Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Good Run

Charlie was diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma (and a soft tissue sarcoma) in November 2015 and has been receiving treatment since then at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, a veterinary clinic in Vancouver, WA with a great oncology team. We ended up there because they were the first clinic that could see Charlie, but I can't stress enough how happy we've been with his care there.  Now I would never choose to go anywhere else.

They're open 24x7x365, so whenever there's a problem, they're available.

They have board-certified vets in a host of specialties who call in each other as necessary. When his oncologist thought Charlie's face looked a little swollen, she called in their dentist for a look. Later it was easy for them to plan and coordinate the necessary extraction around his chemotherapy.

All the doctors we've seen there (surgeon, dentist, oncologist) are knowledgeable, helpful, and very generous with their time, answering questions and discussing options.  Charlie's oncologist, Dr. McMahon, has been wonderful with him (and with us), and Charlie agreed -- when we had discussions with her in a treatment room, he was always milling around her, wanting to be petted, and she always obliged.  And the proof of her work is that treatment has held this aggressive cancer at bay for a year, an unexpectedly wonderful result.

Not least by far, everyone from receptionists to veterinary technicians/assistants to doctors at CRVS is SO kind. Typically for chemotherapy, for example, people drop off their pets in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. Charlie being (sensitive, phobic, cage-bolter) Charlie, we asked if we could hang out with him in the waiting room on those days, and they readily agreed. They always set out a bed (with his NAME on it!), and coordinated the labs, scans, and treatment so we could get through everything in a few hours.  When he had to be dragged go in "the back", the oncology team let him run loose in their special lab room so he wouldn't have to be caged.


I really can't say enough good things about the doctors and staff at CRVS!

Sadly for us now, after a year of success, the chemo has quit working. Happily for Charlie, though, fun car rides don't end up at the vet anymore, where he has to be dragged in the back.


Hopefully we have a few more months together. Now, more than ever, we're making every day with Charlie count.



Patient Charlie


Tuesday, January 10, 2017