My name is Michael Stoll and I am a Mission Ready Search and Rescue Volunteer with
CARDA (California Rescue Dog Association) and
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue.
I found you by accident while researching desperately for information on lymphoma.
My partner Murphy’s Law is a 6 1/2 year old Golden
Retriever who was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2012. I just cannot believe that he
has this disease. But he does.
We have been a team since we first met when he was 9 weeks old. We started SAR training when he was about
10 months and were certified as Mission Ready for wilderness and urban searches when he was about 2 1/2.
We have responded to about 50 searches so far including a few that made national news...but the best ones never do... like the 7 year old
girl who was found alive by a county team mate and carried out from deep in the woods around 2 am on a Thursday night (morning I guess).
Writing all this is difficult.
Murphy has been diagnosed with hypercalcemia, which means lymphoma. They have done thousands of dollors worth of oncology testing
alone. With the exception of life threatening high calcium, they have come back normal.. I was happy that about the results at first because they could not find a source of lymphoma and asked “What are the chances that he does NOT have lymphoma?” the answer was less than 10%.
There is a mass in his chest that they cannot
identify without sticking another needle in him (and few thousand dollars more)...so, we stopped and the Oncologist has put the presumptive
diagnosis that you will read on your form. Radiation treatment is
not a course we can choose and the results are questionable. He will
never be cured. I just hate that. So. Murphy takes Prednisone twice
a day. He has bounced back nicely this month. I am advised this is
typical but...well, you know the rest...too sad.
NOVEMBER 20, 2012 UPDATE
Thought I would give you an update...things move fast then slow down.
Last Thursday Murph was admitted to the hospital. His calcium numbers
indicated that he was in crisis. They bombarded him with anti nausea meds,
IV fluids, and doubled his Prednisone. His numbers got worse. He did not eat
for two days. Friday evening the vet says we should come say goodbye.
Our 12 year old grandson was sobbing (me too) in the cage as he lay
there. I put a small biscuit in front of him and he ate it. So I put
another in. He ate it. I put in five and he ate them all! The Vet (who was
preparing the needle) ran and got canned dog food. Murphy stood up and ate
that as well!!
So we took him home. The vet gave us sub q fluids and the set ups to
inject, nausea pills, increased his daily Prednisone to 40 mg and then she said to
wait and enjoy what we have for as long as we have it.
Today he is happy, eating whatever he wants, and even brought me his tennis
ball (that was about it for that), and we all are just enjoying a special
MEANWHILE, because of you insisting, I contacted Suzi Beber (Smiling
Blue Skies Cancer Fund), who has been nothing
short of outstanding. She told me not to talk but to just listen. So, I
did. Now we have a huge bag of
Canine Life Premix from someone she knows in Mill
Valley and we have made a freezer full of Murphy Muffins (with all sorts of
stuff in 'em). Muprhy loves them.
We are expecting a shipment of supplements from Suzi and if they are as
good as the muffins, I may eat some myself.
Rochelle, where do you find such people?
FINAL DECEMBER 1, 2012 UPDATE
Just a fella . . . was not out to save the world.
But just his presence did not leave it the same either.
There will be stories told about this one.
Stories with heart and joy and ebullience!
You are part of his story.
And we truly thank you.