Dog with non--Hodgkin's Lymphoma

I am a 35 year old woman, who is now separated. I never had children. I work full time in a large department store. I never used marihuana much in my teen years, it just didn't do much for me, but my husband is a every day recreational user. My story isn't about me or my husband, its about our golden retriever Buddy. He had been acting odd for a few days and he hadn't 'been eating, and Buddy lived to eat!!!!! So we went to his vet and they thought he had a tooth that needed to come out, so we scheduled it for February 28, 1997. He continued to drink his water, but he wasn't his usual happy go lucky self. On Feb 28, I dropped him off at 8 am they were going to have to sedate him, to take a look around. At 10:30 am his vet called and said Buddy had died on the table, but they were able to resuscitate him, but we needed to get him to a specialist in Seattle, that they had taken some x rays and found a mass. So we got him to the specialist as fast as we could, and he told  us what it might be, but they needed to do tests first.

When we got the results, I was terrified for my baby. I didn't have children, he was my child! It was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The specialist gave us some options, and what the side effect were. We decided to go with the traditional form of chemo. He would receive an injection of Vincristine one every three weeks and he was prescribed cytoxin, he took one pill a day for four days, in three-week intervals.

He had his first appointment a week later, our vets had to get the medication.

He did so well, he laid so still and got his IV and never flinched once. After we went to McDonalds and he had a cheeseburger, I then went and got his cytoxin. He did great the first night, but I guess once the pills got into him, he started to feel sick. Buddy was a very happy dog and you could tell he was. So when he started acting down we knew he was felling sick from the drugs. I have always been a big supporter of medical rights to any drug that works. So that night, my husband blew some smoke into Buddy’s face, he didn’t think too much at first, but he did ok. It seemed to help right away. After some time Buddy got used to it, you could see him inhale and exhale the smoke. When he felt poorly he would sit in front of my husband, he knew his dad would make him feel better. It was incredible to see the effect it had on him. Buddy kept up his appetite and his spirits were always high. With a dog, we were never offered anything else to help him deal with the sickness of the drugs. So we had our own method, we never told his doctors because we didn’t know how they would feel about "our" method. We lost the fight to cancer on February 18, 1998. He had fought long and hard, we were told most cancer dogs live about 2 months with chemo; my Buddy made it almost a year. I truly believe it was from the marihuana; he kept up his appetite and his spirits. When Buddy died he weighed 111 lbs, he had actually gained a few pounds. He wasn’t a fat dog, but he really was a big boy, he stood tall and was very prideful. He never lost his hair and I was blessed to have had such a spirit in my life.