Lymphoma of the Stomach — Jack, David and Helen

As I was doing the research or my book, I had the opportunity to speak with David, whose dog, Jack, was diagnosed with lymphoma of the stomach, specifically T-cell lymphoma, which is a more aggressive cancer than the more common B-cell lymphoma.  David and Helen had adopted Jack from the Humane Society when he was about six months old.  At about age 2-3 years, Jack started a habit of eating grass and then would throw it up inside.  When the vomiting became more frequent, David took Jack to their veterinarian, and began to research nutrition himself.  For several months, he tried a variety of different diets to see if that would have any effect, and nothing did.

So, the veterinarian recommended that they do an ultrasound of Jack’s stomach; this revealed that there was a thickening of the stomach wall.  Follow-up included a biopsy, which provided the diagnosis of cancer.  The next stop was the veterinary oncologist, who recommended chemotherapy, specifically the Madison Wisconsin protocol.  This protocol has a high success rate, and is quite commonly used to treat lymphomas.  A second opinion was sought and helped to determine that the cancer was in an early stage.  The chemotherapy treatment was begun in mid-March 2011 and Jack was in remission a short month later.

Once Jack completed the full protocol, they began monthly visits to the veterinarian for blood work and vitals and visits to the oncologist every two months for an ultrasound.  He had a clean bill of health and went back to his normal self.  By December, Jack started vomiting again, and David was diligent about monitoring Jack’s behavior and diet.  Unfortunately, the cancer had returned and Jack started a second round of chemotherapy treatment, which he completed in September 2012.  Since then, Jack has been doing great!  He continues to visit both his veterinarian and the veterinary oncologist for follow-ups, and he remains cancer free.

I had the honor of meeting Jack, Helen and David at my book signing in March of 2013 — it was so great to meet the families who shared their stories with me.  Here we are at the March 2013 book signing at Northwest Cellars in Kirkland, WA.

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