Daisy: Bad to Worse

You know, they don’t tell you about this part of being a pet parent. You may be well-versed in the concept of life and death, but when you spot that tiny black and white blob of fur and ears, you don’t think about how she’s gonna go.

I’ll skip the details and just share the specifics.

We took her back to the emergency vet last night, this time a different one. Her abdomen was still distended and hard, and she hadn’t had a bowel movement in over 24 hours.

Diagnosis: she has a 6cm mass on her spleen and an 8cm mass on her liver, as well as multiple other masses throughout all lobes of her liver.

The options suck.

Surgery is no good because while they can remove the spleen, they can’t do anything with the liver since it’s all over the liver. I even asked about liver transplants, but that’s not an option for dogs.

Chemotherapy may not improve her quality of life since she’s already feeling bad and side effects can be miserable. It would also depend on the type of mass as some are not responsive to chemo, including the type they suspect she has.

So supportive care is the best option in terms of doing something…and that’s basically like hospice for dogs. The other option, of course, is putting her down, which is in unfathomable right now.

I hate this so much. I wasn’t this emotionally wrecked at any point during my cancer diagnosis and treatment. No lie. I dove into all that head first, but this? I want to run away to a land where cancer in dogs doesn’t exist.

I don’t know what to do. Logically, I know what the most humane thing to do is. Illogically, I’m wondering if she’d want the opportunity to kick cancer’s ass like her momma did. I’m wanting to selfishly eke out more time with her because I’m not ready for this.

Some may be thinking, “She’s just a dog!” Then stop reading. She may be a dog, but to two people who can’t have children, she’s their child. We’ve raised her for more than 12 years. She’s our baby.

Having to make a choice regarding the life or death of a loved one is absolutely agonizing. I would rather go through everything I went through with breast cancer again than have to go through this. I’m not even kidding. This is so hard.

Anyway, she’s pretty lethargic from the comfort meds. She’s not the same Daisy right now, and she probably won’t be again, I know that. Brad’s been at work all day, so he hasn’t seen her yet today. Just keep us in your thoughts as we make literally the most awful decision of our lives.

Happy New Year!

2019. It’s gonna be a great year. Lots of good things.

However, it’s off to a rough start.

First of all, Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, I did. Brad and I spent the holiday with his family, and we went to the Festival of Lights, too. Here’s one of my faves this year.

After Christmas, I ended up with a stomach bug that lasted straight through Friday. It was glorious.

We went to the South Carolina Gamecocks bowl game in Charlotte over the weekend. Our seats were in the sky and the team lost miserably, but it was an experience I can cross off our 101 list, so that was pretty cool.

See that concrete wall a few rows behind us, behind that girl? That’s the back of the stadium. That’s how high up we were. I had about 15 minutes of vertigo/anxiety when we first arrived because I felt like I was going to fall the heck down.

Also, there was a little excitement in the nosebleeds. I didn’t see all of it, but from what I heard, some UVA fans were celebrating an interception and spilled some beer on some people in front of them, including some kids, and the father said something, and the UVA fan lady dumped her drink over his head. That I did see. Needless to say, security came and threw the UVA fans out.

On the way back from Charlotte, I ended up with a sore throat and fever. Body aches were insane. Being stuck in the car three hours was pure torture.

The sore throat stuck with me through New Year’s Eve, which was really fun since I had some great drinking games planned. I sat sober on the couch while everyone else partied, which is fine but it still sucked. For me anyway.

And guess what? I still have a fever. And guess what else? I’m pretty sure it might possibly be strep due to the white spots on my tonsils. Hooray!

Oh, and I can’t forget the other New Year doozy. We had to take Daisy to the emergency vet because she has had diarrhea and a distended stomach and was also very lethargic. Turns out it’s nothing serious, thank God, and she’ll be on some antibiotics and a special diet for a few days.

So tomorrow I’ll be heading to the doc. I should have figured it was more than a cold when days passed and I still had a fever a horrible sore throat. I mean, I can barely swallow solid food and it’s not getting any better. Boo!

