Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Cameron took her in yesterday and they took fluid from the toe and the lymph node. We noticed the lymph swelling Monday night. I have been able to actually fall asleep, but the dreams are horrible. They're exactly like reality, it will be me standing at the sink doing dishes and Cameron standing next to me telling me that the vet said "at her age, its really unlikely that an infection would react that way" when in reality he said "the vet said it's not that uncommon for a lymph node to swell like that" but the dreams are so real that I have to wake him up and ask him which version actually happened. I also made the mistake of watching ‘I Am Legend’ and now I can’t listen to Bob Marley without crying.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
If my mom ever sees this it'll take me at least 45 minutes to calm her down. Her idea of indulgent fatty horrible dath-inducing food is about maxed out, I admitted to eating a frito last week.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
I never really realize how worried I am about things until they're over. Honey goes in every 3 months for chest xrays and a checkup at her oncologist, and every time I get all flipped out. I think I've slept a total of 9 hours this week. Her appointment was Monday but we had a dead battery so it got pushed to today. This had the added advantage of letting my blood pressure increase for another 4 days. The boy took her in without me 'cause I had bunches of stuff to do at work, but he just called and not only did she weigh in at 58 pounds (from an all-time low of 42.5 in the throws of radiation side - effects) but her lungs are STILL CLEAR, and the lump we found on her side is a “fatty mass” which is a pretty gross thought but also way better than anything else it could have been. Her eye, which had started looking particularly nasty within the last few days, isn’t a retinal detachment or bleed, she cut her cornea scratching. They gave her some antibiotics and sent her hone with the ‘all clear’. The only downside is that since radiation she’s become downright mean to other dogs. I think it’s a combination of her knowing she’s not in great shape, her vision loss, and her insane level of spoiled that’s only increased since she got sick (prime example was last night, when we wanted to go to bed but she was laying across ALL our pillows, so instead of moving her, we each found about 6 inches of headspace and just toughed it out). I’ve never been happier than right now with my lumpy fat injured mean dog.
I do have some bad news. One of our neighbors had a dog named Smoke who was a rescue and about as spoiled as Honey. He died this week. He didn’t seem to have any real major health problems, but he was an older dog. He always used to lean against my legs or nuzzle me, and was one of the 2 or 3 dogs Honey would let near me without trying to eat. I’ve been told that one day Honey will die too, and it’s something I can’t think about without tears.
Monday, November 10, 2008
'Huns for Change'
The sunset from our roof Saturday the weekend was great – all I did was nap and wake up periodically to cook. I made game hens for the first time Saturday night, and Sunday I made pear and ginger preserves with rosemary and burned myself (cause I’m that slick). It was really interesting that the tops of the jars popped in record time after I took them out of the canner. Usually I have to wait for them to cool, all 6 jars made the ‘fop’ sound within the first two minutes.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I've been keeping my houseplants on a table in the kitchen next to a window that essentially opens out on a big tree. Since there's a 2 foot wide ledge that has some tree cover, I started putting down bird food and a mini-birdbath, since fresh clean water can't be easy to find in mid-Los Angeles. Anyways, a family of wrens found the goodies, built a nest, and for a few months we had these supercute little baby birds hopping around on the ledge. This grew to about 9 wrens that now spend their days in a bird-gang, hopping around in the tree and splashing water on my kitchen windows. I seriously love to them to bits and the sound of birds frolicking has got to be one of the best parts of waking up. The good part is that they're still terrified of humans, so walking into the kitchen generally causes a massive volley of kvetching and some tree - rustling (I was really worried that they would get tame from being so close to our daily life).
The other day I opened the kitchen window to refill their water and realized that at some point over the last few months the fig tree that’s providing most of the birdbath cover has evidently decided that my kitchen is a better environment than its present locale. It appears to be moving in. My first instinct was to air-layer it and make a clone, cause I collect plants like some people collect movie ticket stubs - instead of "oh, remember the night we saw the Dark Knight?" I'm generally more like "remember how we were on that road trip through Texas and I made you park the car along side the courthouse so I could take a cutting of that huge cactus? See - it's rooted and in bloom now!" Which, I'll admit, causes storage problems, but I really really like the idea of having a tree reaching into my kitchen. I feel like the Swiss Family Lindsay or something, so I started misting its leaves with distilled water when I mist my other plants, and aside from Cameron thinking I'm insane, I like it. It's stuff like this that keeps me sane in this city.
