Luci has Lymphoma

$3,899 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 90 people in 6 months
All I want to do is make it possible for Luci, my best friend, partner in crime and furry lifeline, to receive the medical care she needs for her lymphoma.

This is Luci. 
She's just barely 8 years old and weighs about 7lbs, but in that short amount of time, this tiny force of nature has saved my life a thousand times over.  She's literally the most important thing in my life.  
Luci and I do everything together.  She's my constant companion.  She keeps me balanced, helps calm my anxiety, and more than that, she makes me laugh.  She's been with me through moves to three separate states, flown cross-country multiple times, and been with me through new jobs, new adventures, and new locations.
She's also the mascot of my cooking blog and website, The Necro Nom-nom-nomicon. 
She acts as a breed ambassador, encourages conversation with visitors to the site, responds to their emails and letters, and 'authors' her own section dedicated to homemade pet treats and projects.  She's a goof, and truly enjoys her time in the spotlight.
Luci is more than just a clown who brightens my day.  She's also a Navy certified and authorized PTSD service dog.  As a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq and a survivor of a deliberately set house fire, I was badly adrift and needed an anchor.  Luci became that anchor, helping to smooth the rough spots in my life, and making it possible for me to sleep at night without screaming bouts of terror.  Luci keeps me sane and makes it possible for me to ignore the demons that haunt my nights.
Unfortunately, right now Luci is battling her own demons, in the form of lymphoma. 
She's already undergone a massive surgery that split her open from chin to tail and resulted in the removal of her entire spleen. 
She's recovered beautifully, but there's still treatment to undergo in the form of chemotherapy and follow up screening.
Her initial surgery cost over $4500, and her continuing treatment is going to cost around $2500 more.  While it may seem expensive, she's worth every penny a million times over.
Luci is a fighter, and she's already proven that she's ready to keep moving forward after her surgery.
A chihuahua has a lifespan average of about 15 years, so she's not even halfway through her life.   She's too young and has too many things left to do in this life to have it cut short by a treatable disease like this.  To be honest, I'm not sure what I'll do if I can't keep her around longer.   I'm not ready for this disease to beat my best friend. 
I'm looking only to cover the costs of her medical treatment so I can pay back the money I borrowed and continue to treat her so I might be able to keep my best friend around for as long as possible.  

Because I don't believe in getting something for nothing, I'm including thank you gifts for those of you who donate.

If by some miracle we go over the amount we need for her treatment, all extra funds will be donated to Puppy Pipeline, a non-profit dedicated to transferring dogs from high-kill shelters to no-kill shelters, thereby ensuring that adoptable dogs get the time they need to find loving, permanent homes.

Thank you...from the both of us.

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Today's update is an update over 6 months, 30 vet visits, one huge surgery and countless rounds of blood draws, tests, and treatments in the making...and there's no way we could have come this far without all your help, love and support.
Today was Luci's very last chemo session!
To celebrate, we made sure she had the right outfit (thank you, Mom!).
Luci tolerated her last treatment with grace and dignity, even when faced with having to have all four of her little legs subjected to pokes as they looked for a single remaining vein that would work.
Her doctor and her technicians are the true heroes in this story, remaining calm and compassionate through all our treatments, my occasional panicked phone calls with redundant questions, and the occasional barrage of ridiculous homemade treats (anatomically correct chocolate hearts for Valentine's day was our favorite so far.)
We followed up this final treatment with a feast fit for a true fighter. Luci chowed down on a cheeseburger, milkshake, small order of fries and vanilla cupcake. While Luci is grateful her chemo is over, I do know she'll be missing all these bi-weekly treats (her vet says she's one of the few patients she's ever had who actually gained weight during chemo!)
While our current regiment of treatments (and our junk food binging) is officially over, we're still on the schedule for long-term care and monthly visits with our oncologist to make sure that she stays problem free. We get a month off for now to relax, lay in the sun and soak up spring, and really celebrate her continued good health and then will be back May 1st for an abdominal sonogram and our first full post-chemo blood panel.
Of course, we wouldn't be here without all your help. Thank you all so much for making this journey with us. It's not over yet, but I'm hoping the hard stuff is done and everything after this is routine and easy.
From us to you, we're sending stinky kisses and tiny tail nub wags.