So that was the end of my 2018 and the beginning of my 2019. It can only get better!

Right?!?!

What’s in a victory?

I’m in a couple fitness groups. One is on Facebook and the other is a challenge group with other people living the lifestyle.

It’s been a week since I’ve fully committed to this again. Back in the beginning of this year I had some major losses with inches and pounds. This time, not so much. I still lost, but the numbers weren’t as high so it gave me pause. I did the self-doubt thing, the shaming. Then I straightened myself out. Loss is loss. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I could have gained muscle, which weighs more than fat, so the scale wouldn’t have reflected that. Not to mention, I have non scale victories! I can sit up just by using my core. I don’t need to use my legs to grip onto or propel myself forward. I feel better, emotionally and physically. Whether or not I see it on the scale or on the measuring tape, I can FEEL the difference, and that’s huge!

So I’m going to exercise again today, tomorrow, and the next day. I’m going to do it because it makes me feel good.

3 more months

Another doc down! I went for my one month follow up at the plastic surgeon today. He said everything looks great. He felt around and said I don’t have any fluid build up and everything is healing nicely. Big change from the major surgery in May. BIG change. 

I go back in three months. The skin over my right nipple should be healed more by then and we’ll be able to talk about options for that, like a tattoo or possible reconstruction. 

Aside from my Lupron shots every four weeks, I don’t have another doctor’s appointment until March! Seems crazy since I have pretty much had an appointment every Monday for the past year.

Soooo, my plan is to return to Dr H in three months much thinner! I’m back to eating clean and healthy, and he said I could exercise, so I’m doing it. 100% balls to the wall exercise. I’m excited because this is the LAST TIME I’m going to experience that new exercise muscle soreness because I’m not going to stop this time. 

As Dr. YB said…I’m off to live my life!

This is the part where you find out who you are.

One of my Facebook friends posted this today and it resonated with me so much that I felt the need to share it here right now.

This is me in 2019. This is me now. I’m cancer-free, BS free, and working on maintaining a healthy mind and body in the new year and forever.

This isn’t “another one of those new year’s resolution” posts that we see so many of and criticize. Shame on us for that, too. We should always be lifting our friends up, not letting them down. If they’re making an effort to get healthy, we should be their biggest cheerleaders, regardless the circumstances. Maybe they’re doing it for the 12th time because they didn’t get the support they so desperately needed but were too embarrassed or proud to ask for in the past, so they’re having to do it again and again. Let’s lift those friends up.

This is a lifestyle change. A mind and body cleanse and overhaul. I’m eating healthy again and ready to be active. I’m ready to exercise my mind and do some personal development as well.

This is the part where I find out who I am.

How about you?

Doc update

Nothing exciting.

He recommended half a Benadryl to help me sleep. Labs looked good. I don’t need scans unless my labs come back abnormal, so that answers that question.

And that’s it! I like those kinds of appointments. I’ll be there again in January for my shot, then my next appointment with labs is April 1. I have an appointment with Dr H for my surgery follow up in a week, and then I’ll be free from doctors for a little while!

Normal is on the horizon! 2019 is going to be a good year.

Another post-op update

I’m about 4 weeks post-op, and all my wounds are finally completely healed! Both breasts and my belly are sealed and don’t look too bad.

I think I mentioned that the incision on my right breast, aka no nip, was kind of gnarly and open when the steri-strip came off about 2 weeks post-op, so I’ve been putting antibiotic ointment on it and covering it with a gauze pad ever since and it got smaller and smaller until it finally sealed. Yay! Hooray for ointment. What a funny word…ointment.

Anyway, I have an appointment Monday with Dr YB for my three month checkup. I have some questions for him regarding future checkups and scans and stuff. He’d said I don’t need to have scans and all that, but I feel like I will need to at some point? I don’t know. My brain was still a little fuzzy during my last chat with him, so I need a refresher on where all the medical stuff will come in while I’m out living my life. I’ll post an update afterwards.