Birdbath and fig incursion - you can't even see any other buildings.
There's a bird there, its just blurry. I had to be all sneaky-like to get a picture.
Souvenier plum trees from Big Sur
Sarracenia Leucophylla peeking out of its terrarium
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
everything I've canned so far.
The awesome-tastic memory foam bed
We found a lump on Honey's side this norning. I guess maybe a lymph node? I think it's been there for a while, and none of the other ones are swolen. Woo Hoo a trip to the vet is in my future.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Lets hope no other doggies in the LA area get arthritis in the next month, ‘cause all the library’s book on dog arthritis are on my coffee table. Hon has osteoarthritis in both her knees. We started her on Glucosamine and vitamin C, and we’re adding more leafy greens and cold water fish to her diet. Fortunately, I seem to have the only dog around who thinks collards are just as good as a steak. We started with just a grocery store bottle of glucosamine, but I got a bottle of Cosequin on the recommendation of a friend who’s also a vet tech. She’s also on an NSAID but we’ll wean her off as the G/C takes effect. Last time she was on one of those it made her liver enzymes go all wonky. I got her a new memory foam bed, cause the jumping onto our bed isn’t going to work very well much longer. We have some of those doggie stairs but she just ignores them. The bed, however, seems to be a hit. I brought it in this morning and set it on the floor and within 8 seconds and was all curled up, and Cam says she still hasn’t moved 3 hours later. Hopefully that made up for me going to work this morning (I’ve been in bed for 3 days with the flu, and she got to sleep on me for like 96 hours straight. I think she expects it now).
I got ‘retro homemaker fever’ and decided to start canning fruit, and it turned out surprisingly well. So far I’ve done spiced peaches, a spiced blend of peaches, nectarines and plums, and cranberry sauce. I’m really excited about the cranberry sauce, it’s my normal recipe that’s really good anyways, but it’ll have 2 months to mature before we eat it. Like a really long-term marinade. I got the Ball Home Preserving guide and there’s a recipe for BBQ sauce, something that LA seems to be sadly deficient in, and I was going to give that a shot, but the flu had other plans for me. So if anyone needs a Golden Girls synopsis, seasons 1-5 are fresh in my mind.
Friday, June 20, 2008
She has her right eye closed because of the sun. The left eye is the one with the less than perfect tear duct.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
For good measure, my cactus about to bloom...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Quick recap in case you’ve just joined us: my guy and I boarded Honey when we went to FL for xmas/Hanukkah. When we dropped her off, she was fine. When we picked her up, she was so sick. We did two rounds of antibiotics and then the vet found a lump in her hard palate. It was a tumor, and we did a month of radiation, then two weeks of the worst side effects ever. I go back and forth between kicking myself for boarding her, and being glad we did because she would have probably had a much more advanced cancer if she hadn’t developed the secondary infection which initially led us to the vet.
Anyways, Honey’s beyond spoiled. The longest period of time she’s been alone since January this year is about 4 hours. She’s also sleeping on her own bed again and best of all, SHE CAN BREATHE OUT OF HER NOSE so I can sleep. It’s fantastic. Last weekend her Zadie was here for father’s day and she played fetch with him for about 3 days straight, and insisted on sleeping on the air mattress with him instead of on her couch (yes, HER couch. A neighbor moved out and gave it to us, and it’s exactly honey-sized). The only lingering problem we seem to be having is her eye – her left eye was in the beam of the radiation and the tear duct is permanently destroyed. We give her cyclosporine eye drops daily, and they’re actually bringing back her ability to produce tears, but it probably won’t ever be 100%. She’s also learned that the eye drops feel good so it’s supereasy to give them to her. Other than that, the radiation side effects cleared up, and although it took almost 3 months out from the last treatment to get there, she can breathe normally again. She’s also gaining back the weight she lost, and we’re actually at the point now where we can’t see her ribs any more. I think that might have had something to do with all those slices of muenster she’s getting as treats…. She’s also got ALL her face hair back, and it’s about half white half brown. We were assured that if it came back at all it would be all white, so I’m taking the salt-and-pepper effect to be a good thing.
