be a home run. "You were real lucky to be included in this first batch of patients," my doctor told me. "Insurance companies are starting to deny coverage already because of the high price, and there is talk of reserving the drug for the most serious cases." Rationing a drug that actually works exactly as promised seems like a stupid idea to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is what the government decides to do. Why would you want to ration a pill that costs a small fraction of the price of a liver transplant and has none of the rejection issues or transplant side effects? At any rate, I'm glad I got approved for treatment before Sovaldi got on the evening news as the world's most expensive pill. Insurance companies hate it now.

I won't be going out to my breakfast restaurant tomorrow. We have a new schedule now. I'll walk Dash very early in the morning, while Janet is still home and getting ready for work. We want to make sure that one of us is there to watch over her at all times. We'll see how tomorrow goes. So far, Dot seems to be improving a little bit every day. Today was a very good day.

Molly is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day