And don’t forget…if you’re interested in being part of More Than Ribbons, go follow that page! You can follow the blog by email or the Facebook page by using the links below. You don’t have to spend money to be part of the team, it’s free to participate. Check out the page for more info!

http://www.morethanribbons.org

fb.me/morethanribbons

Learn more about our relay…

I apologize in advance if you follow both blogs…this will be a duplicate post.

I didn’t know much about the Relay For Life event and what it symbolizes before I joined. I just wanted to do something more because I’m sick of cancer.

When I read about it, I realized it’s actually pretty amazing and I wanted to share that here, as well as provide the link to the American Cancer Society so you can have the full story (click here).

Relays are anywhere from 6-24 hours in length. They are walked on a course or a track. At least one person from each team is always on the track, representing the ongoing fight against cancer. It starts with a survivor/fighter lap, then a caregiver lap, then the Relay begins. Teams have “campsites” around the track with activities, games, and refreshments that people can enjoy when they’re not walking. At sunset, the Luminarias are lit.

The above image is from the American Cancer Society website (link here). It’s a great, eye-opening visual of the event.

So, local peeps! I’d love it if you’d join us. So far, it’ll be me and Brad walking for 3 hours each, haha (our Relay is 6 hours). We’re going to have some fun stuff at our campsite so you’ll be entertained and well taken care of. It’ll be a great time for a great cause. Join us!!

Join More Than Ribbons (click here).

Conflicted

I’ve been lucky. I’m going into 2019 cancer-free. I have friends who are not as lucky. There are many people who aren’t as lucky. It’s just one of my motivations for joining the Relay For Life.

Around this time of year, we often think about resolutions. We think about what we want for ourselves in the new year, and what we don’t want.

I may sound like a kindergartner here, but it’s my blog so I really don’t care (point proven). And, for the record, kudos to kindergarteners for being transparent about their feelings. More people should do that and then maybe our world wouldn’t be so messed up and dishonest. Back to my stuff…

Things I tend to carry with me year to year are … wait for it … grudges. It’s not like I sit around festering about things, but when I see someone I have a grudge against, or hear their name, I’m always reminded of whatever they did to piss me off in the first place, and for that moment, I get pissed at them all over again. I’m not necessarily “present mad” at the person, but it reminds me of the “past mad,” and I do get a little “present mad.” This may seem petty, but it’s no joke! There’s someone who got on my shit list more than 10 years ago, and that “past mad” still makes me “present mad.” Granted, that person consistently does things to piss me off, so they’re forever renewing their spot on my list, but still… The same actually goes for when people hurt my feelings and make me sad. I never forget it.

So this year, with all the good I have going in my life, I’ve been speculating this. On one hand, I wonder if I need to remove these people from my life completely. Why keep people in my life who make me unhappy? On the other hand, I wonder if I should just let it all go. Can I just put all the grudges in little bubbles and let them float away? Or write them all down and set them on fire?? Ha. I wish I was kidding. It’s something that’s been heavy on my mind.

Either way, I want to go into 2019 without these burdens. I want to be the best me, and carrying old grudges (and making new ones) isn’t a productive use of my time. So what do I do?

There is no easy answer, but over the next few weeks I am going to try to let go of the things I can’t control. I’m always telling Brad to do that. When he’s upset about something someone did, I tell him he can’t control other people and their outcomes, so he shouldn’t let it bother him. He shouldn’t let someone else ruin his day in that way. I tell him to put it in a balloon and let it float away. Apparently, I don’t practice what I preach.

But I am going to try. I’m going to try to let go of my grudges. If for nothing else than to be a big “screw you” to any of those people who may have been enjoying getting a negative reaction from me. They’re either not going to get it, or they’ll get the opposite of what they’re looking for. Some people are just like that. They’re sour, rotten, and miserable in their own lives so they find ways to negatively affect someone else so that someone else feels as miserable as they do. Then they hide behind their confidences when they’re not really that confident at all. It’s a shame.

Anyway…I’ll be working on this cleansing of sorts. I’ll share whatever I choose to do and whether it works. I really want to go into 2019 with my mind being as healthy as my body.

And sleep…sleep would be great.