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Harvey by Ciara – The Hospital’s Choice

Published on January 30, 2024.

Story from Harvey by Ciara – The Hospital’s Choice


Hi, my name is Harvey. I am a 9 year old “black beagle”, but really I am part beagle, Labrador and cocker spaniel. My SASH story begins in May 2022, when I was 7 years old.

One day, I started not feeling so great. I was really thirsty all the time and because I was drinking so much, I had to go to the bathroom way more often. My mum and dad grew concerned when after a few days of extra drinking, I had an accident on the rug. The next day we were off to see my vet, Manuela. Manuela knew something was wrong too and after some blood tests I was referred to SASH in North Ryde.

My journey with SASH started the next week with an initial visit with Dr Tristram. Dr Tristram was very nice and ran further tests which showed I had Hypercalcemia and was very sick. Dr Tristram said I needed to see an Oncologist and spend the night in hospital to control my Calcium levels since I was so unwell. That’s when I met Dr Veronika Langova. Dr Veronika gave me medicine that made me feel so much better! My parents came to pick me up the very next day and that’s when I found out I had Lymphoma. The Lymphoma made my Calcium very high which made me so thirsty!

Sadly, there is no cure for Lymphoma, and I likely had 6 months or less. Dr Veronika told mum and dad she had a plan to give me more time and we didn’t give up hope! Mum, dad, and I created “Harvey’s bucket List” and were determined to live each day to the fullest. Between visits to see Dr Veronika, I’ve gone and done some awesome things with mum and dad. My favourite place is the beach, it may be a long car ride, but it’s worth it! Speaking of long car rides, we once drove to a snow village in Dinner Plain just so I could play in the snow! I also really love our trips when we sleep in a tent under the stars, and I can howl at the Dingo’s and chase the cows! We ticked everything off that bucket list in those first few months and in the months since!

While mum, dad and I continued living life, Dr Veronika and my friends at SASH continued to fight for me too. I’ve had lots of Chemotherapy and medicine, but thankfully it never made me feel too bad. I’ve had lots of tests and scans to make sure Dr. Veronika knew what was really going on. I’ve been to SASH so often for treatments and cuddles that I’ve made so many new friends. One of my friends, Jess, is so special. She always gives me cuddles and scratches and has been there smiling since my very first visit.

I recently had Radiation with Dr. Elias to try and give me more time before the Cancer came back. The radiation hasn’t made me feel very good and mum and dad have been worried, so we’ve been going to see my friends at SASH more often. I even had to spend another night at SASH last weekend, because I needed a blood transfusion to make me feel better.

It’s been 21 months now since I first met my friends at SASH. It’s only because of their love for me and all the amazing things they can do to help me, that I surpassed everyone’s expectations. I really love seeing Dr Veronica and Jess on my visits, but also Dr Sarah, all of the Vet Nurses and Client service officers and the other Veterinarians and SASH staff who are always giving me cuddles! Thank you for all the ear scratches and treats.


Thank you for reading Harvey’s story.

Harvey was diagnosed with T-Cell Multicentric Lymphoma on 12 May 2022 at just 7 years old. We’ve since learned that Lymphoma tends to be a young dog’s disease. Due to Harvey’s Lymphoma being the T-Cell variety – more aggressive than B-Cell – and that it had already progressed to Harvey’s organs, his prognosis was likely 6 months or less. Despite it being less than 2 weeks from when we first noticed Harvey was drinking more and when he was diagnosed at SASH, the Lymphoma had rapidly spread, and the Hypercalcemia that developed made him critical. Harvey had also been developing these fatty lumps in the year or so prior to his diagnosis. But in the days before his first visit to SASH, we noticed a few rapidly developing, and later discovered these were lymph nodes swelling from the Cancer.

While Harvey’s prognosis wasn’t good, our plan was to keep doing what we needed to keep Harvey alive, until the day he tells us he’s had enough. His quality of life has always been most important.

We’ve been very lucky that Harvey tolerated the Chemotherapy protocol so well. Since May of 2022, he’s had two rounds of Chemo, the first round was for 6 months and then we had 4 months off before the Cancer came back. We were fortunate that a CT scan picked up the Cancer recurrence early as only “minor” Cancer and we quickly put Harvey back on Chemo. Harvey’s second round of Chemo lasted for the next 9 months. In November of 2023, there was some promising research of radiation keeping B-Cell Lymphoma in remission for longer, so we gave it a try. We stopped the Chemo and did 2 radiation treatments with Dr. Elias.

Our journey has been a bit bumpier since the radiation, and over the last 2ish months we’ve slowly seen Harvey’s blood levels declining. Harvey is a dog always ready for action! He will be asleep one second and chasing the ball the next. He has two speeds, on and off. This is one of the things we and our friends at SASH love about Harvey and fortunately also one of the things Harvey has maintained throughout his treatment. Due to Harvey’s decreasing blood levels, this side of Harvey has been slipping the last 2 weeks. We gave Harvey a blood transfusion over Australia Day weekend, to hopefully allow his bone marrow more time to regenerate, but sadly it’s not enough. We said all along his quality of life was our priority. It feels like now might be the time to let go.

We’ve been guided this entire journey by Dr Veronika Langova who has been nothing short of amazing. You need to trust when your pet is telling you they don’t feel good, and you need to trust the people who we task with caring for our beloved fur babies. We can’t say enough good things about “Dr. V”.

We also cannot express enough gratitude to the rest of the amazing staff at SASH. Dr Veronika has been on this journey with us since the beginning and we have met some other incredibly kind caring souls during our frequent visits to SASH. Jess Taylor is one particularly kind human, always calm and goes the extra mile to take care of both pet and human. Aine is one of the amazing Vet Nurses who cares for Harvey and like Jess, is always so calm and kind. To Ash, Vanessa and the rest of the amazing humans at SASH, thank you.

While this may be the end of Harvey’s story, it’s only because of SASH that we have had 21 months with Harvey. This time allowed us to literally do anything and everything we wanted with Harvey’s bucket list. The treatment, research and amazing talent at SASH is what allowed us this extra time. Harvey has always lived a “privileged” life. But the last 627 days have been extra special, and we will hold our memories close to our heart forever. 

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