Wow, has it really been three months already? Shelby and I are now almost 10 months into our ‘new life’ since her broken leg, surgery to fix to that, spleen removal, definitive cancer diagnosis (however it was probably the true cause of the break back in June) to three months post-amp! Shelby, for the most part, acts like there is nothing wrong with her. She remains, as I always say, blissfully unaware of her cancer diagnosis.
We had a minor ‘technical’ set-back last week when we discovered through X-rays that her mets had increased in number and size. Enough that her oncologist wanted to start us on a new chemo regime that took 8 hours to administer. My first thought was, do I have to sit in this cold office for 8 hours?!? I guess I was having sub-conscious flashbacks to when I would take my dad for his treatment and wait. Thankfully, they sent me away and it was good because it allowed me to have a pretty significant emotional outburst, run 7 angry miles and stay in bed all day and sulk about how unfair this all seemed. We are fighting SO hard but this bitch of a cancer is fighting back. I literally wanted to rip into her chest and pull those mets out – each one – and set them on fire. As if they had ‘feelings’. By the time I went to get Shelby that afternoon, I had, for the most part, soothed myself. I try, try and try to remember that she doesn’t know and most days, I wish I didn’t know either. It kind of put a damper on the start of our spring break together.
But the good thing is; she’s had NO side affects from this chemo. If I didn’t see the two shaved wrists from her IVs, I wouldn’t think she got anything other than a day at the vet with her buddies. She has also stopped her intermittent coughing. No nausea, no diarrhea, no loss of appetite. Tired but nothing out of the ordinary. I brought her down to the park Saturday to watch the birdies and she loved it. We’ve spent at least an hour outside each day, getting some sunshine, even though it’s hardly “warm” by Los Angeles standards.
I made her liver snacks Sunday since she is still so anemic and I am trying to fight that too through her diet and the pills they have given us. Not since my father’s illness have I endured the smell of liver cooking. Disgusting! Shelby, of course, was beside herself. At one point, I left the house and went back in to make sure I had blown out the candle I was burning and she was sharking around the kitchen for the liver treats in the oven. She loves them. She only gets two tiny bites a day but they are quickly becoming part of her routine and she expects them. I also made for her in crockpot a cancer fighting turkey/sweet potato/spinach and apple dish. She WOLFS her meals now. She’s standing firm for almost 2 months at 23.2 pounds – her fighting weight. I am happy she isn’t gaining OR losing weight. To me, that means we are still in somewhat control of this beast.
I took her today for her blood work to check her blood levels after the chemo and they were great so in two weeks, we’ll go back and do another round of this chemo. This might be her 10th treatment. It seems like a lot both physically and financially but it has to be helping her and I have to give her every chance I can to fight. We are keeping up with our mushroom therapy as well.
Spring break, for me, wraps up tonight … I am back at work tomorrow and Friday. It’s been bittersweet – my first kind of ‘stay-cation’. I have done nothing but workout, nap, eat and workout some more. I felt guilty that I didn’t do anything or go anywhere with Shelby but I really wasn’t comfortable leaving town with her. I like to be close to her vets (just in case). And I think Shelby is just happy to have me at home. She does sleep ALL day. Except if I bring her outside for fresh air. I tell myself that she’s resting and healing. As far as my sleeping up to 12 hours a day, I attribute my extreme exhaustion to the emotional roller coaster I have been on for months now. When I am sleeping, I literally dream about sleeping. My body and my brain clearly needed this rest. And there is nothing like listening to her snore to soothe me.
She is still up more at night – not on her bed and sits behind my couch on the floor. She is also awake. She will snuggle if I want her to. When it is time for bed, she tends to seem unclear as to what to do – she goes in and out of the bathroom, might start there but always ends up either in her bed by my bed or in her bed by the heater. This is our new normal and we have embraced it. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I do know that today, Shelby is happy, she is safe and she is loved. And she is spoiled!!! It really is a dog’s life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.