Tigra is a 9 1/2 year old Pitbull diagnosed with Stage IV-V Lymphoma.
tigra came into my life, at the exact moment when i needed her most. she was the sweetest, cutest pitbull puppy, and her sweet cuddly personality made her even more irresistible. she was about 11 weeks old, and she quickly became my shadow and my constant companion. she went everywhere with me. the bond was established from day one.
we have been thru every single up and down together over the past 9 1/2 yrs. divorce, car accidents, illnesses, and a move to a place where i knew not one soul.
the day that i noticed the lumps in her neck, my heart stopped. i knew what this was, but still was hoping the vet would say differently. on friday feb.24, 2012 her diagnosis came in… i was referred to a vet in my town that did chemo, and i was able to get an appt that monday. we discussed everything and being that she was healthy still – eating, drinking, playing, and all her normal activities. there was no question of whether or not i would treat. this vet wanted us to see an oncologist that she works closely with. he is over 2 hrs away – but it was necessary to get him on board with tigras case. the oncologist appointment was the very next day. so we were up early and drove to the specialty hospital to see the oncologist and get all her testing done. i knew tigras spleen was already involved, i could feel that it was swollen in her abdomen. but like i said she was still very healthy. the oncologist examined her and said she looked great, weight was good, and she definitely was a healthy happy girl. she was staged at IVa. which is where i expected her to be staged at. we discussed her protocol – and she was going to get her first chemo treatment that day… Then my whole world crashed !!!! the oncologist had went in to get tigras first chemo treatment done, and not even 5 min later walked back out to me with a very strange look on her face. she simply said something has changed. i couldn’t breathe !! they took me back into a room and told me tigra was bleeding internally and dying !!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!! NOO this was not happening… she was healthy, we were going to be going home soon. this was not happening!!
i had 5 minutes to decide if she lived or died… in 1 min i screamed NO SHE IS NOT DYING LIKE THIS!!!! SAVE HER !!! they let me see her for a minute before she went into surgery. she was soo cold. inside her ears were blue, her gums and tongue were white. but she wagged her tail when i walked in. i kissed her and looked into her eyes and told her its not her time. that she could get thru this. again her tail wagged. i was brought back to the room we were in and i was on the floor in a fetal position hysterical, knowing that my girl was in for the fight of her life. thank goodness my mother had driven us up there, i would never have been able to deal with this alone. my entire family knows this dog is my world… this could not happen.
the surgeon came out almost 3 hrs later to let me know how things went. they were not good. they lost her twice while on the table, but this amazing dog rallied herself back. she lost 3/4 of her blood and required 2 double whole blood transfusions, plus a plasma transfusion. her spleen had completely ruptured, she did not have much time left at all when they got in there to get the spleen out. the surgeon cautioned me that they really couldn’t say if she was going to make it thru the nite. it was now about 10 pm, i was 2 1/2 hrs from home and my soul was fighting for her life. i was not leaving that hospital !!!! around 11pm they allowed me to see her. she looked so weak. but her eyes fixated on me. she knew i was there even tho she was heavily drugged up. again i kissed her and told her … ur a strong girl, u have soo much living to do still. i couldn’t stay with her, but when i walked away from the ICU i was numb! i couldn’t absorb what this day had turned into. i was now having to worry about her crashing thru the nite.
the next morning they told me she had a good nite and that she had gotten up and when they opened her cage she wanted to come out. she actually pooped on the floor !! they were amazed ! when i got in to see her, i could not believe my eyes. she stood up, wagged her tail and came out and laid back down on my lap. she licked my mom, she licked my face and then took a nap. i laid there with her for almost 3 hrs. i knew then she was going to be ok. i finally felt ok about going home ( 2 1/2 hrs away ) i basically went home and slept and then drove my mom’s car back up there to see her. that day as i waited for them to call me back – my miracle happened!! she came strolling out on a leash with the tech and she was smiling from ear to ear. her big pitbull grin was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen. i was allowed to take her outside for a walk, i knew that this girl was a fighter and was not going to let any of this stop her from living her life… she still had a lot of lizards to catch. we walked and talked and walked some more…we then went back inside and we spent the next 2 hrs in a visitation room. she ate for me and drank water and we took a nap together… by the next day – she was going to be coming home. the entire staff at VSH of the carolinas is amazed at the strength of this dog. just 2 1/2 days prior, she was dying! and now she was back to her happy go lucky herself and going home.
so that next day she got her first chemo treatment. and we were on our way HOME!!! my life was complete again.
then the reality of finances hit me. i am disabled and collect a small monthly check to rely on. i never ever in my wildest dreams thought i would be dealing with the nightmare we just went thru. how on earth was i going to pay for any of this. my ex husband helped with her surgery and i had a small availability on care credit. we decided that my vet here in my town would do most of her chemo treatments and once a month i would go to the oncologist for her adriamycin treatment, full check up, and whatever testing she may need.
so long story short… she is now into her 7th week of treatment. she has not had one side effect, has been in remission since the 3rd week and has not skipped not one beat of enjoying here life. i know with all of my heart that every decision i have made regarding tigra’s health in the past 2 months were absolutely the right ones. she wants to live and she has proved that to me beyond and doubt i may have had. she is happy, healthy and loving every second of her life ( and her food bowl lol )
if it were not for canine cancer awareness, i don’t know how i would be able to pay for the treatments at the oncologist. when we go to her next appt up there, i can breathe a lot easier knowing that the kindness and generosity of the donors and canine cancer awareness have helped… i can not begin to put into words how much it means to me. thank you thank you thank you !!!!!!!!!!!
the greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress, can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated. GANDHI
The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $500 to help pay the costs of Tigra’s treatments. Please help Tigra receive the treatment that she needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Tigra will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Tigra’s vet.
To help sponsor treatment, you can click on the PayPal donate button below or send a check to:
Canine Cancer Awareness, Inc.
44 Devoe Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
DONATIONS FOR TIGRA: