Rocky's Chemo

Our family's story: In 2008 we brought home Rocky a tiny bull mastiff with huge paws and an even bigger personality. Everyone that has met him since falls in love with him! He sits at the table like a human and is super protective over my 3kids. For those of you that aren't familiar a bull mastiff's lifespan is roughly 7-9 years. About 2 years ago he stopped being as active and his fur started turning gray. I was terrified that I was losing my best friend. After an expensive load of tests and vet visits, 2 pills a day fixed his thyroid and he was like a pup again. Shortly after his eyes started to bother him. He wouldn't really open them and always had alot of tears. The first vet we took him to said surgery to fix it could make him blind and to just "keep an eye on it." Almost exactly a yr ago Rocky had a little growth on his armpit. I took him to have it checked and they advised me to have it removed and do the eye surgery to remove his eyelids altogether. The whole process cost about $3000 but my dog could see again. When he went to get his stitches out some weeks later he had a reaction to the anesthesia and had to have them back in for a few weeks. He eventually healed well. Fast forward to this past March one morning my stepdog Oreo didn't want to get up and wouldn't eat anything. Something wasn't right so we rushed her to my regular vet. The doctor spent about 2 minutes looking her over and told me to rush her to avets she couldn't explain what was wrong but my dog was dying. A tumor had ruptured into her spleen and she was bleeding out. They are both wonderfully sweet senior dogs. They advised me that even with surgery she was likely not to make it and if she did she was likely to have only a few more months with us. We drained all of my credit cards and proceeded anyway. $8000 and some kennel cough for both dogs later and she was back to her normal self. Results from pathology took a few weeks but we were truly blessed to get the news that the tumor was not cancerous and she would most likely have a regular lifespan. Her and Rocky are best friends and she is doing really well. My world was shaken again in July. I took Rocky to the vet to check up on his thyroid where the vet noticed a very large tumor in his scrotum. We set up the surgery to have it removed and tested. That was only $800. Whew! We were supposed to have results in less than a week. Going on 2 weeks with no results I was calling them twice a day and panicking. Then the call came and Rocky watched me receive the news as if he knew what my vet was telling me. It was cancerous and it has already spread to his blood stream. It is looking for somewhere else in his body to thrive. He needed to see an oncologist asap for staging and more diagnostics. At his first appointment they fully explained all of his results and his treatment plan. A seminoma (germ cell tumor of the testes) is relatively uncommon. They explained that there isn't much data to reference since its such a rare case but with any luck chemotherapy could do a great deal to stop it from migrating or progressing. We started the therapy that day and he is to receive 4 more doses of the carboplatin chemotherapy once every 3 weeks on top of blood testing almost weekly and ultrasounds every few months. That first appointment and round of therapy was $1400. They could only estimate my future costs at about $500 for each round. Its almost a week past his first dose and he is doing really well but my resources are exhausted. I am due to pay off the last of Oreo's surgery through carecredit in October to avoid the deferred interest (still owe $1920) but I'm truly struggling to manage this $1200/month mortgage, credit card bills and vet bills. I'm not sure where the rest of this money is going to come from. I can't lose my dog or my house. I've never been this financially concerned in my life. I really don't know how to make these ends meet but I know I have to try. Rocky means so much to this family and the vet really wants to document all of his data since his case is so rare. Please help me save my dog and potentially any other dogs that present in the future with this type of cancer. Any help would be appreciated. Even if you can't donate please share. Anything helps! Rocky is the most loved dog I've ever met and he deserves to live comfortably. Thank you!


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Nichole Glenn 
Monroeville, PA
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