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Mom2Shelby

Shelby’s 5 weeks post-amp today

Clearly math is not my strong suit since I kept thinking we were over the 5 week mark and marching past week 6! Oops! Shelby had her rear amputation on January 8th.

So I guess it’s even more amazing that she’s doing so well in such a short amount of time. Shelby visited with her fan club yesterday at Veterinary Cancer Group of Los Angeles and they were all pleased by how well she was moving/getting around and how *some* fur is growing back. Shelby had finished her chemo treatments three weeks ago so we were really there for some X-rays and get on a maintenance dose of chemo for life. After a review of her X-rays, her oncologist, Dr. Turner, noticed that Shelby’s lung mets hadn’t really changed (or if anything, the growth was marginal) which is good AND bad news. Good that they aren’t growing so her chemo is working and bad that they aren’t shrinking either which means that they are fighting back. So we decided to do another couple rounds of chemo on Shelby since it can’t hurt and it can only help to get her to the maintenance part in a better place.

I am choosing to focus on the extremely positive part of this – they didn’t grow tremendously and considering my dog has an extremely aggressive blood cancer, this is good news. And those mets didn’t show up until almost 4 months into her treatment which means we can still fight them.  At the end of the day, we all know that my dog most likely has had cancer since June when she first broke her leg (and we couldn’t find the cancer even then) so that gives me the hope that everything we have done along the way has been the absolute right decision. If we were indeed given 6 months from starting of chemo, that puts us at March and I believe Shelby is going to run right through March, headed for April, May, June and beyond … My dog is a fighter. She acts more and more like herself every day. She has an amazing spirit and will to live.

And each day, I see more and more of my girl coming back. The other night, she played for the first time (on her own, with no food involved). She spends less time (if any) in the bathroom which was her den for so long after her recovery that I truly never thought she would come out of there again. But the absolute BEST part of my day today was waking up and having my girl, sound asleep, on her bed, next to my bed. She hasn’t slept in my room since this happened. I think she was less than thrilled that I woke her up at 4:30 a.m. so I could walk her before my run but I had to kiss, snuggle and praise her for being by my side all night. It’s the little things that give us joy and remind us that we are seeing improvements, no matter how tiny they might be. Every day brings a new set of challenges and opportunities. I have often said, what I wouldn’t do to be more like Shelby, to wake up every single day with a clean slate, a world of opportunities ahead of me, wagging a tail. Because my  girl is a happy girl. She is LOVED by so many and she feels the love. She spent over 2 hours at the vet yesterday and her appt. was only about an hour – she had to visit all the nurses, techs, doctors that have fought so hard for her.

People ask how I can be positive or upbeat – faced with living with a dog that I know has terminal cancer. My answer is, what other choice do I really have? Shelby reads every single feeling, emotion I have, long before I even know it, she’s feeling it. My only choice is to be a strong pack leader – to let her know that I am proud of her, that I love her and that she is a fighter. And I truly think that, 5 weeks in, I can finally breathe a bigger sigh of relief and we can get back to living our life as it was. That she didn’t freak out in the car yesterday (YAY we  can go on road trips again), that she is walking better and kind of positioning that back leg in the middle like a true “tripod” (YAY down to the beach for us), that she can sit like a lady in my lap (YAY happy hour)…. Two weeks from tomorrow, I will turn 40. Shelby has been a part of my life since my 20s, through my 30s and soon my 40s. I couldn’t be happier today.

 

They always give her a new bandanna at the vet. My little Valentine!

Smooches for my best girl!

🙂 No words necessary … love of my life, right here!

6 Comments »

  1. benny55 Said,

    February 12, 2014@ 11:41 am      Reply

    Oh Alison! I hope you feel as proud of your soul’s growth as we do! It is absolutely measurable! You have brown leaps and bounds! I hope you read through your post several times and really grasp the lessons you have set fourth.

    That Shelby has been such an ecellent teacher…and her student is ready to learnz! This bond is pure and timeless. Yo ARE wakng up everday now with a clean slate..no history..no worries about tomorrow…just the bliss of being in the moment just like Shelby!

    Yes, Shelby’s victories have been monumental…absolutley monumental!!

    And that picture of Shelby with the hearts all around her…..THE best!! Captures her gentleness AND her vibrant spirit all at once…with a whole lot of intelligence wrapped up in there.

    Thank you for this uplifting update. Hugs to you both! Realy! Give yourself a vig hug…you deserve it!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  2. fetchon3 Said,

    February 12, 2014@ 12:54 pm      Reply

    A charming, sweet, loving tribute to 5 weeks! What a journey! Holy moly. What a journey. Your attitude is perfect and no doubt, Shelby feeds off it and benefits from it. You’re doing everything (and more) to help her and support her. One day at a time. It’s a great motto. Fight on, you two! Fight on!
    ~ Katy & Jackson

  3. benny55 Said,

    February 12, 2014@ 9:30 pm      Reply

    Meant to tell you how mich I like your black and white photo of you two.

    Like you said, “No words necessary”. Nothing but love in tose pics…nothing but love and one heart.

  4. Christine Said,

    February 13, 2014@ 5:42 am      Reply

    congrats girl! you are in the right frame of mind.. good for you!! You are actually being… more dog!! Shelby doesn’t know she has cancer.. every day is a happy day for her… every treat is the best treat she has ever had, every car ride is the best car ride, every toy is the best toy, every walk is the best walk!
    Andyou are now in the perfect frame of mind to share all that energy with her and keep her happy!
    Love the pictures.. thank you for sharing!!!
    Christine…. with Franklin in her heart♥

  5. mom2shelby Said,

    February 13, 2014@ 9:27 am      Reply

    Thank you all for your kind words! They seriously warm my heart so much as this has been the hardest challenge of my recent adult life and as a ‘single parent’ I often feel I am going at this alone. Except I have you all to support me and your love and support are felt day in and day out! Thank you!

    Thank you for the compliments on our photos too. We have a very strong bond – that definitely does come through in our photos and snuggle times!!! Love to our Tripawd family! XOXOXO

  6. jerry Said,

    February 14, 2014@ 8:56 am      Reply

    First, if I forget when your birthday rolls around, HOPPY BIRTHDAY ALISON!!!! WHOOOPEEEE!!!

    Now, the photos of Shelby keep getting better and better, the ones in this post just melt my heart. Best Valentine ever!

    You have a GREAT attitude, and you know what’s funny? When it comes to coping with cancer, you DO have a choice. You can think the worst and be a negative Nellie, which in turn makes things even more awful, or you can stay upbeat and strong for your girl. Some folks make the first choice, which brings on a lot of hard times and sadness. You, my dear, made the SMART choice and the hoppiest one too. ROCK ON SISTA!!! You are a wise, wise woman just like Shelby. Together you two are learning so much from each other.


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