Below is the timeline of significant events in Nunya’s journey through the cancer diagnosis and treatment. Still Updating.
April 2012 – Nunya starts sneezing frequently. The sneezes are clear, but it is uncommon for her so she goes to her regular vet. Hydroxyzine is prescribed to treat allergies, which is the suspected cause of the sneezing. The sneezing continues on a frequent basis for the next several months at a slowly increasing frequency.
08/30/2012 – The sneezing continues and Nunya goes to her regular vet again. Hydroxyzine and Cerenia are prescribed, with allergies still being the suspected problem.
09/20/2012 – Bloody nose night. Nunya started sneezing up a large amount of blood out of the left side of her nose, and the bleeding did not stop. Since this happened at night we took her to an after-hours animal ER clinic. The doctor there mentioned cancer as a possibility for the first time and referred us to get a CT scan. Blood work was done, which came back normal. Epinephrine was used to stop the bleeding.
09/21/2012– Nunya is referred to the North Houston Veterinary Specialists. They find a soft tissue mass in the nasal passage and request a CT scan/scope/biopsy be done. Nunya is prescribed Meloxicam as an anti-inflammatory, Tramadol for pain, and continue with antihistamines currently taking.
09/24/2012 – CT scan/scope/biopsy is performed. The CT scan finds a large tumor mass blocking most of her left nasal passage. A biopsy is sent off to determine if the mass is cancerous. Nunya has increased difficulty breathing with the left side of her nose being blocked. She starts reverse sneezing and seems stressed and panicked.
10/01/2012 – Biopsy results confirm the tumor is cancerous. Nunya is taken to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical School and admitted to the ER for an overnight stay and observation. Another CT scan and blood work is done to confirm the diagnosis.
10/02/2012 – We pick Nunya up from the ER and discuss the findings with the oncology department. It was confirmed she has a large nasal carcinoma in her left nasal passage. Treatment options are discussed and thoroughly explained. We decide to go forward with radiation treatment/tomotherapy, which will take 20 days to complete. Due to quick growth of the tumor and Nunya’s breathing difficulties, it is recommended to start treatment right away.
10/04/2012 – First day of radiation treatment. Nunya will go daily to A&M for the tomotherapy treatment. She is there for a few hours, then we bring her home at night.
11/01/2012 – Last day of radiation treatment. Nunya is thought to have done well and her breathing is much improved.
11/19/2012 – Follow-up visit at A&M. Nunya gets a good check-up. She is given Meloxicam as an anti-inflammatory and pain management medication.
11/21/2012 – A blood test revealed some concerns with Nunya’s liver. An ultrasound was conducted. Liver levels were higher than desired, however no obvious concerns were noted. Ursodiol and Denosyl were prescribed to help with liver function.
01/01/2013 – Nunya starts on chemotherapy – the pill Cyclophosphamide. She will be taking this along with Furosemide to help prevent the cancer from returning.
02/12/2013 – A CT scan is done at A&M to determine the results of the radiation treatment. The scan shows that almost the entire tumor is gone, with only trace spots present. Nunya is officially considered in remission from cancer.
05/15/2013 – Nunya has started having difficulty breathing again. She has some blood-tinged discharge from her left nostril. We took her to A&M for a check-up. The vet suspects rhinitis (inflammation) and prescribe antibiotics.
06/21/2013 – Another CT scan is done since Nunya is having a lot of congestion and breathing issues. The scan finds that the nasal tumor has returned and is once again blocking the majority of the left side of her nasal passage. A different chemotherapy option was suggested – an injection of Carboplatin. Nunya received the injection.
07/09/2013 – Nunya has a major nosebleed. We cannot get the bleeding to stop so take her to her local vet, where she receives some epinephrine to help stop the bleeding.
07/11/2013 – Nunya receives another chemotherapy injection – this time it is Doxorubicin she receives.
07/25/2013 – Nunya goes back for another Doxorubicin injection. Her breathing has been getting more labored and she appears very congested. Prednisolone was prescribed as an anti-inflammatory.
08/03/2013 – It has become very difficult for Nunya to breathe. She cannot sleep due to not getting her breath, and seems very uncomfortable.
08/05/2013 – We took her to A&M to see if there were any other options to try. A second round of radiation was presented as an option, however the side effects and possible outcome were bad. We decide not to pursue radiation treatments. We are out of treatment options, and Nunya’s health and quality of life is rapidly declining. The decision was made to go ahead with euthanasia and we spend the remaining time enjoying Nunya’s favorite activities.
08/06/2013 – Nunya passes away peacefully at home at noon.