Late October 2020, while giving our 2 year old boy neck scratches, we found 2 lumps. I instantly knew it was his lymph nodes and my heart sank. We were seen the next day by Dr. Jennifer Newhouse who tried to help us stay optimistic yet realistic, listing the other possibilities for such a young and otherwise healthy dog. On Nov 2nd I got the call. It was lymphoma. We were absolutely devastated, still are. Dr. Jen was wonderful at answering all my questions and helping us decide out next steps. Since he was so young and had no other symptoms, we decided to get an Oncology consultation and go from there. Many tears were shed over the next few weeks while we waited for his appointment. During that time we knew it could only be weeks left we had with him so we prioritized hikes and spoiled the heck out of him. Not the easiest to do with a 4 month old tiny human at home but I would strap him in the carrier and out we went daily. During the waiting period, his back lymph nodes started to become large and his back legs would swell. Thankfully hiking actually helped the lymphedema and with Dr. Jen calling to check in we started him on some Metacam because he couldn’t sit comfortably anymore. Things were happening fast and his oncology appointment felt too far away.
On November 17th we met Dr. Patten at Toronto Vet Emergency Hospital to review our options for what was diagnosed as minimum Stage 3a multicentric large cell lymphoma.
After that once big hiccup, the rest of his chemo went off without a hitch. Each week for 5 weeks, I would load up the baby and him and we would head out for his treatments. Due to Covid, I was not allowed in so we hung out I the truck for the duration of the appointments. After only 2 treatments he had achieved full clinical remission and was pretty much back to his old self. Never missing a hike or resisting the urge to steal food from the baby (who conveniently was starting solids and dropped food often). We got to celebrate his 3rd birthday, something we didn’t think we would see and by round 2 when he started going every other week for chemo, he was wrestling again with out other pup and wanting to play with toys again! Harlow was a complete and total rockstar!
The team at TVEH became like family. They were so kind and caring. Jennifer and Dr. Patten there would always come down to say Hi to the baby and give us updates. All the while Dr. Jen from TRAH would call to check in and see how we were doing (even though she had the email reports, she still would take the time to personally check in).
We are beyond thankful for all the support we have received and still receive from both TRAH and TVEH. Our Harlow graduate from chemo on May 13th and celebrated with his usual post chemo cheeseburger! He just had his first recheck on June 7 and passed with flying colours! Graduation was bittersweet. Everyone who has met Harlow always says the same thing “we just love him he is such a sweet boy!”. Whenever I call to make his appointments he’s famous at both TRAH and TVEH for being the sweet cuddly big guy.
While we know it’s just a matter of time before it comes back and we have to say goodbye. We are beyond thankful for the extra time we have had so far and hopeful for many many more months with our sweet goofy cuddly boy.
He is the biggest cuddle bug you’ve met and we are so happy he is doing well.
We love you Harlow!!
Graduation from Chemo May 13th 2021
7 month group shot Feb 21st 2021. Halfway through the whole protocol.
Birthday Dec 25th 2020, done his first round.
Truck picture end of March starting his last round of chemo.
Picture with baby Easter weekend. Finished 2 rounds, 1 left to go.