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6. Christmas Update

     There is no Christmas gift that can compare with another negative CT scan.  This good news was received Wednesday just as my farflung children began to trickle back home in preparation for the holidays.

     Back in September, I finished my 6-month course of chemotherapy and promptly entered into the first of two clinical trials I've volunteered for.  This trial's purpose was to test the effectiveness of 28 days of radiation in combination with a chemotherapy drug called Xeloda.  I completed this trial shortly after Thanksgiving.  While I'd sailed through the 6-month chemotherapy with nary a problem, the Radiation/Xeloda study has caused some minor nausea and diarrhea issues.  These side-effects, I'm told, will resolve in a few weeks.  This is important because I plan to eat my way through the Holidays just like always!

     Now, I've started a second clinical trial which is testing the efficacy of an experimental vaccine designed to teach my immune system to attack and destroy pancreatic cancer cells.  This targeted therapy, or immunotherapy, represents the cutting edge of modern cancer treatment .  Traditional chemotherapy has undoubtably proven its worth over the years, for many cancer patients have enjoyed significant remisisions and even cures of their diseases by following proven chemo protocols.  But the major limitation with such treatments is that chemotherapy carpet-bombs the entire body in an effort to kill just a few cancer cells.  This treatment often results in substantial side effects that the patient must endure in order to beat the cancer.  Targeted therapy is designed to attack and kill only the cancer cells, while sparing the rest of the body from the collateral damage common to traditional chemotherapy.

     So far, vaccine immunotherapy trials have been a bit disappointing, but one vaccine for malignant melanoma has found some success in treating that cancer.  Hopefully in the future, more testing will uncover new vaccines, and new targeted therapies, that will one day make chemotherapy (as we know it) a dinosaur of the past. 

     As for my own clinical trial, the pancreatic cancer vaccine causes such intense itching and swelling at the injection sites on my arms and thighs that it surely must be causing havoc with any cancer cells remaining in my body!  The negative CT scan last week, and those to follow in the future, will verify whether or not this is the case.

     Having my family all together for the Christmas holidays is always a great blessing, but this year carries even more significance in light of the tribulations of 2012.  Daughter Tori and her husband Josh are home for two weeks from Baltimore, where Tori is working on her PHD at Johns Hopkins.  Bree and her husband Paul live in Austin; Bree teaches high school chemistry and biology in Round Rock and Paul works in the thriving software industry there.  Kelley has her masters in marketing and works for a advertising company in Austin as well.  She found out last week that she is getting a promotion in 2013 and will be taking on more managerial responsibilities.  In addition to the 5 "kids" who are here for Christmas, we have 3 grand-pugs to add to our two.  Five dogs and five young adults have significantly raised the noise level at our heretofore sedate home, and getting a good night's sleep is almost impossible right now.  I wouldn't trade the chaos for anything....

     We are all counting our blessings now and are looking forward to a new year that will surely hold more blessings for the entire Baxter family.  I hope all of you are too.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,  David Baxter    

Emergency After-Hours Treatment

The Emergency Animal Clinic is the only emergency clinic that provides us with detailed, complete records of your pet’s treatment.

This continuity of care is critical.


Clinic Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
(by appointment)
Sun: Closed
Phone: (214) 361-2834

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"You become responsible,
for what you have tamed."

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Latest News

  • Will you give your pet a treat in order to save its life? +

    Dallas pets are at risk of heartworm infection. Even 100% “indoor” pets can become infected because mosquitos often make their way indoors. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pet owners to give year-round preventative instead of the risk and expense of treating infection. The early stages of heartworm Read More
  • Fit Pets +

    More than half of all dogs and cats are overweight! You may cringe at the thought someone would call your pet "fat," especially when you love their little squishy rolls. It may be cute, but it's not healthy.You can help to give your pet the healthiest life possible. Obesity contributes Read More
  • It's Common Sense, and it's right under your pet's nose! +

    A veterinarian should examine your pet annually – a full medical exam includes an evaluation of your pet's teeth. Benefits from proper dental care for your pet are similar to the reasons you keep your own teeth clean. Reasons to keep teeth clean include:• Prevention of painful dental disease and damage Read More
  • New Year, New Clinic +

    If you haven't been by to see us since November, you're in for a surprise: we're at the same location, in our new building! The design of our new hospital pays homage to our roots in the 1940s, while giving us a bit more room to practice state-of-the-art medicine. It's Read More
  • We love our senior pet patients! +

    You can help improve and extend your pet's quality of life!   Cats and small dogs are considered "seniors" when they reach the age of seven, and large dogs as early as six. Consider the following as your pet ages: HEALTHY WEIGHTMaintain your pet's waistline and mobility with plenty of Read More
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Dr. Baxter's Blog

  • 10. Still Ticking +

    Well, next month it will be 3 full years since I began showing symptoms of what would eventually be diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. And here I am, still free of new tumor growth, which puts me among a very small minority of patients suffering from this cruel incurable disease. I Read More
  • 9. You Do the Hokey Pokey +

    My last two CT scans have both been negative for cancer re-growth, so I am very thankful and humbled over these good reports. I hope everyone will continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue my journey. My radiation colitis, which is a common side-effect from Read More
  • 8. On Cruise Control +

    I must apologize for it being almost 6 months since my last update, but the cliché that No News is Good News certainly applies. I've undergone two CT scans (May and August) since my rhubarb with the occluded stent last winter, and both tests were negative for metastasis. For this, Read More
  • 7. A Stent Pulls a Stunt +

    The Christmas and New Years Holidays were relaxing but eventful with family getting together and sharing our blessings. Then on January 3rd, I went in for a check-up and injections according to the protocol of my clinical trial. My weight was 186 pounds and all was well, especially in light Read More
  • 6. Christmas Update +

    There is no Christmas gift that can compare with another negative CT scan. This good news was received Wednesday just as my farflung children began to trickle back home in preparation for the holidays. Back in September, I finished my 6-month course of chemotherapy and promptly entered into the first Read More
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