Thursday, June 28

Churchill Update, Day 8



Churchill has touched so many of us: volunteers, long-time supporters, even strangers have seen Churchill's photos and been moved to visit the website and the blog and to read his story. We have seen an outpouring of donations for his care and messages of love and pity and comfort for him that have given us heart and helped us know that people's essential goodness is undeniable, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. And the notes and messages of encouragement to our volunteers are helping to ease our own anger and pain when we consider how Churchill's light has been spent. The photographs of Churchill enjoying himself with the children in his family are a source of joy to us, and we will continue to post photos as time goes on.

Last night, the veterinary dermatologist called with Churchill's diagnosis. It was not what we were hoping for. It is what we feared it might be. Churchill has Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, an incurable skin cancer. If the cancer is caught early, it can be treated and go into remission. It may be that the dog's owners mistakenly believed, as they told the shelter workers, that Churchill had mange. Mange is a common skin condition in the Southern US. His owners said he'd had mange for five years. We'll never know what his people thought or whether he saw a vet, and at this point, it doesn't matter. Churchill will see only the best vets from now on.

Thanks to our donors' generosity, Churchill will be seeing a veterinary oncologist on July 9th. Though his condition is incurable, we will do everything we can to provide treatment and care for Churchill. And Churchill will know love and he will eat nutritious, good food, and he will have the company of a good Frenchie friend and in his house will be 3 active boys who will have nothing to do all day but play and snuggle and give Churchill attention and throw his ball for him.

Here's part of the note we received from Churchill's foster mom last night:

"Try not to be too sad everyone, he is in great spirits! He does not seem to be in any pain, and he eats like a little truck driver. He likes to roam around outside and mark his space; he likes to sniff the other dogs, especially his little chocolate mama Peyton; he loves to roll around on his back on the rugs; and he seems happy to be here.

He is very talkative and loves to have his belly rubbed. We will keep him here until God calls him home as long as he is comfortable and happy.

He has probably been happier being in rescue than he has ever known. Knowing that he knows what it is to be cared for and loved is what matters. We all did our job by saving him and we will all continue to pray for him daily. I will keep everyone updated regularly. In the meantime, I am sending some photos we took this evening."

Today, Churchill will spend time sleeping on a comfortable bed, eating until he is tired of eating, playing with the children, and maybe wading in a cool, shallow pool. He will also have another bath to help his sores heal and to soothe his skin.

We know Churchill's future is uncertain, but volunteers are seeking out clinical trials to join, and we are looking forward to hearing what the oncologist has to say.

The volunteers of FBRN are deeply grateful and profoundly humbled by the world's generous and compassionate response to this Frenchie's condition. Churchill has a life of comfort, friendship, pleasure and peace stretching before him. We should all be so fortunate.

The Frog Princess

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking such wonderful care of Churchill. The Weissman family is praying for him. Give him a big kiss from us!!

Balboa said...

Churchhill,

Mommy and me are thinking of you and sending you all our love. Big kisses from one frenchie to another.

Balboa

Anonymous said...

I am in tears after reading Churchills diagnosis and thinking about what his life has been. Luckily those of us fortunate enough to hsve a FBRN alum know how forgiving and loving and happy they are no matter where they came from. Spike and I will be praying for him and giving thanks for his foster family.

Anonymous said...

This isn't the greatest news, but where there's life there's hope. I have full confidence that if there is a mountain to be moved out there, FBRN will move it for this boy!

Linda said...

A wise friend reminded me that Dogs live for the moment Churchill will not be focusing on his past. Thank Heaven for that.

I'm grateful that the shelter called FBRN for this boy. It is wonderful to see the improvement in his condition already and to see the sorrow on his face replaced with a look of peace and security.

Thank you for showing this boy the love he deserves. May all his days be filled with love, fun, tummy rubs and shallow cool pools.

Love, The Troup Group

txchic57 said...

I've seen some of these guys do very well with treatment and he certainly looks much much better. The attitude is everything. Keep the energy positive!

Anonymous said...

I know this is not the diagnosis we were praying for, but all hope is not lost. Churchill will be visiting the oncologist on July 9th and FBRN will do everything possible for him. Right now he is eating and playing and not in pain. He will live out his days surrounded by love and happiness. What more can any of us want for those we love????

hyacinth51 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Churchill seems to be reveling in the attention of his new friends, both canine and human! I can see how he's working up that truck driver appetite with all the playing, belly rubbin', sniffing and rolling around that he is doing!