And since she was diagnosed in January, and given 2 months, she would have died 3 months ago. Instead, today I get to go home and play fetch and cuddle with her while we lay around like slobs and watch Deadliest Catch.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
For those of you who know Honey, she did two very reassuring things in the last 2 days – Sunday she found a plastic water bottle (god knows where) and would have annihilated it if I hadn’t intervened, and this afternoon she and Cameron found a basketball and Cameron text messaged me “Honey has a new basketball to play with. I think it’s gonna be an awesome toy – very sturdy” at 3:57:12 pm today and then at 3:58:35 I got “never mind, shark dog ate it” YAY HONEY!!
Oh, and this weekend we went to a help a friend move (translation: we sat around and drank wine and looked at her boxes) and Honey made sure to completely and thoroughly inspect every one, then requisitioned the couch throw pillows, made a nest, and passed out. The pillows were destined for Goodwill so she even got to take them home.
I’m going home to feed her some leftover Passover macaroons.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Cameron picked her up and she seems ok - we have to wait for lab work to come back. Tehy x-ray'd her lungs and they're still clear, she sounds great, and tear production is UP!! WOO HOO RESTASIS!!! now we'll make it through this last lump and we're home free (hopefully).
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"If you hadn't told me how sick she was, and sent all those pictures, I wouldn't be able to tell - she's just a little bit greyer around the face"
THANK YOU BECCA!!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
The princessdog way of descending stairs
Us making tuna melts.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Her hair is almost grown in now, I’ll take some pictures tonight of the white-faced Hon. The coolest part, though, is that some of the hair is coming back in BROWN and we were assured that it would be completely white if it came back at all. Wunderdog! She also looks lovely in her new ‘cancer survivor’ bandana – which she is now, a bona fide cancer survivor. I think I even saw her breathing out of her nose a little over the last few days, and she seems to have more of a sense of smell. The only variable that’s still really up in the air is the tumor shrinkage – radiation kills the cells when they try to replicate, so they won’t die until they try and grow, so it can take up to 3 months for the tumor to shrink all that it’s going to. We finished on February 29th so today is April 18th – we have 40 days left until we can reasonable assume it’s as small as it’s going to get. The catch is this – if it doesn’t shrink enough for her to breathe out of her nose, we may have to have it debulked, which is a surgery where they would go in and remove the majority of the tumor so she could have a clear airway. The other thing that would go wrong is if it shrinks TOO much, because it metastasized through the roof of her mouth (that means it ate the bone that separates her mouth from her sinuses – her hard palate) so if it goes away to the point where there’s no tumor to form this barrier, she will have to have surgery to create one and keep her sinuses free of food / other stuff in her mouth. Please keep your fingers crossed for perfect shrinkage.
In new-place news, it’s awesome but our furniture doesn’t fit and Cameron still hates my grey Formica table, but it looks WAY too much like an airstream to throw it away. We’re starting to actually get some stuff settled and decorated decently, but ultimate ‘our house is perfect ness’ is a long way off. However, it is starting to look like a nursery, which I LOVE!
Friday, April 4, 2008
The one bad thing is that she got really lethargic when we started weaning her off prednisone, so we took her in to get her 3 1 month checkup early and they upped her dose again, saying she was getting depressed. They said it was pretty normal, with the moving and the drug levels decreasing but I was still pretty upset. We’re trying to get into a routine asap so she feels more comfortable. We also had some people over which she loves. After we upped her pred she seemed to get over it and is doing honeystuff like destroying boxes and being totally obsessed with a ball that rolled under the bed. I hope we can wean her off it soon – I know she needs to gain weight (she’s 47.5) but I hate to keep her medicated.
In other news, we can now play actual real fetch in the house – which is incredible and sooo awesome. And the windows are really fantastic, she loved barking out of them. I set up a bird bath and a hummingbird feeder, but I think so far no dice, which is weird because I’ve seen hummingbirds checking the feeder out, but that was over a 2 day span, then nothing. I wonder if the feeder is broken…
I took some cool pics of honey playing last night and ill post them later – left my camera at home, but in the meantime check out this vintage Hon at my parents house, Christmastime 2004ish. the top pic is her napping on the couch, the bottom is her 'tasting' the lawn ornament she stole from somehwere in my my parents neighborhood...