That’s a direct quote from my friend Mark who hasn’t seen Honey in about a year. She spent yesterday evening doing the ‘someone came to see me two-step’ around his knees and then (very subtly) rubbing her slobbery orange ball all over him, which is how she entices you to play fetch. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever heard. And it dawned on me that she’s acting almost exactly like she did pre-cancer. Our relationship has changed significantly since she got sick – Cameron and I have altered our schedules so that she isn’t alone normally – Sunday we went to a bbq and we couldn’t bring her (the host had dogs that weren’t friendly) and she was alone for 4 hours, which is the longest she’s been alone since November 2007. She’s definitely more attached to us; she would never sleep the whole night on our bed before and now that’s her primary main objective (this will have to change, because we don’t have AC and 100 degrees is way too hot to cuddle, even if she really really wants to). Also she’s more tolerant of letting me do things to her that she would never have allowed previously. I can stick my fingers in her mouth now, and she doesn’t mind – when that was something that drove her batty before cancer. Last night I even pried open her mouth and stuck a ball in, and she just let me. It was great. It’s like she knows that whatever we’re doing to her, uncomfortable as it might be, is going to make her feel better. She comes to us now and asks to be scratched when her face or eyes itch, when last year she would have just gone at her face with her claws, and her eye drops must feel great because she just holds still and lets me tilt her head and pull her eyes open, then when its done she wags her tail and gives me kisses. Two weeks ago she stood still and let us remove the stitches that were inside her ear from biopsy #2. This dog has had chronic ear infections all her life, and her ears are probably the most sensitive place on her body, and she just stood in the kitchen and let me grope around in there with mini scissors and tweezers. Needless to say she got some serious treats after, but I was still stoked. Saturday we took Hon to Larchmont, this snotty little shopping district near our house and got her pinkberry (its essentially frozen yogurt, and its awesome) from Becca. She wore her new ‘cancer survivor’ bandana, and made lots of friends who were also cancer survivors.
UMMMM, is that for me?
Honey loves her some blueberries
I love that she closesher eyes when she really likes what shes eating.
She didn't know what to do - pay attention to the seder plate, the webcam, or the phone
(that sounded like cameron's parents).
Honey in her new KamSew Unique Bandana! They were really fantastic - the only place I could find on the web that had custom doggie bandanas, and they even called me to ask if I'd like her name added to the design. http://www.kamsewunique.com/
The princessdog way of descending stairs
Us making tuna melts.
She ripped the ball out of the package and refused to let go of it till we were home.
After she healed, before the hair started growing back in.
Honey and I spent our weekend reading and cuddling. We're down to a 1/4 of a prednisone every other day so that's fantastic - she's totally off the painkillers and last night even slept in her own bed and then the couch (!!!). To tell the truth, it freaked us out a little. But just a little.
Looks like we’re out of the woods depression-wise! We’ve been weaning off pred for about a week now and no bad side effects like lethargy or excessive sleeping. Also, Cameron went to New York for three days and she was ok with it (!!!) which is new and exciting. When she was doing radiation she used to freak out if it got past 9 or 10 pm and cam wasn’t home yet – nights he worked were a real joy, and she’s do the ‘where’s daddy’ dance – pacing, whining, the odd howl, heavy panting, sometimes shaking – just a total freak out ‘oh god where is he’ situation. Nothing I did could calm her down, but we dropped him off at the airport and she wasn’t exactly thrilled, there was some watching out the window and then for the first day she would pull me towards the parking lot whenever we went for a walk, looking for him near the car, but last night she even slept in her own bed all night, which is unfreakingheardof. I worked from home (LOVE that my job lets me do that) Wednesday and Thursday and Cameron’s plane already landed, he’ll probably be home in like 35 minutes. Wish I could be there to see the festival of daddy has returned Honey’s going to throw when she sees him.
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!
We’re finally all moved in. our new place has less closet space and less wall space, so where to put the desk / table is a problem, but we’re working on it. Honey figured out what was up pretty quick and hasn’t tried to walk to the old apartment at all. I can’t tell if her nose is improving or not, I know the vet said up to 3 months for it to shrink, and we finished the 29th of Feb., but I really wish it would totally go away, and fast. She’s snoring a lot more now, so maybe that means she’s getting some sir moving through her nose, but I’m not sure. She still makes the gasping noises and doesn’t like her lip prop. But… she’s starting to re-grow the hair on her face! It’s white and the skin is a really really dark black, so it’s pretty noticeable.
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...