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Daphne's journey

Chronicling Daphne's fight against bone cancer

Daphne's journey

Step 3: Chemotherapy

December 29th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

There is a lot of controversy about Chemotherapy.   I  have to say that it doesn’t scare me as it does some people.   I have an almost religious awesome of the resilience of life.  If you can survive it, you can heal it.  I think she had the stereotypical chemo called carboplatin.  It attacks and kills fast growing cells like cancer.   Alas, the body makes other fast growing cells like every cell that lines your digestive tract from your mouth to your pooper, hence why digestive upset like nausea and diarrhea are so bad during chemo.  Another group of fast growing cells: your immune system, especially when an invading microbe horde is attacking your body and if you are wondering how often that happens?  Pretty much always.

Anyway, as we were driving back to the OVC in Guelph, I was curious about Daphne’s reaction when we returned to the place where she had suffered so much trauma.  She was all happy to be out and about until we turned off for Guelph and then she tried to hide.  Unfortunately for Daphne the only thing in the back with her was a Kleenex box.  I won’t keep you in suspense.  I found her.  As I pulled her out of the van, I realised that I had forgotten her leash.   Oh well, I thought, I have to hold up her bumper and when her collar is 4 feet in front of you, how helpful can a leash be.


Especially when your dog really, really, REALLY doesn’t want to go through the doors of the OVC.  We kept doing circles.  I  would go to the door throw it open, run quickly to her backend, help her balance and try to herd her through the door.  She would then say, “Oh hell NO!” and circle.  Finally, I spy one of those door opener buttons.   (I don’t know who invented them but YOU ROCK !!!)  So on our 4th or 5th circle, I hit the button just in time to head off her 5th or 6th circle and we were in.

So Daphne and I were in the waiting room  and she was freaking out.  Now this is where I answer the question I have been asked since buying my 1st Dane.  Why such a big dog? Most Dane owners will tell you that whatever brought them to discover the breed, what turns Dane owners into fanatics is their personalities.   Daphne was freaking out.  I could tell by the expression on her face but her actions?  She was lying down as quietly and as sweetly as ever.  When the oncology technician came to collect her she even commented on how calm she was.   I said “wait until you take her pulse.  She’s freaking.   I’ll bet you her heart rate is easily 170-180 beats per minute.”  The technician looked doubtful but when she brought her back, she said I was right.   She also told me that normally it takes two technicians to administer the chemo – even with the little guys.  But Daphne was so quiet and well behaved that only one technician was required.

And if I may be a proud mama for a moment, it’s one thing for a dog to be quiet and  well behaved when there are no distractions and they are in a familiar environment.   But Daphne was terrified, away from me, away from home, with a strange person who was doing strange things to her that probably made her feel sick and yet, she was a model citizen!

That is why I own a Dane!

And I am so darn proud of her.   She has endured so much and has done it with grace and patience and a trust so deep, so true and so unshakeable that it leaves me dumbstruck.  I know 999 out of 1000 humans couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t do it.  She hasn’t even whimpered.  She hasn’t growled or barked.  I mean she’s not perfect.   She’s not good at taking pills … or doors but she’s shown me a whole new definition of the word warrior.   A kind and non-violent warrior who’s courage and strength is undeniable.

She may be “just a dog” to the rest of the world but for me, she has been a teacher of everything that really matters.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • otisandtess

    Laughing hysterically at your description of getting in the door! This is much harder when they hate going.😕

  • rmmom

    YES the auto door opener thing IS a blessing! Used it just today while trying to wrestle my dog in for his chemo. Your last line is everything.

  • c1nicolei

    Hugs to you both! She is a beautiful girl. So glad you are her advocate and saving her precious life. Hoping she has the success Sarge has been blessed with. ❤️

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