National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day was November 7, a day dedicated to educating and creating awareness of this disease. One of our Blum clients, Marya Lucas, is very familiar with lymphoma. Her dog, Jack Chaps, a now 12-year-old Papillion, was diagnosed with it in 2013. When Marya was away on vacation, Jack Chaps stayed with her parents in Columbia, Missouri, and her mom took him for a checkup at Peach Tree Animal Hospital because there was a lump on his neck Marya wanted aspirated. Dr. Chris Leach found Jack Chaps had enlarged lymph nodes, a common sign of lymphoma. A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. After Marya returned to Chicago, she did research on where she wanted him treated, and selected Blum since she felt it was the best place for cancer treatment.
Dr. Natalie Marks, one of the owners and veterinarians at Blum, was in charge of Jack Chaps’ lymphoma treatment. Once a week, Jack Chaps came in for chemotherapy, but every three week he would receive a dose that was more intense, which would cause him to have some gastrointestinal upset. Per Marya, “Dr. Marks walked me through each treatment and provided amazingly attentive care for both me and Jack Chaps. Inherently, it was not an easy process, but I’m convinced that if I had gone elsewhere, it would have been much harder.”
Jack Chaps underwent treatment for his lymphoma for 6 months and luckily he didn’t have too many side effects from his it. Marya said, “The treatment might have made his hair more coarse, and he developed a sensitivity to high-pitched sounds, especially from the computer, but perhaps this would have happened anyways with age…Since his illness, he has also insisted I cook for him, which I gladly do.”
Long before Jack Chaps was diagnosed with lymphoma, Marya wrote a children’s book about him called Jack Chaps, Dog Detective: The Curious Case of the Cow & the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The book was published in 2015 and even features Dr. Marks! Through his experience with cancer, Marya is hoping to write another children’s book for kids with cancer that features Jack Chaps’ struggles and recovery with the hopes of raising money for hospitals or cancer research.
In September, Jack Chaps needed to have his tail amputated after Marya found a growth on it, which turned out to be a sarcoma, another form of cancer. To make sure he remains cancer-free, Jack Chaps comes in for routine checkups with Dr. Marks!
If you have any further questions or concerns about lymphoma, please contact your veterinarian at Blum at: (773) 327-4446.
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.