It looks like his grinning human brothers would agree that Churchill is enjoying his new life immensely. I am glad they could all take a break from playing to all pose for some good pictures!

We send our hugs and kisses!
Rebecca and Sir Humphries

Anonymous said...

In just a week, the change for the better in Churchill has been huge. Although the long term prognosis may not be great, thank goodness those kind people at the shelter were good enough to call FBRN. Churchill's life will be better because of it and his time in FBRN's care will find him being treated like the king that he is. :)

patti's mom said...

"You win a few, you lose a few, some get rained out, but you've gotta suit up for all of them". I'm proud that FBRN supports frenchies in need regardless of their condition or prognosis. Churchill, you can be on my team anytime, and the same goes for your foster family. Play ball!

K, M, L said...

Sometimes in our time of the most need, we live life to the fullest. Sometimes in our time of the most need, we are slowed enough to appreciate people, things, and puppies in a way that we ordinarily wouldn't have occasion to. And always during the times of most need, we experience life and love at a level that others are not capable of. Congradulations Churchill! You, smiling through it all, reminds us that experiencing love creates a euphoria that overrides pain. Dear dogs that we rescue: Please continue to teach us humans to focus on loving and being loved, and the accomplishments that blossom as a result, all along the way!

Thank you Churchill!

Karen, Murphee and Lillie

Anonymous said...

Sending love and prayers to Churchill and gratitude for all that the FBRN volunteers do.-V&J

Anonymous said...

Prayers and lots of gratitude to all involved. I am so glad that even thought the prognosis is not what was hoped for, he is getting more love and attention that he ever dreamed of.

Balboa said...

We just saw the list of all the people who donated to Churchill. Dude you have so many hearts focusing on you. Can you feel the love and support!

I hope you truly do get a nice long belly rub, kisses, and hug for every donation.

Frenchie hugs and kisses

Anonymous said...

Mother Teresa once said "We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love." Churchill's life may be short or long but he will spend it in the joy love and happyness of a wonderful home with children and adults to protect and care for him. Thank you the volunteers of FBRN for giving great love to Churchill and all the Frenchies they touch.

Maggie and Pip

Judy said...

Just to let you know that there is a foundation for cutaneous lymphoma. The Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation would be happy to give you information about some of the treatments that may be available to you. Please contact me at: judy@clfoundation.org.

aag said...

We are sending you much love, Churchill and will delight from afar in your pictures and stories. FBRN will take good care of you. Love & prayers,

Amy A & Greg
The Frenchies 3, Michelle & Sadie

Anonymous said...

Cutaneous t-cell lymphoma is usually an indolent or slow growing form of cancer. Since Churchill has had skin problems for five years he probably has the indolent form of the disease rather than the much rarer aggressive form. After checking with the vet you might be greatly surprised at how much better his skin would look if he were given regular baths with a topical corticosteroid wash or rubbed down regularly on all affected skin areas with a medium strength corticosteroid cream. This treatment has a very low risk profile and often the benefits are excellent. I would not consider giving Churchill aggressive chemotherpay until all the low risk topical treatments have been exhausted. Thanks for taking a chance on Churchhill. I'm guessing he might surprise you and be with you quite a while.

human living with CTCL for much of my life

txchic57 said...

Thank you! That is wonderful, hopeful information. Just what we need.

Anonymous said...

hyacinth51 said...

We HAVE to stop being sad. I know it's disheartening to think of how long Churchill may have been in this condition, but the neglect has STOPPED! He is going to have an absolutely WONDERFUL life for however long it is! [Churchill's foster mom] doesn't describe a "sick" dog or a "poor" dog. She describes a happy dog who thinks he's been dropped into Heaven. [Churchill's foster] family and all of FBRN will rejoice with Churchill for as long as he lives. Let us go back to the light with him because he has.

Anonymous said...

These "dramatic" cases serve to bring everyone back to the need of and purpose for rescue! Churchill, all unknown to himself, has reached so many people around the world, to draw them into the cause. Who knows how many victims are out there, suffering and dying horribly -- hopefully, cases like Churchill's will bring people to awareness of what's happening all around them, and encourage folks to intervene where they see suffering, rather than waiting for someone else to do it!

Anonymous said...

Churchy's foster family is amazing. You are courageous in the efforts to help Churchill. Stay strong. I know what lies a head will be heart breaking. Churchill you show us again and again why we all want to help those that need us. Thank You to Churchill and his Foster Family.