Getting ready for the final round
Post chemo celebration feast!
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We're on the final countdown (cue epic music now) for Luci's chemo!
Today we were back in the vet's office after some much needed time off, ready and eager (okay, maybe not eager) to continue our treatments.
Luci got another round of vincristine via IV, which, considering the fact her tiny hamster legs and veins are tired from all this poking and prodding, went pretty well. Unfortunately, it does look like this is the last time they'll be able to use her back left leg as there's just too much scar tissue built up in there now for them to get a good line into her. That leaves us 3 legs...and 3 treatments, so hopefully, our math works out and she'll be able to finish out without too much trouble.
Regardless, she was a trooper and even managed to give both the doctor and the tech kisses at the end of the visit, which, considering how much she hates all this stuff, says a lot for her spirits (and a lot about how amazing and kind her medical team is!)
She ended up with another hot pink bandage which she is wearing with pride and another 2 weeks off until our next visit on the 6th of March.
We're in the home stretch!
Also, I'm sharing a side by side comparison photo with you all this week. Luci on the left is from October 2017, just 5 days after her splenectomy to remove the tumor that started all this. The surgery not only saved her life but shaved over a pound off her overall weight. Now, just a little over 3 months (and numerous milkshakes) later, that fat little tummy is back and this time it's full of love instead of lymphoma! Thank you all again so much for helping make this possible.
See you all in 2 weeks!
Fat tummy!
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Hello and happy Tuesday! We enjoyed relaxing last week with our off week, but it's back to the vet today for another round of chemo.
Poor tiny dog had to endure the always dreaded IV vincristine, which meant 20 minutes of being quiet and holding still. To add insult to injury, the veins in her back legs have both been declared "off limits" due to overuse with the past treatments (the vet tech says they're hard as cement now!), which meant she had to have the IV in her front paw again.
To make up for it, we had our celebratory nuggets and milkshake (thank you again, Signe and Pickles for the milkshake fund!) and are back at work under the desk snoozing next to the heater.
For those of you who donated to her "Cooking with Luci" level, we have sent out all the packages and they should have all arrived by now. If not, let us know and we'll be happy to check the tracking numbers and see what is up.
And speaking of good news...we have just 5 sessions left! She is off again next week (whee!) so we'll be back with the vet in February to start the official countdown to the end. Hmm...we might have to throw a celebratory bash!
Hoping you all had a good week off as well.

Thank you again for all you have done for my best friend and me!

Poor paw!
Under the desk and eating nuggets.
Even at home, #deskdog helps me work!
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It's Tuesday and time for another Tiny Dog update! This one will be short and sweet as we've officially hit the point of repeating treatments (that means we're on the downward slope towards the end of her chemo!)
Today was another early morning visit to the vet. We had a rough start last week when her white blood cell levels came back too low for us to continue, but this week all levels were good and we were able to get our treatment!
We had a repeat of our least favorite treatment, the IV vincristine, which meant 20 minutes of being quiet and holding still, but she managed to make it through with no wiggling and even got a cute pink bandage on her tiny chicken leg! That calls for another vanilla shake! She's also been rewarded with another week off and we won't have to go back in until the 23rd!
Other than that, all is good in Tiny Dog land! The holidays are over and that means back to our usual routine of heading to work and sleeping under my desk all day.
I still have another round of thank you cards to send out, so if you haven't gotten one yet...they're coming! We also have finally received the last part of our thank you packages for the donors who so generously gave to the "Cook With Luci" level (and if you missed out, don't worry, we're working on a new reward!) and should be getting those out in the next few weeks as well!
Speaking of rewards, I spent some time inside while the weather was nasty making a tiny papercraft version of our favorite tiny terror. While I had fun, Luci doesn't seem to be overwhelmingly impressed with it. Oh well...
I've saved the pattern and if you're interested in your own copy, just shoot me a message and I'll email it to you! I'm still working on clear directions, but as soon as those are done, she'll be ready for download. :)
Anyway, here are some photos following today's treatment as well as Luci sitting next to her paper double.
Happy Tuesday!
Good girls get pink bandages!
A little post chemo shake to celebrate!
Luci is not impressed.
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Raised by 90 people in 6 months
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